You may not want to admit it, but social media is a lot like real life. Amidst the millions of selfies and likes being thrown around like confetti, you may not be completely convinced that it is going to impact anything more than Facebook’s site traffic, let alone business. However, if social media is a part of your medical practice’s marketing plan, there are some features of social media that can directly influence your business’ success. One of the most important of these concerns, aside from having an optimized profile, is the way you engage with your clients online.
Now, more than ever, consumers appreciate personalization in their virtual communications. Whether they’re ordering monogrammed sweaters for their family, or receiving IT help from a technician across the country, they want to receive individualized attention that caters to their requests, as if the interaction were held in person.
The same idea is reflected in your engagement on social media. Clients expect you to address them with personalized care in a timely manner. You should handle these interactions as you would treat interactions with real patients, clients or friends.
For example, if a patient made a comment to you during an appointment about how much they appreciated your help and expertise, you wouldn’t just ignore them. Brushing them off would be rude and awkward for the patient as they sit next to you, patiently awaiting some sort of acknowledgement or response.
Same goes for an inquiry about a treatment. If a patient calls your office and asks a question about a product or procedure, you or one of your team members will answer, providing them with helpful information and hopefully inviting them to the office for a consultation. This type of communication is no different than a client reaching out through a Facebook message.
Don’t forget about reviews, either. If a client leaves a rave review on your Page, you should absolutely respond to them and thank them for their kind words. In the unfortunate event that a negative review is posted, you’ll want to ensure that patient is consoled, and can pursue further discussion with you offline. Showing that you’re responsive will support your client’s positive impressions of you, and help build trust with potential clients. It will also prove that you’re transparent in business practices, and are putting the client first.
More importantly, the bottom line for your business is that a few minutes spent engaging with your fans every day can help you generate leads. In my experience, doctors and practices that are the most active on their business’ Facebook Pages are also those with the greatest engagement, best reviews, and highest number of leads originating from social media.
People regularly seek to build relationships and discover more about others through social media, whether it is a friend or business. Showing patients that you’re excited about interacting with them is a powerful way to earn their trust, and takes just a few minutes of your day. Plus, who knows, you may even convert a patient who was trying to decide between you or your competitor for a treatment. When that patient sees what an engaged and caring person you are online, they may be more interested in meeting you in person for a consultation. As reluctant as you may be, take social media seriously and it will ultimately pay off.