Doctors, clinics, and health facilities have the opportunity to tell and promote their businesses through social media. Precisely for this reason, the need for specific skills in the field of medical marketing has grown, which can support and improve the style of communication in medicine.
There are many opportunities. Social networks (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, up to TikTok) allow you to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, getting closer to people’s needs and questions. However, there is no shortage of risks dictated by an unweighted use of these tools.
Practice Marketing: Good Practices and Mistakes to Avoid
Initially, social networks were a personal tool to maintain relationships and talk virtually with friends and acquaintances. However, they soon became a much richer virtual place, with space for simple users and brands, organizations, and institutions. This evolution in the health sector has made it possible to explore new ways of relating with patients, even at a distance, but presents some critical issues.
Many doctors, nutritionists, and other professionals today use Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, as a dissemination tool and, in practice, to raise awareness among users on issues concerning health and prevention. However, there have been some cases in which superficial choices and a real lack of respect have seriously affected the videos’ authors.
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When we think of medical marketing, we must not forget the context in which we imagine enhancing communication. The goal must remain to provide the best possible care service to the patient, make him feel welcomed, and protect the relationship of trust that is the cornerstone of a healing process.
But how is this possible?
Are there limits not to be exceeded?
Designing an effective practice medical marketing strategy and, at the same time, making sure you respect the patient is possible.
Here are the ten tips that can be applied to all social networks to improve doctor-patient communication.
Authenticity and consistency
We start with you. Your voice, skills, and approach toward the patient in the clinic or on Facebook must be consistent and recognizable. Therefore, choosing the tone of voice for your communication on social networks is important. This strategy can be risky.
Use the medical marketing tools at your disposal
Recalling that the law prohibits actual advertising and promotional activity, social networks allow you to convey content in different formats. What does it mean? If we want to publish an in-depth study to lead a healthy lifestyle, we can record a long video, a short video, write an article on our site, create an infographic, and so on. Therefore, the advice is to evaluate what tools and types of content are available to you and take advantage of all those from which you could benefit.
Follow an editorial plan
Every medical marketing strategy (and not only) starts from identifying the target and listening to their needs. Once clarified, an editorial plan can be created to organize the production of social media content and, therefore, to imagine and produce posts, videos, photographs, and infographics. Following it consistently is a trick that will help you consolidate the relationship with potential patients without having the typical anxiety of someone who never knows what to publish.
Act on current events when it intertwines with your skills
It is the Medical Association itself that encourages health professionals to take part in the public debate on issues related to health, prevention, and health. Good communication in medicine can also be done on social networks, as long as competent people speak.
Avoid answering too specific questions
Users on social networks can ask healthcare professionals very specific questions that become real consultation requests. In these cases, it is important to avoid answering.
Social media marketing is a space for relationships, communication, and trust. However, the place of diagnosis and therapy remains the health facility. It is important to always keep this relationship in mind and avoid overstepping the line.
Choose the right words carefully
Words have great value and a substantial impact on reality. This applies to what we say but also to what we write. Choosing the right terms, capable of explaining clearly but without giving up a human dimension of the relationship, can make the difference.
Seek comparison and listen to the needs of users and potential patients
Social networks are not a place to teach. They are open spaces for discussion and community. It is important not to forget this and consider that, around your page or your account, you can create a community of patients and simple users who relate to the content you propose and can help you. How? Through comments, private messages, and reviews. And, consequently, able to offer a tailor-made service.
Leverage the most suitable channels and the most effective content
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, Twitter… The social networks available today are many and constantly evolving. Applying a good medical marketing strategy means choosing the channels that best meet your needs and are frequented by your target. You can imagine making videos for Instagram or Tik Tok. But instead, do you prefer vertical insights that can give a lot of information to potential patients? Then, the YouTube channel is the space for you.
Pay attention to privacy protection
Social media allow you to tell the activity of a structure, to disseminate and produce a lot of content to let us know. Pay attention, however, to the limits dictated by law, ethics, and common sense. A clinic or a healthcare professional has, first of all, and on every channel, obligations to protect patients’ privacy. Therefore, even on social networks, it is important to protect any sensitive data and more.
Use social media to improve the doctor / patient relationship
Finally, we conclude with the main advantage deriving from the use of social networks: the possibility of establishing relationships with people. This happens to those who are already your patient and those who are not.