The internet is changing pretty much everything around us. It may be intimidating for some, but these changes are undoubtedly here to stay. In fact, this is the right time to get accustomed to everything that’s going from good to great.
Telemedicine practice is no exception. There was a time when medical practitioners and physical trainers could only give advice out of an office after a physical examination. Then came Google and WebMD. These online resources might have flaws, but they are helpful when it comes to educating the layperson about common medical conditions.
Several medical discussion forums were also launched during this time to discourage people from misdiagnosing their situation – SNAP – What was that! However, these forums had numerous limitations, ranging from the inability to verify “professional” opinions to the apparent lack of interaction between the patient and the medical practitioner. There’s only so much you can say when all you’re looking at is poorly constructed sentences that lack grammar and structure. In most cases, it’s a biased rant that often overlooks essential details.
That’s when the geeks thought about spicing things up by merging different solutions together. The telemedicine practice of today has overcome several shortfalls of remote medical help. For instance, the doctors and licensed physical therapists can now connect with their patients via social media and Skype, ensuring full-time support, particularly for those battling chronic conditions. With telehealth solutions, medical guidance is always just a phone call away.
As telemedicine practitioners, you need to realize the potential social media offers regarding improving your customer base, reaching out to the maximum number of people, and enhancing your profitability. And while you’re at it, here are five simple things you can do to promote your telemedicine practice on social media for more significant gains.
1. Be Where Your Potential Customers Are
There are several dozen social media websites on the World Wide Web. Each social media channel has a different audience that may or may not overlap. Depending on the scope of your practice, define the channels you’ll explore. You don’t need to be everywhere unless you have a sizeable team to manage it.
As with most businesses, social media is where people talk about you and highlight the good and the bad. This is where the real power of word of mouth can be seen. People recommend (or not) based on their experiences. Track your social mentions and intervene wherever possible to grab the attention of your potential patients. A doctor who cares enough to follow-up with his/her patients is seen as a committed professional worth investing in.
2. Share Your Wisdom
Don’t use the social media just to grab your customers. To be seen as an authority in your field, make sure you share your wisdom and learning on various health aspects as frequently as possible. You’ll need to put something out to attract people.
As a rule of thumb, always remember that the more valuable your information is, the higher credibility it builds in the eyes of the reader. This, however, mandates thorough research and crafting. Even if you’re not doing it on a daily basis, make sure you have some sort of a calendar to keep the cycle moving.
It doesn’t always have to be new. You can share somebody else’ work and add a comment or two. You can even repurpose what you’ve already put out there. Get smartly creative!
There’s nothing wrong with advertising your availability or any ongoing promotions and offers. In fact, social media is the perfect channel for it. Let people know how they can approach you. The easier it is for them to seek medical advice from you or book an appointment, the more likely they will be to remember you and contact you in any situation they face.
4. Be Quick
The key is to not waste time. Whether it is about booking an appointment or responding to patient queries, you always have to stay at the top of your game.
The problem with telemedicine and social media is that your potential customers (irrespective of the industry you belong to) have a wide range of options available at a click. Your patients can quickly move to another option if you’re a bit late in responding. Even if you’re unable to answer immediately for whatever reason, it makes sense to use autoresponders that’ll inform the patient when you’d be available.
Do not keep your patient waiting endlessly and at the same time, do not rush diagnosis or treatment without adequate research.
5. Stay Current
There’s nothing more disappointing than approaching an enterprise on social media only to discover they are no longer approachable via the contact details they’ve provided or they no longer offer the services they’ve advertised. Always keep your contact details and address up to date. If your business is evolving into something entirely different, put up adequate information about it. This not only limits the number of useless queries you receive but also ensures even your non-clients have a positive experience with your social media presence.
To sum it all up, it is essential for you to understand that social media in its entirety is here to stay and has immense potential for your business growth. From getting you new clients to keeping your old ones happy, there’s so much you can do with these channels. However, don’t spread yourself too thin. Realize where the highest potential is and stick to it.
There will always be certain limitations hampering your telemedicine practice, but you can always work around most of these. Do not try to overdo things that aren’t in your jurisdiction, mainly if these are going to make you look bad.
When you’re dealing with something as powerful as social media, it is imperative to focus on positive customer experiences to generate a positive word of mouth.
It will be a little tricky in the beginning and might also demotivate you. But once you get the hang of it, winning at social media will become all the easier.
Wish you all the best for your telemedicine practice!