Social media is increasingly being used as a marketing tool for a number of industries. What do medical practitioners stand to benefit from using social media?
You’re a doctor. You’re online. You have a website. What’s next, you ask? Chances are you’re already using it, but you don’t necessarily see it as a tool to boost the marketability of your practice. But given the right approach and the right contacts, social media gives medical practitioners the power to build personal relationships with patients, get feedback, and build networks.
What do you need these for? An increased probability of gaining interested leads. There’s the new cliché: Social media is the new word-of-mouth. Of course, to get the word spread, you ought to consider who you want to reach and where they’re likely to be found online.
- Communities linked to the practice’s specialization can be a good place to start meeting people and adding them to your contact pool. Medical practitioners can connect and interact with colleagues through professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn, MedicalMingle, DoctorsHangout, and PartnerUp.
- Blogs present another rich possibility. By making friends with bloggers discussing similar interests in the field, posting and receiving comments – and along the way, publishing your own practice blog – you get to keep an open, personal communication link with prospective patients and fellow doctors.
- Multimedia applications take the sharing experience even further. Photo, audio and video demonstrations and patient testimonials abound in online medical circles.
There are plenty of social media venues to choose from, but remember – more doesn’t always bring more returns. Before signing up left and right for accounts, keep in mind how you’re going to keep track of all your profiles and communities. Take stock of your available time and manpower, commit to two or three social media platforms, and get the word-of-mouth ball rolling from there.
What other social media applications might be useful in the medical practice? Share them with us!