How to Attract New Patients Using Social Media
When looking for health information, 59% of adults in the U.S. turn to the Internet. Users trust medical information from doctors and hospitals more than health insurers and drug companies, according to a Pricewaterhouse Cooper survey of over 1,000 patients. This means that private practice owners, managers, and therapists can build connections with current and potential patients by using social media to distribute trusted information.
The sharing aspect of social media makes it invaluable as a tool to reach fresh audiences. The average adult Facebook user has 338 friends, and a post from your organization can be shared to all of them with the click of a button. If you have a blog, you can cross-share your content on your social media pages to increase viewership. Followers and friends can then share the content themselves.
While social media remains a valuable tool to reach current and potential clients, you can also use it to connect with colleagues, other organizations, and experts in your field. Join the PT alumni groups connected with your college or university’s Facebook pages, and add other professionals in your area on LinkedIn. Share groundbreaking articles and research from other professionals on your own pages, summarizing and adding your own comments on the post itself. This will prevent your page from becoming veiled self-promotion.
Regardless of the content you’re trying to share, relevancy is key. Social media users will only respond to information that is relevant to them. Try staying current with big events in your community. For example, you could post basic information about treating a pulled hamstring on the day of a marathon or tips for seniors to stay active indoors after a big snowstorm hits. Crafting posts around other events in your audience’s lives integrates your practice into their communities and their minds.
Encourage conversation and responses. You can do this by asking questions via social media posts, then facilitating and moderating debate as users comment in the responses. You can also poll users and instantly track results on Facebook and Twitter. Relevant questions could include, “How often do you exercise?” or “How often do you feel pain in your upper back/neck?” Users can share the polls with their friends, and you can generate additional content by writing a blog post that breaks down the results of the poll.
As a private practice owner, you can distribute trusted information online. Utilize this status to not only help patients outside of their clinic visits but also to grow your business itself.