Let’s talk social. Take a look around. Everyone seems to be online. The guy on the bus, the woman at the café, or perhaps it’s you (caught ya!). We simply love the Internet. It’s not all bad, however. Much of the time, consumers are not as isolated on our phones as it seems at first glance. Americans spend enormous amounts of their time online connecting with other people. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube…the list of ways we connect goes on and on.
Be Social, Build Trust
Wondering how to develop a relationship of trust with your patients (or future patients)? First you’ve got to connect with them. Hint: they’re online! Unfortunately, many doctors are not. Just 30% of practices have a Facebook page. This is bad news. Social media is no longer optional. It is where your patients are hanging out, just waiting to hear from you. Not only does social media have the potential to boost patient trust levels, but it can also do the opposite. When a patient seeks you out on social media and you are not available, the message they receive is that “We do not want to connect with you.” To make patients happy, you should always avoid anything that could send negative messages like that.
Patients are also using social media for medical research. An impressive 90% of people aged 18 to 24 say they trust medical info shared on their social feeds. Educating your patients has become one of the most effective ways to develop engaged, happy patients. What an opportunity! Who better to share that info than their healthcare provider?
It’s Time to Take Advantage of the Social Phenomenon
There are many ways to leverage the power of social media. The key is to become actively involved. How do you do so effectively? Start by examining the things you post. Pretend you’ve just run into a patient at the grocery store or a ball game. What would you say to them? Would you constantly talk about your practice? Of course not. You would create a two-way conversation about things that are interesting to both of you. That’s where many practices go wrong. They fill their social media with details and promotions about their practice. There is no faster way to get patients to “unlike” you on social media. Instead, put out content that would be both interesting and interactive. The goal is to build a relationship.
Take Social Media to the Next Level
Becoming active on social media platforms such as Facebook opens up the door for new ways to meet patient educational and entertainment needs. A fun way to get patients involved is through contests or giveaways. One good example of this is a dental office that set up Facebook Live feeds where the office manager read words using a dental mouth opener. Patients online could guess what she was saying. The first to get 3+ words right won a prize. Participation was incredible. The office was able to demonstrate that they were fun and engaging. Patients enjoyed connecting with them in a new and exciting way.
One of the latest tricks to really boost your patient satisfaction is to use Facebook for scheduling. Technology now enables us to let patients set up appointments directly from their Facebook account. With so much time spent on social media, this is an ideal way to find patients where and when they want. One more step towards that perfect patient relationship.
Want to find out more about how to nurture patient relationships one step at a time?