Believe it or not, social media can be one of your practice’s largest and zero-cost marketing assets. Unlike other online marketing initiatives, the only exchange is time and expertise. Taking on a social media presence may seem like a daunting task. Have no fear, there are plenty of ways you can use these platforms like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook (to name a few) to expand your client base, build awareness of your practice, and help your business thrive.
We all know social media can be intimidating. But the truth is it can be a major marketing asset – without the high cost of other outreach methods.
When done correctly, social media increases your opportunities to engage with your patients and to spread the word about your business. Whether you’re starting a new practice or you’re looking to grow your existing patient base, social media can be part of your marketing strategy.
Whether you are just starting to use social to grow your practice or have already created your practice’s social media and are looking for ways to increase traffic to your networks, here are several ways to increase your social media presence.
How can Social Media help me grow my audiology practice?
Social media sounds like a lot of work, but it comes down to building relationships. Effective social media marketing makes it possible to establish these relationships before a patient ever steps foot in your office, as well as strengthen relationships with your existing patient base.
Grow your online visibility
How big is social media? One of the smallest sites, Pinterest, has 100 million users. Facebook, the largest, has 1 billion. When you’re regularly posting on social media, your audience is larger than you could ever reach with a traditional marketing strategy. Besides, Social Media is where your potential patients are. The best way to be found by them is to be in front of them.
Social media can help you engage with your patients and potential patients in your area.
Engage with your Patient
Social media may be one of the most effective channels for creating a dialogue with followers. You can post a story or comment and encourage other people to respond. They may ask questions that you answer. Or you can read what your followers are talking about regarding health and medicine and get a better sense of what people want from their doctors.
Increase your Value
As you emgage with followers on social media, you’re enhancing your expertise and credibility. Every time you answer a question, share relevant content, and present new information, your practice looks more and more like a trusted source of audiological care.
Top Four Social Media Tips for Audiologists
An effective social media strategy requires you to stay in touch with current and prospective patients by presenting them with relevant, valuable information. It’s an ongoing process, so you need to dedicate ample time and effort if you’re going to reap the benefits. Here’s what you need to do to help your social media marketing strategy succeed:
Know Your Audience
Even though social media initially began among the younger population in the mid-2000s, it has rapidly been adopted by people of all ages, with the latest data showing that 60% of the world’s population uses social media. Depending on how you define “social media”, there can be as few as five or as many as 50 social media platforms,, so establishing yourself on all of them is simply not possible. Instead, focus on only a couple of them, or even one.
Audiologists will find that the most productive channels are Facebook, as it has a significant level of engagement in the healthcare space. But more importantly, Facebook is the platform with the most users 65 and up, the demographic that is the most likely to need audiology care.
Promote your social media accounts
A growing number of patients are using online channels to manage their healthcare, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to immediately start following you on Facebook or Twitter. They may not even know you’re on social media. Let them know by placing your social media handles on all of your marketing materials, including invoices and appropriate patient communications.
Add follow buttons to your website, enabling visitors to start following you on whatever channels they prefer. Include these same links at the end of every email. Don’t forget your brochure, appointment reminder cards, and other print pieces. As the visibility of your social media profile increases, so will your network.
Share valuable content
More than likely, your staff members are engaged on their personal social media. Staff members can share content, such as promotional material, from the practice’s account onto their own pages. Their family and friends may be interested in what is happening at their workplace, which will result in new followers, increased engagement, and even referrals.
Social media has become a popular channel for asking for—and offering—advice on healthcare. By sharing content that addresses patients’ questions and medical needs, you can take back the responsibility of helping people take care of themselves. However, be careful to avoid inadvertently sharing patients’ personal health information. As a rule, provide generalities but never specifics pertaining to an individuals’ treatment, diagnosis, or other personal information.
Ideally, you’re sharing content created by your practice, including blogs and interactive tools. However, many practices will not able to produce this material so it is fine to share content from other sources, such as health magazines, medical journals, and health segments from the news. Following fellow industry accounts can give you an insight as to what people are talking about at every moment, allowing you to keep your topics fresh and relevant.
Supporting other practices and developing online friendships with complementary businesses can be key to increasing your own practice’s online traffic. “Liking” or commenting on social stream feeds can give your practice visibility to other accounts’ followers, giving you free publicity.
Monitor your Social Media Accounts
One of the biggest challenges for any medical practice is finding the time to keep the business running. Social media isn’t something you do in your free time—you have to constantly post new content or respond to followers. As a medical professional, you’re likely too busy to do it all by yourself, so make sure someone in your office is doing it on a regular basis.
More than likely, your staff members are engaged on their personal social media, so you can enlist their help to promote your practice. Identify the social media champion in your office. This staff member can share content, such as promotional material, from the practice’s account onto their own pages. Of course, another option is to hire an external partner to manage their social media because staff may not have the time to spare to run online marketing campaigns.
Increasing your practice’s social media footprint begins within the walls of your office. One of the biggest mistakes hearing clinics make when it comes to social media is not staying consistent. If you are going to build up an engaged following, you will need to make sure you post on a regular basis. Posting multiple times one day and none the next week won’t help. You need to post quality content on a consistent basis if you are to build an organic following. Fortunately, there are several free tools online there that can help.