By Brooke Strickland
By Brooke Strickland
If you've been procrastinating on establishing a strong social media presence for your practice, time is up. It's time to consider a new formula for success: social media presence in tandem with an information website and strong online and Verified ReviewsÆ. New research by Telsyte shows that more than 30 percent of businesses are replacing company URLs with social media links on advertising material while another 15 percent are about to launch their social media campaigns in the near future. Why? Consumers have started to demand a social media presence from businesses and doctors alike. If they don't have one, the consumer questions why they don't and wonder if they're really at the top of their game. Rodney Gedda, Telsyte senior analyst stated, "Social networks promote better collaboration but they are also popular with company marketing departments who use them as channels to get closer to customers"
Yet, the study found that despite tangible success that businesses repeatedly have upon establishing a strong social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube, there is still hesitation among business owners, showing that only one-third of businesses have a social media policy.
As a medical professional, staggering amounts of potential patients are out there right now searching for new doctors, reading all they can about them, and learning about their history before calling the office for an appointment. If you're not online with a strong, dynamic, and reputable presence, then who is? Other doctors ñ and competitors. Social media has never been stronger. When sites like YouTube and Facebook first started, no one really imagined what it could bring to the business table. And yet, here we are with businesses and practices alike bringing in millions of dollars simply because they have an established Internet infrastructure.
With regular activity via social media platforms, you create a community with your patients. You can connect with them, build rapport in a way that has never before been possible, and establish credibility. If you're on there, talking to them, interacting with them, and facilitating regular interaction, you have instantly gone above and beyond, in their eyes. You've built trust with your patients, one of the most valuable ways to keep them coming back to you, time and time again.
So, instead of relying solely on traditional marketing tactics, combine them with a new social media policy. The dollars you spend on advertising with technology will bring you returns that you never imagined. It's the reason why companies, doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals are now adopting social media as their newest marketing venture.Patients are more likely to search doctors BEFORE a visit and they do. Positive Reviews have more influence on patients than Negative Reviews, but people are NOT likely to fill a review online.
 McDonald, Stephanie. ìEnterprise social media networks to rise.î Computerworld. May 31, 2012. http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/426232/enterprise_social_media_networks_rise_/ Accessed June 2, 2012.