“How do you use social media as a doctor?” This is a question that I hear every week.
I’m often asked, “How do I use Instagram? How do I use Facebook? Should I use Twitter? Should I use TikTok? How do I incorporate social media into my practice marketing?”
The question should be, “what is my social media strategy?” “What kind of results do I want to get?” And “who am I talking to?”
A lot of practices have multiple markets that they’re going after; there are your prospective patients and your referring practices. You need to choose a specific social media channel that works with specific avatars.
When should you start using social media for marketing?
How you use social media really starts with your goals. I’m going to suggest that social media is probably not the first place I would start. If you’re looking at your marketing and thinking, “There’s something broken. I’m not getting the results that I need”, social media is not usually the first place I would start.
Where does social media fit into the patient journey?
To put social media in its place, I would say it belongs further down in the sales process. It’s a useful tactic within a comprehensive marketing program, but we wouldn’t tend to focus on social media until after we’ve established awareness. Awareness comes from SEO and paid traffic.
Social media can generate awareness but it doesn’t happen with social media alone.
Let’s say somebody has come and interacted with your practice. They’ve maybe been on your website. Then, lo and behold, they find your little Instagram or Facebook icon on your website, and they click it to check out your social media.
Alternatively, they’ve used your service and have reached the review stage. Perhaps they’ve booked a consultation and are starting to look for social proof. That’s when they go to your social media.
So, how you use social media depends on how you have framed up the problem of what you want to achieve with it.
What kind of content does best on social media?
Where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck with social media is you’ve got to put across useful content. You’ve got to put across content that is what we call value in advance. What I mean by that is that you’re not always selling.
A lot of clinics make the mistake of constantly selling on social media. They’ll say, “I have a May promotion – get £500 pounds off LASIK”, or I “I’m hosting an information evening or webinar”.
That’s okay, but really what we’re looking to do is provide educational, fun and engaging content that shows you’re a real human. This is what social media is for.
Secondarily, I would try to capture your clinic team and patients doing interesting things. You should try to capture real-life moments in your clinic of people saying nice things about you. Nothing produced. Tag these people on social media, invite them to participate in contests and quizzes, and bring them into your social media in a fun way. This will help show your brand personality so that it can augment the main powerhouses of your campaign.
You should see social media as something that’s adjunct to the main aspects of your lead generation strategy.