By Karin Krisher
Social media has become a staple of all large business, with good reason. It’s where the clients are. This quick guide to our favorite social media tips for doctors will help you understand where to get started—and why.
Manage your reputation. This tip is all-encompassing and requires quite a bit of work. You can start by creating a larger social media presence. Create a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, etc. You can let your positives shine through online even though the Internet is an open forum for both criticism and praise. Which brings us to our next tip.
Read your reviews and respond to them with action. You can always be better. Read reviews about you and respond appropriately with making positive changes in your practice. Learn that you can influence your reputation through action instead of reaction.
Get LinkedIn. If you aren’t already, you’re missing out on collaboration opportunities, recommendations and much more. LinkedIn allows you to connect with professionals on a professional level. On top of that, if you’ve ever had a particularly good employee, getting LinkedIn is a great way to help his or her career.
Build a website. You could be missing a huge group of clients. Websites are a great way to filter appointment requests and questions, as well as keep track of your success over time. When you’re reviewed, many patients will point to your website, building your reputation. Sometimes, the cost can seem a little pricey. Shop around and find a good, fair price on website building. It is unequivocally worth the investment.
Embrace diversity. Try everything, but not necessarily all at once. Facebook is cool, but so is Twitter. And Tumblr. If you want to maintain a steadily developing online reputation, jumping around can ensure you reach people who respond to different messages. You can test your audience this way, as well.
Record information. If you see a Facebook post from that practice in the next town that reads, “A lot of our patients have been concerned about measles this week,” or a tweet from your neighbor that says, “My friends are all getting really sick. Some kind of stomach flu. Fingers crossed!” pay attention. This information can be useful to you, but not if you forget it!
Seek out like practices. Observe them. Social media gives you a new opportunity to watch how other practices deal with certain health or clinical issues. If you notice that a lot of your employees have mentioned getting superior customer service at a certain practice, visit that practice’s website and social media profiles regularly. Maybe they just started a new iPad initiative you weren’t aware of. Maybe they just hired a bunch of fresh out of high school receptionists you had otherwise written off. Whatever their tactics, it’s important to seek information about other, successful practices in order to better your own.
Have you been successful in social media use for your practice? What do you do differently? Tell us how you got started in a comment!