We understand that, with your packed patient schedule, you don’t have much time to dedicate to your practice’s online presence. But with just a few minutes a day, you can easily turn your practice’s social media pages into effective tools for building patient trust and growing powerful word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
Focus first on doing the things that will help you make the best impression with the greatest number of patients and ideal potential patients. And right now, there’s no question about how to make the most of limited time and resources: first, build your practice’s Facebook presence, and second, consistently obtain positive patient reviews on Google, Facebook and Healthgrades.
Why Facebook and Reviews First?
Did you know that over 80 percent of online adults have Facebook accounts? This includes 75 percent of family decision makers, who regularly use social media to get recommendations from their friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. Also, over 90 percent of consumers use online reviews, especially Google reviews, to research local businesses. There’s no doubt that reviews significantly affect your practice’s online visibility among your competitors, and ultimately, who prospective patients decide to call.
So, with your limited social media marketing time, you need to be focusing on these two areas first. Or, designate a team member as your practice’s “social media champion” and delegate these tasks to them. This person doesn’t have to be a tech wizard or a millennial. The most important things are that they are willing to learn and be consistent.
Complete These Daily Facebook Tasks in 10 Minutes
1. Post something daily
Your Facebook page needs fresh new content on a consistent basis to appear welcoming, relevant, and able to give prospective patients a sense of your practice culture.
Your daily posts don’t have to be anything elaborate. Posting a quick team member spotlight, healthcare tip, or even a joke is a great way to keep you at the top of your patients’ and fans’ minds and show your eagerness to connect with them. Facebook also has features that allow you to add engaging media content like GIFs and live video at the tap of a button.
It’s this type of positive top-of-mind awareness that leads patients to introduce your practice to family and friends who trust their recommendations. On the other hand, if you post infrequently and inconsistently you risk losing that connection to your audience. Without recent and relevant content, you miss opportunities to get fan interaction and turn patients into advocates for your practice.
2. Respond to Facebook messages, comments, and visitor posts
Responsiveness and interaction is key to building trust and strengthening relationships on social media. Turn on notifications so you know immediately when a patient or fan comments on something or messages your Facebook page. When prospective patients see that you take the time follow up on everything your patients and fans say, it sends a clear message that your team cares about providing a great experience.
Just leaving quick replies such as “We’re grateful for your feedback!” or “We loved seeing you today!” shows that you’re listening.
3. In your practice, encourage patients and visitors to like your Facebook page
Growing your Facebook presence isn’t just about what you do online, it all starts with what you and your team do in your office every day. Mention your recent Facebook highlights (especially campaigns and giveaways) to every patient you see and encourage them to like your page. You’ll be surprised at how many can’t wait to connect with you online!
Don’t assume that any of your patients wouldn’t be interested; remember that over 80 percent of online adults are Facebook users.
4. Browse trending topics and hashtags to catch up on current events
The “Trending Topics” list on your Facebook news feed is an excellent tool for helping you instantly know what’s going on in the world. Why does staying caught up on trends matter in your social media marketing efforts? Because anything you post on your practice’s page related to a hot topic has a better chance of being seen and shared — especially if you can link it to healthcare.
Complete These Daily Reviews Tasks in 5 Minutes
1. Check your Google, Facebook and Healthgrades profiles for new reviews
Show your appreciation for each positive review from a patient by replying with a comment! It’s a great way to show that you’re listening and actively engaged in building a lifelong healthcare relationship.
Of course, occasionally you’ll receive a negative review — it’s just a fact of running a business. When responding to a negative review, you can let other people know through your comment response that you’re a practice that wants to make things right. You don’t need to go into detail, but you should propose a solution and invite the patient to get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Then, once the patient’s complaint has been fully resolved, you can ask if they would consider updating their review. By doing this, not only have you saved the relationship with that patient, you’ve also gained a positive review!
2. In your practice, invite one patient per day to write a review from their phone
Pull up your patient schedule and review who is coming today. Identify one or two of your patients who love your practice and you suspect would be happy to leave you a review. Make specific assignments on which team member will ask them for a review and have them report back on how it went.
Just ask for reviews — and be transparent! You know how crucial honest feedback and reviews are for building your practice. Let patients know how much you rely on reviews to improve your service and find more great patients like them. Remember, if you’re not asking for reviews, chances are you’ll only get one when a patient is unhappy!
Important note: Make sure that patients do not write reviews while on the practice wifi network. Google and other sites will notice multiple reviews coming from the same IP address, which could invalidate the reviews.
Make Social Media Marketing Work on Your Schedule
Although we’ve only covered the basics of an effective social media marketing plan, it can still feel overwhelming if you try to take on everything at once. Start by posting a few times a week to your practice’s Facebook page, and as you become comfortable and consistent using it, gradually add in the other high-priority tasks.
Remember, social media marketing isn’t something you have, it’s something you do — it takes a small daily effort to be effective. Set aside even 15 minutes a day for it, and you’ll quickly see how building your practice’s online presence helps you retain patients, build relationships and attract ideal new patients.
Take a peek at some of these other great ideas for boosting your social media presence: