04 Jun 5 Things You Can Do Today to Market Your Pediatric Practice on Social Media
In the past, excellent patient care was enough to earn word of mouth referrals for pediatric practices. Aside from directory listings, most doctors didn’t need to market their practices at all. Parents would simply ask their friends for a doctor recommendation or choose from an insurance company’s list of providers. Today, parents still ask for recommendations, but they’re turning to social media for the information.
According to Pew Research, 74 percent of internet users are on social media. Over 1.4 billion people log on to Facebook each day, including 75 percent of parents. Of those, nearly half look for information about a specific health care provider.
Not only do patients seek doctor referrals through social media, but they also look for medical information as well. Pew Research also found that 80 percent of social media users seek out health information, including research into symptoms and treatment options for various diseases.
The bottom line is this. Your current and future patients are on Facebook and Twitter, and they want to see you there. What’s more, social accounts are fun, easy, and free to use. This article outlines our five best tips for engaging with new and existing patients on social media.
1. Create a Facebook business page and Twitter account
Patient-engagement is more important than ever. A Facebook business page is the first step toward an active social media presence. A Twitter handle is a close second. Together, they will be your social media “persona.” You’ll want to include the most pertinent information that patients are likely to look for. This includes your normal business hours, holiday schedules, and weather closing policy. Include your address and phone number for easy access. New patients, babysitters, and grandparents will find it convenient to simply touch a link and be instantly connected to your practice.
2. Share photos of your office
Lots of pediatricians have pretty fun-looking practices. Do you and your staff dress up for Halloween? Decorate for holidays? Do you have fun toys and games in your waiting area? Snap a few photos to share on your Facebook page or Twitter feed. Parents and kids will love getting to look at the bright and colorful parts of your practice. You might even snap a few photos of your desk or the area behind the nurses’ station. Your patients will enjoy getting a “behind the scenes” look at your work day.
3. Show off your staff
Social media is all about connecting with the community in a personal way. Pick an “employee of the week” and have them fill out a fun, personal survey about their lives. Who is their favorite Disney character? What’s their favorite food? What do they enjoy most about their job? Just a few nuggets of information will give kids and parents a chance to get to know (and trust) you better.
4. Offer medical advice and tips
Parents search for medical information on social media. This is your chance to give them accurate information from a medical professional instead of crowd-sourced advice that may be flawed. Share your tips for surviving flu season, hand washing guidelines, ideas for healthy school lunches, and more. Bonus: This is the type of content that will have parents coming back to your page again and again since it’s exactly what they’re looking for.
5. Share important medical information
Is there a story in the news that you want parents to know about? Share it on Facebook and Twitter! You can use this space to alert parents to an outbreak of strep throat, an interesting medical study, or the availability of flu shots. You can also use social media to give your perspective on health-related news.
Your patients and their parents are on social media. You should be too! Hop on board with this fun, easy, and cost-effective way of marketing your pediatric practice.