As more people search online for information on services and products it is becoming increasingly important to build a strong online profile for your GP practice. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, can help you connect with current patients and prospective patients and allow you to provide a platform to communicate your practice values, experience, professionalism and range of practice services.
What can social media marketing do for your GP Practice?
Websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin are potentially powerful marketing channels for your practice which can help to:
- Gain followers who share a connection with your practice
- Get immediate messages to your patient base
- Generate traffic to your website
- Boost your websites back-links and enhance search engine optimisation
- Help to create an online presence or brand for your practice
- Get local people talking about your services
- Spread “word-of-mouth” recommendations
- Create trust and credibility with current and prospective patients
3 important steps for creating a successful social media marketing strategy for your practice
You will find many websites offering information on how you can use social media to your benefit, but there are 3 basic fundamentals for you to follow:
You need to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve through social media marketing – your goal. Do you want to build a following on Facebook in order to keep patients updated with practice news, such as immunisation notifications and special clinic announcements, or dow you want to drive traffic to your GP Practice Website? Your goal will determine the strategies you will employ with social media.
If you simply use Facebook and Twitter to push out your promotional messages you will fail. Social media sites are primarily for people to socialise. So, talk to people, try to encourage dialogue, tell them interesting things, provide valuable information and they will be happy to return to your pages form more.
To grab and hold attention be prepared to provide quality content. Dry, boring posts won’t attract many people. In addition to to providing practice information try to introduce a few personal insights and a little humour into your social media posts.
At first the many choices of social media services to join can be overwhelming, so it may be best to concentrate on one or two. Perhaps begin by setting up and account with Facebook. Then once you have established a presence with Facebook you could consider Twitter. Both services offer advice and tips on how to establish an effective social media presence.
Begin slowly at first by investing just a few minutes each day. Then as you become more familiar with the media, and as you begin to build up your content with each service, and generate followers and feedback, it will become simpler and faster to update your postings. Before long you will begin to enjoy the process and your patients will appreciate the time taken to keep them informed with information at their GP Practice.