Social media has become ubiquitous and the go-to source for everything and plays a rather crucial role in almost everyone’s life these days. Therefore, it is not possible to run a good enterprise without utilizing these platforms and their potential and the healthcare industry is no different, where doctors, much like all professionals, need social media presence. There are a lot of benefits of social media marketing for doctors, but the most important one is that it enhances their profile and thus their practice.
Below are some reasons for why the doctors need social media marketing:
1- It is easy as opposed to conventional marketing schemes
Marketing is hard, period. Experts can be difficult and expensive to acquire. Contrary to this, social media marketing is relatively easy. The most basic step requires that first and foremost you make a page or an account. For example, if you are a dermatologist in Karachi and want to have a social media presence, you will simply log on to the platform you are proficient in and make your account.
Then, you will reach out to the respective target audience set in Karachi- be mindful of setting the audience right. It will not do you good to touch bases with people in Lahore when your practice is in Karachi.
Join beauty groups or blogs, engage your audience, give information about your services so people know what is on the table. Frequently upload your patient reviews, engage the audience, give advice here and there so that you get a fan-following.
Moreover, most social media sites have easy advertisement options as well, where you can pay a relatively small amount to reach different people. This ensures that your profile shows up in the feed of people from Karachi.
Ultimately, your name will get recognition, which is the whole crux of marketing.
2- It helps connect with the patients
Most of the doctors are swamped during their business hours and are not able to deal with each and every query posed by the patients. This lack of personal relationship and distance from the patient does not bode well for building patient loyalty.
On the other hand, dedicated meeting hours on social media are a great source of building mutual trust. This way, you can connect better with the patients. Also, personal touch humanizes you too. Patients do not then view your service as a mere commodity, but rather, perceive you as a healer and not a service provider alone.
Therefore, connecting with the patients also allows them to give you a margin as well. As they get to know their doctor, they make allowances for certain things. Also, it is easier to catch up on the patient’s condition as well.
Furthermore, a very important part of connecting with patients is knowing their sentiments about you. Many patients, after having a not so good experience, tend to write about it in different social media avenues, earning you the bad publicity and deterring patient turnover without you being aware of it.
However, when you are on social media, you are much more aware of the sentiment patients have. You can make changes accordingly to maximize patient comfort. Not only does it deter patients from leaving you bad reviews, but it also redeems any deficiencies in the patient experience.
This personal touch also makes patients aware of the challenges that you as a doctor face, and therefore, some rainy days do not mean that your entire career should be discredited.
This is also a great way to self-account for your conduct as well. Of course, everyone is a human and liable to some mistakes, but the important bit is to realize and remedy. Therefore, social media marketing and the subsequent patient evaluation can be a source of a professional improving their conduct with the patient.
3- It can be helpful for the patients as well
So many people tend to fall prey to the false information on the internet and follow through on the unsubstantiated things that can be detrimental to their health. It is hard for the patients to talk so casually about these doubts with the doctor during a visit.
However, when the doctor is there on social media, people can very easily lodge a query with them. Doctors can then reply to the patient, and quell any misconceptions there are with regards to the information and nudge the patients in the right direction.
Not only is this great for patient care, as you are doing a service to them by preventing them from being misguided by potentially dangerous things, but you are also building a good reputation with the patient
Moreover, you can also actively help patients by writing informational blog posts, making educational videos etc. You can also join groups where people pose different queries about their health. This is very common for conditions like in pregnancy where especially first-time mothers do not know what to do and ask on different platforms.
However, for a mutually beneficial setting where people get information and you get patients, try joining groups specific to your field and city. For example, if you are a gynecologist in Karachi, opt for Karachi- based groups to have patient turnover.
4- It is good for business
Being active on social media and marketing is also good for business. It helps you connect with and acquire new patients. So many patients run an internet search when they are trying to find a doctor.
Therefore, being on social media and actively marketing yourself means that you are discoverable. People can reach out to you, get information on your expertise. Patients reviews are really helpful as they validate the skills of the doctor.
Moreover, when you actively post good content, it is likely to get shared and therefore more and more people start following you and then trust you with their health. Hence, it increases your relevance to the audience and makes your name more popular. This then manifests in the form of good business.
5- It enables easier appointments
Patients these days want comfort; whether it be in terms of easier access to the doctor to hassle free appointment booking. With your social media profile, they can easily and with one message, book an appointment.
This is much better than the conventional use of receptionists to take appointments via phone call as many patients are busy throughout the day that they cannot call during office hours. Therefore, having fixed office hours for making appointments runs the downside of losing business, and social media marketing remedies this very issue too.
Therefore, social media marketing is very important for the doctors to not only serve their patients better, but also have more recognition for their service.