Even if you are a technophobe, you can’t have missed the dramatic growth and use of social media to interact with online communities.
Simply put, Social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through a variety of online sites. Social media has become the electronic version of traditional word of mouth marketing. It is more likely that your patients will like your Facebook page, read a piece you have written on a BLOG or write about an experience that they have had at your practice on a review page. With only a little effort, it allows health professionals to grow, inform and interact with their patient base using a real time platform; reaching patients where they are most active and receptive – online.
Social media marketing has many advantages:
Broad reach – did you know that social media can reach millions of people all around the world? This is a great way to disseminate medical information to your patients – who will more than likely pass it on to their friends.
Target particular groups – many forms of social media (e.g. Facebook) allow businesses to target specific groups, often in particular locations. This means that your staff do not have to undertake a time consuming and fiddly segmentation of your patient database to reach only certain segments with your information.
Free or low-cost – many forms of social media are free for business, and paid options are usually low-cost. This is great for your bottom line!
Personal – social media allows you to communicate on a personal basis with individual customers and groups. This is becoming more and more important when trying to strengthen the relationships you have with your patients.
Fast – your practice can quickly distribute information to many people. No longer will you be held to ransom by the postal system or couriers – the internet is the fastest delivery method available.
Easy – you don’t need high-level skills or computer equipment to participate in social media. In most situations your staff will have enough technical savvy to undertake posts and updates for your practice.
While the advantages of social media use is compelling, there are some pitfalls that you should be aware of. These include:
Wasted time and money for little or no tangible return. It is important that your staff do not take this as an opportunity to use their own personal social media sites.
The rapid spread of the wrong kind of information about your business (e.g. incorrect information accidentally posted by you, negative reviews posted by others). Make sure that you are across everything that is being posted online about your practice. It is your name out there!
Legal problems if you don’t follow privacy legislation and the laws regarding spam, copyright and other online issues.
It’s important to be aware of these risks and to have strategies in place to avoid them if you decide to get involved in social media marketing.
Forums such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Blogs are widely accessed by patients making them a convenient tool for health practitioner to connect with patients and other health professionals.
Rooms with Style offers clients the best of both worlds. We can establish and maintain your social media sites – giving you a strong, relatable, and relevant online presence without the hassle. We have worked with many clients to develop their social media presence and grow their brand online.
For more information please contact me on 1300 073 239 or come into our offices and we can discuss how social media can work for you.