If you are like many medical practices, you know you should be leveraging social media to market your dermatology practice – but you aren’t sure how.
If done properly, social media provides a great opportunity for dermatologists to explore growth opportunities as well as build a relationship with their community. Unlike your personal social media account, you should be more interested in getting people to your website or making an appointment than in how many people like your posts.
It’s also an opportunity for you to tell meaningful stories about patient successes (with their permission of course) and a way to educate perspective clients.
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind for social media marketing for dermatologists that will help you attract new patients and retain the ones you currently have.
1. Empower through Authoritative Education
Have you seen dishonest or misleading medical analysis online, like someone on Facebook claiming, “I never go outside, I can’t get skin cancer”? We obviously know that isn’t true, but there is a lot of misinformation online, especially what is being shared on social media.
While it’s easy to fall into these traps, medical providers have a responsibility to provide accurate medical information when they can to ensure myths and misconceptions about a person’s healthcare needs do not become commonly accepted knowledge.
In fact, Google came out recently and said only healthcare providers and healthcare providers as editors should be writing medical content and are actively punishing wellness websites that do not uphold those standards.
Social media should be a platform to promote factual medical content and help dispel myths people may hear.
A way to do that is to create a series of short, informative blogs or quickly posting some videos you or another provider created answering the most commonly asked questions about dermatology.
Make sure to also upload these to YouTube to generate more views.
2. Leverage User Generated Content
One great way to use social media is to connect with your patients on an emotional level. Storytelling goes a long way to influencing people to choose your practice over another.
This means looking at getting some user generated content (UGC) or telling the success stories of your patients in broad terms so as to not violate HIPAA and other privacy laws.
Simply put, UGC is content that is created and shared by users including
- Posts to social media accounts
- Patient reviews
The easiest way to find UGC is to monitor for when people post about your practice or about what they are going through. This sometimes means finding patients who are posting online and sharing their success stories and asking for permission to retweet, regram or share their story. When you find quality content, consider sharing it on your accounts.
Additionally, it can be extraordinarily beneficial to encourage patients to create and share content. There are a number of ways to do this, including a submission contest asking your patients to tell their story through an image or video.
Note: When sharing content from a user, you must attribute the post to them and in many cases, it is a good idea to reach out and ask for permission to use any material.
It should go without saying, but it’s important to respect the privacy of the patient. Failing to do this could result in legal action against your practice, so make sure you are taking the time to protect yourself and your patients’ privacy.
User-generated content is powerful social proof that can greatly influence a healthcare consumer’s choice in provider. When you are looking for UGC, look for testimonials that feel real, are both educational and emotional and that make the user (not your practice) the hero of the story.
3. Boosting and Paid Advertisement
One of the biggest benefits of using social media marketing is finding opportunities to reach new audiences. While you are most likely familiar with the personal versions of these marketing platforms, if you aren’t exploring the paid side of social media you are missing a major opportunity to reach an even larger audience.
While many practice managers and medical practitioners aren’t willing to sink more costs into marketing, paid ads on Facebook and Instagram (the go-to social media platform for dermatologists) can help you boost your posts to new audience that otherwise wouldn’t see your advertisement and can be a low-cost tool for retargeting efforts for people who saw your practice online, but did not book an appointment. Ads can also be targeted to specific locations or demographics, so you can make sure your ads are getting in front of the most relevant audiences
4. Listen to What Patients are Saying
The most important things to pay attention to on your Facebook page are the comments and reviews that people are leaving. Are they overwhelmingly positive? Are there themes you can see that may be more than little problems?
Having a feedback loop is critical for any businesses’ success, and healthcare practices are no different. Listening to what your patients are saying and making changes to improve the patient experience builds patient loyalty and leads to more good reviews. Those positive reviews, in turn, bring in more patients.
By implementing a complete feedback loop, you are setting yourself up to find out what patients really want and increase patient retention.
Be careful about how you respond to negative reviews and don’t forget to respond to positive ones by thanking them for taking the time to share their experience.
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