As a physician or medical facility, we know that an established and robust referral network is essential to growth, especially if you are a specialist or specialty facility. However, we also know that digital marketing is also essential and can greatly enhance a referral marketing campaign.

According to a recent study highlighted by the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP), more than 70% of primary care physicians and oncologists use social media at least once a month to explore or contribute health information. In addition, nearly 70% of adults use social media to connect with others, engage with news and content and share information. What does this mean for physicians and medical practices? It is essential that you use social media to engage and connect with your current and potential referral sources and patients.

The most common social media mistakes that practices make is lazy posting. It is simply not enough to just have a social media account. If you are not using your accounts effectively, you are losing out on a valuable, low-cost marketing opportunity and potentially damaging your brand.  Whether you are trying to build brand awareness, bring in new patients or referral sources or boost reviews, good social media marketing means going beyond posting a holiday greeting on your Facebook page every now and then. Strategy and consistency are key and when done right, social media can reiterate and enhance a Referral Marketing campaign.  It is a powerful and inexpensive marketing tool, but only if done right. Here are 5 social media marketing tips for your medical practice or facility:

1. Post consistently.

Your social media outlets are there to educate, interact and build new and existing patient and referral source relationships. If you want your audience to keep visiting your social media profiles, make sure to post on a consistent basis. By providing your online users with new content regularly, they will be much more likely to like, engage with and share your content and to become a patient or referrer.

2. Become a thought leader by sharing smart, useful content.

Social media can be a key vehicle for establishing yourself or your practice as a thought leader and trusted expert in your filed. Posting health tips or sharing articles from relevant medical websites will keep people coming back for more information and/or decide to follow you. Your goal is to build a community of followers and education is a great way to do that. It builds trust and keeps you top of mind.

3. Use visuals.

 Visuals resonate more with people than just text. Use images with your social media updates whenever you can. Images, infographics, GIFs and videos are great ways to capture the attention of your audience.

4. Follow other doctors and practices.

This is key, and a step many medical practices seem to miss. In order to build a community of followers, you must begin by reaching out to your existing network. Follow referring medical practices’ Facebook and Twitter pages and interact with them on a regular basis. This builds credibility and trust by showing them that you are interested in their practices.

 5. Don’t be too “pushy”.

Be careful not to “over-promote”. You want to build brand awareness, however remember the goal is to engage and inform, as opposed to constantly selling your brand. Regular posting is essential, but it must be engaging. Engaging content can help to spread your brand, authority and expertise to patients and referral sources in your community!

Use these tips to effectively market your medical practice or facility. Social media can help to grow your practice if used effectively and in conjunction with other marketing strategies. Using social media to promote your medical practice or facility give you a low-cost opportunity to connect with your referral sources and patients! Don’t miss out!

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