Effective Social Media Starts In Your Practice
Medical practices are unique. Very few businesses in the world enjoy an unwritten-yet-accepted expectation that customers (or in your case, patients) voluntarily walk through their door on a regular basis! It’s cool. This captured, face-to- face audience is a marketer’s dream. Are you leveraging this opportunity?
One of your big advantages in gaining early traction with your social media efforts is obvious—so obvious in fact that you may not even be thinking about it. Your staff!
Staff members have relationships with your patients. Staff members live and work in the same communities where your new, prospective patients live and work. Staff members love your practice. Staff members participate in your practice culture. Staff members have extended family members, gym buddies, their church congregation, neighbors, and tons of friends in their online social networks who are all prospective new patients. Staff members are a pivotal key to getting the early word out about your new social media efforts both face-to-face and online.
During the earliest weeks and months you may not have many followers, subscribers, Likes, and connections to create much online viral effect for your social media marketing. Shares, blog comments, Facebook Likes, etc. can be few and far between. So, the best place to start your efforts (and continue them) is in your practice, with your staff.
It’s important to have some simple handout materials, posters, buttons, etc. to break the ice, spark conversations, and create interest face-to-face. It’s also important to have an easy, accessible way (such as an in-practice iPad) for people to subscribe, Like, share, upload and comment.
Are you concerned that you’ll have a hard time getting staff members’ support? Don’t be. Time and time again we see remarkable transformations take place inside practices—and inside staff members—sparked by tiny social media tactics and successes. The energy that comes from heightened friendships and engagement with your patients is contagious. You’ll be surprised how social media can invigorate the passion inside your office.
Social Signs are a great way to increase the visibility and share- ability of your practice on your Facebook page. They’re easy to use and they’re great icebreakers. Both patients and staff members love them.
Each staff member has something unique to offer, and will connect authentically with different groups in your audience. Through social media, your staff members can continue to strengthen the relationships that start in your practice. And as you build relationships, patients will be more likely to become advocates for your practice by referring friends and family.