Want to hear the honest truth? The way your practice looks online is the single largest deciding factor that determines if a patient will walk into your office or not. Ninety-two percent of patients now read reviews online and 80 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It really is a big deal. So where are people looking to find info about you? Where is your practice reputation most at risk? The most common sources of feedback are social platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
Facebook reported that after the first quarter of 2017 they had almost 2 billion users. That’s right. Billion. The numbers are mind blowing. With such a large audience at your disposal it’s essential then to make sure your practice is not only on social media, but that you have active status updates, posts, and reviews on your page to show a level of engagement and value to attract viewers. In a previous post, we spoke about how online reviews can help your practice grow, and they can. But just like flowers need good soil to grow, your online reviews need a strong online presence in order to be effective.
What is the difference between online reviews and online presence? An online presence is more than just reviews. It’s all about becoming a source for information and a place where open dialogue can occur. It’s really about developing a place where your practice has the opportunity to connect with patients. Social media is the logical place to do so. With regular status updates and posts, you can become the place people want to be.
Social media guru Bonnie Sainsbury stated, “Social media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.” If a patient is more likely to visit your practice because of a review read online, then it is a no-brainer investment to make sure that your online presence and reviews work together. Using social media as a way to connect with your patients provides them with a convenient and well-known method of communication. Engaging on a Facebook page or Twitter account creates a community where your patients are more likely to interact with your practice and each other.
Implementing PRM software for your practice to schedule posts and engage on social media with your patients is necessary to have a strong online presence that supports online reviews.
But here’s the catch, who has the time to spare? The average person in 2016 spent an average of two hours on social media platforms a day—most of which was spent on Facebook or Google. But your practice probably doesn’t have that kind of time to spend on social media. So how can you keep up with the level of engagement needed to be effective? By taking advantage of modern patient relationship management (PRM) software, your practice can schedule posts to your Facebook page and Twitter account whenever you have a free moment. You can schedule out posts far in advance. Scheduled posting to social media through a PRM platform makes it easier for your practice to provide information like educational materials, articles, and announcements to your patients. Using a PRM software can help your practice build an online presence, saving your staff time that can be better spent with your patients.
Oldie but goodie!