6 Benefits of Using Social Media for Your Practice:
Social media. What does it mean for you and your practice? When you think of social media, do you picture Twitter updates every 10 minutes or catchy blurbs posted on Facebook? In reality, social media is more than posting a personal update on every time you brush your teeth, but it is also a practical business tool for bringing attention and traffic to your medical practice.
By definition, social media is a method for sharing information with a widespread audience. It comes through several different communication channels, including radio, television, newspapers, blogs, Internet forums, and podcasts. Social media can often be confused with social networking, which describes a group of individuals that gather in an online community to discuss similar topics of interest. Networks include Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Social media and social networks are both commonly used in business to strengthen current relationships and attract new customers.
According to a survey by National Research Corporation, 20 percent of patients use social media for healthcare information. Facebook was the most commonly used social network for this purpose, in which patients follow links that are posted by medical professionals.
1. Spread the Word
Social media helps to raise awareness about your practice and provides opportunities to share information with your patients. It also allows you to build a stronger relationship with patients, as you share your health knowledge and respond to patient inquiries.
2. Connect with Other Professionals
You can share and obtain information from other professionals in your field to develop a larger network, as well as receive or give industry advice.
3. Establish Your Business Identity
With millions of people regularly logging on to social network sites, you can help ensure people are aware of your practice. Creating a business page through a social network is a way to provide information that can be passed on by your patients to their friends. This helps more people know that your practice exists; plus, they are more likely to contact you when they know their friends like your practice.
4. Increase Website Traffic
Using social media can help increase traffic to your medical practice website and create new customers.
5. Stay Connected to Patients
Social media helps physicians stay connected with their patients on a regular basis. You can follow the information and services they like by tracking the links they choose to click on.
6. Market Research
Opinions are openly expressed through social media sites. Patients can share their thoughts to help you improve patient satisfaction with the information, products, and services you provide.