Chidindu carefully articulates 7 ways Healthcare Brands in Nigeria can effectively use social media.
Many professionals and brands in the healthcare industry are reluctant to join and effectively engage on social media platforms, but are so worried about keeping to the guidelines of practice that they even doubt the benefits of social media to them.
Here’s the good news!
Do you know that you can practice and engage your patients and clients on these platforms without violating the ethical regulations of practice?
As a healthcare provider (HCP), all you need do is to first define why your brand is on social media. Then, find out exactly why and how to build healthy patient-provider relationships through your social media presence.
Here are a few reasons why you should engage on social media.
- Connect, engage with patients; get feedback
Social media enables you to reach out to your patients and clients and to receive necessary feedback from them. For example, Facebook reviews by patients are ways to indicate whether patients are satisfied with your services or not. These indicators enable you to measure how good or bad your brand is in terms of meeting up with customer expectations and satisfaction.
For healthcare facilities that have websites, listening and asking questions online can help you provide necessary answers to your patients by creating and publishing educational content on your blog that addresses these issues.
You can post FAQ articles on your website. Social media enables you to connect with your targeted audience and to grow healthy relationships. There
is a simple known rule for building online or offline relationships. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. So, a
friendly low-key environment that allows timely interactions is what
health care brands need to build online influence for offline achievements.
- Promote news and events
If your healthcare facility organizes events like seminars, outreaches, charity-drives, and workshops, social media is a way to promote with little or no cost. Paid promotions allow you to connect with a larger population of people who will be interested in what you have to share.
- Share health tips
You can use your social media profile to share trusted and legitimate healthcare information. This is because patients or social media users trust information from people of authority. This will also help users to do away from other pieces of information that fly around the internet. Healthcare brands with meaningful blog contents that are effectively promoted will tend to build more audience than those who keep waiting for patients at their offices. People only deal with people or things that they can understand.
- Your Practice reaches a Wider Audience
Imagine what happens when someone shares your works across other platforms simply because they find it educational. Their friends on social media will see such posts and most will share too on their timeline for others to see. The Cascades continue to go on. What does this imply? It means that whoever sees such post from you will immediately want to engage with you. Engagement comes from liking, sharing, commenting or even following you closely in the social space. Brands can build their own online communities using meaningful social content.
- Connect with other healthcare professionals
Social platforms like LinkedIn enable you to connect with like-minded professionals who are also interested in your cause. These people will endorse whatever skills you have. Asides that, you can also connect with stakeholders who share the same vision as you do and would want to help you accomplish them. Social platforms are best for consulting with senior professionals who are interested in the issues that you are passionate to provide a solution to.
- Employment Opportunities
In the olden days, (I mean not some years ago) one would need a perfectly written CV, a good academic qualification, a face caked with makeup and stiletto shoes to make it through an interview so that they become employed. Over time, recruiters and professionals realized that even online social activities contributed to the employee’s performance. Most people are typical representations of their social media timelines. They regarded this as an indicator for measuring the work-life balance of an employee. If a healthcare professional belongs not to at least one social platform, recruiters would consider them to be socially imbalanced. Let me even take you unawares, just in case you do not yet know. Do you know that there is a highly secured social network called Doximity that allows doctors to connect, communicate and learn from each other? These professional interactions enable you to solicit ideas and exchange timely information.
- Share patient success stories
There is no other way to bring in confidence to your health care practice: patients anecdotes are the most effective. Nothing makes a brand build more influence or authority than one satisfied and happy customer. It gives credibility to your brand. However, you must remember not to share anyone’s story without seeking their full consent. If they offer to willingly share, make sure that you share only that which is relevant to your target audience. Giving out sensitive information just to prove your credibility, may make your brand lose the trust of potential clients. With success stories, you illustrate your capabilities to carefully carry on a task or procedure from its starting point to its completion.
Conclusively, these are just a few of the many benefits healthcare providers would enjoy by engaging actively on social media. HCPs should keep in mind that social media is the new campfire where people gather to read stories. What stories are they reading about you and your healthcare brand?