Business

Make Your Private Concierge or Direct Medical Practice More “Social” This Year

By Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief

MARCH 8, 2013 – We’re almost one entire quarter into the New Year which means a number of different opportunities for your private medical practice. The question is, will you take advantage of them?

As many businesses and private medical doctors fight for the attention of customers and patients in order to get a positive revenue stream in place over the next 12 months, there are a number of ways to go about securing your place in the hearts and minds of local patients.

Whether you’ve chosen to promote your concierge or direct-pay medical practice through traditional “offline” advertising methods such as printed materials in the form of postcards, patient referral and appointment cards, brochures, etc., keep some of these “online” ideas in mind in 2013:

Promote through your employees. Even though your workers have enough to do on a daily basis, they’re on the front line in your practice and probably interact with them quite often. Therefore, it only makes sense to have them promote your medical practice through pictures, spoken word or testimonial. Your employees can do such things as spread the word to their family and friends through Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter; along with assisting you in your social media promotions agenda. If you choose this route, make sure your staff know your policy toward social media. No HIPPA violations or pictures of patients or private documents – among other privacy concerns. When trying to save money on your advertising/marketing/promotional budgets each year, turn to your workers to help spread the word.

Place a strong emphasis on social media and email. If 2012 saw you giving minimal or no effort towards social media, by all means change that over the next 12 months. While some doctors still don’t see the value in social media and they feel they cannot see a clear return on investment (ROI), most of your patients (and employees) actively still engage in it every day. So, if you have had little interaction with your medical practice’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other social media pages, make a change quickly and start informing your patients of local news, healthier recipes you’ve tried, photos and more about your practice. Jump on your social media pages about 20-minutes a day (according to the book Facebook Marketing For Doctors: 20-Minutes A Day) and provide your audience relevant information that will answer questions your current patients and prospective patients may have and help them with issues you know you have the answers to.

See what is being said about you and your concierge medical practice inside the world of social media. Google, Bing and Yahoo! search can be very helpful with this. In the medical service and primary care marketplace, we both know that referrals are priority No. 1 when your prospective patients are seeking out a physician to help them or their family. The online world has definitely broadened what a ‘referral’ means. If somebody sees enough positive reviews for a doctor, this helps people validate where they should go for their treatment and health care. The opposite also holds true. For many doctors and private concierge healthcare clinics, reputation management includes not just tracking positive news, but also guarding against the negative. These days, feedback on sites like “Yelp!,” “Google+,” “HealthyGrades” and “Yahoo! Local” can make a big difference to a doctor.

If you own a medical practice, there’s no way around it: You need to follow general and industry-specific review sites. These are front-row seats to what your patients and future patients are saying about you … specifically. That’s incredibly valuable insight into patient-perception and issues you may need to resolve, and even things you are doing very well.

NOTE: If you’d like help managing your reputation online or developing an action plan for social media, check out the companies assisting doctors on Concierge Medicine Today’s INNOVATOR’S PANEL at: http://wp.me/P2Y9ja-dF.

Review and analyze regularly. Finally, any promotional efforts you do must be remembered, recorded and analyzed. The goal here is to see what works, what doesn’t work, and where your time and money are going. Often something doctors and office managers neglect for lack of time once the promotion is mailed out and the phone is ringing with results. Even things as simple as social media need to be reviewed quarterly. Are you using the right social platforms? Are you visiting them too infrequently to the point where you do not build up a regular following? Did you know that improvement in your search engine listing can take a minimum of 3 to 4 months before you start seeing your rankings increase. Do you come across as a spammer by constantly tweeting and sharing?

My advice is always look at what you do and how it is likely being perceived by the average consumer and future patient.

NOTE: If you’d like help managing your reputation online or developing an action plan for social media, check out the companies assisting doctors on Concierge Medicine Today’s INNOVATOR’S PANEL at: http://wp.me/P2Y9ja-dF.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s