Are you unclear on how social media can make you more visible to potential patients, allow you to help more people, book more appointments, and make more money? If you’re frustrated by trying to figure out where to start with your social media, you are NOT alone! I hear this all the time from doctors I connect with.
Marketing your naturopathic, integrative or functional medicine practice is not easy but, it can be accomplished with a thoughtful strategy and implementation.
While considering your social media strategy, it’s important to remember that your potential patients are constantly looking up health information on their cellphones. In fact, over half of smartphone users research health questions on their cell phones, and there are billions of health-based app downloads everyday. Google is the most commonly-used search engine for health information, but, people are also asking health questions in social media, and having conversations with other users about their most pressing health concerns via Facebook, Instagram, etc.
If you, as a healthcare provider, can meet consumers in their conversations on social media, you can become part of their buyer experience, and have more opportunities to convert them into one of your patients.
Start with your online presence and brand.
When people visit your website, what do they see?
Here’s a checklist you can use to evaluate how effective your website is:
- Is there a long list of services and conditions? (hopefully the answer is no)
- Is there a lot of health and nutrition information that people can read, use for their personal research, and that positions you as an expert in your field? (quality blogs?)
- Do you have a clear communication strategy on your website that really speaks to the type of customers/patients you want to attract?
- Do you have a professional video that showcases your WHY?
- Does your video speak to your method and help your ideal patients feel that they are in the right place?
- Do you have photos that inspire people to be healthier or to want to come to your clinic?
- Do you have multiple calls to action, such as lead magnets, appointment booking buttons and more?
- Imagine yourself as one of your current or potential patients. Now visit your website. Think about the impression it gives potential patients about your brand and your practice. Is it appealing to this person?
We tend to spend a lot of time making sure the office and clinic look good but if someone’s first impression of you from an online search is your outdated website, how can you expect them to believe your knowledge and skills are up to date and will help them?
Your Business Facebook Page:
Did you know 1.28 billion people are on Facebook everyday? People consume more content on Facebook than they do on TV. So a good question to ask yourself is, “Am I standing out as an expert that people know, like, and trust?”
Thanks to the internet and social media people have become informed consumers that require instant access to information they can use before purchasing. Most customers need multiple touch points with you, your message, and your brand before they are confident enough to spend their money with you. Now this holds true for all companies but is especially true of the health and wellness industry because people seeking natural medicine have often already had bad experiences with the medical system. Many of them are confused, exhausted, and need someone they can put their faith in. These patients feel vulnerable and are tired of not getting results, and now you’re tasked with making their decision to work with you easy. It’s important to never forget these patients’ health journey when communicating with them.
So we know people go to Facebook to connect, which means:
- You should also be on Facebook.
- Your content should be seen as valuable.
- Your content should grab attention.
- You should be positioned as an expert (video is a great way to accomplish this).
- You need to build the know, like, and trust factor (variety in content topics and format is key to this).
- You should answer their questions, reply to their comments on your content and try to keep the conversation going. This will show Facebook your content is valuable.
- Video, images, conversation starters, humorous content is what social media is about (hence the term social media!)
- Consistency is crucial don’t start a presence on social media if you aren’t going to continue.
- Put some money behind those quality videos you do and get new eyes on your content.
- Use the Facebook scheduler to get your content ready in advance, and to help ensure your consistent presence on this social media channel.
I’ve created a guide to help you audit your Facebook page. Grab it right here.
Consider being active on Instagram.
Instagram is a growing platform with millions of monthly active users. The largest audience on Instagram is the 25-34 year old crowd, and their average income is over $70,000 a year. Insta Stories are growing in popularity and is used more than other video channels such as Facebook stories and Snapchat for daily updates.
Instagram is a visual platform so your viewers are there to see eye-catching images as well as well-crafted posts. Use a tool like Later or Hoot suite to schedule your content to Instagram, as your time is too valuable to waste posting daily.
People love the behind-the-scenes aspect of Insta Stories and it helps your followers learn more about you, but, be cautious. There is a fine line between being accessible and fun and while appearing professional and attracting people that need to see you as a doctor. Try using it for a quick tip, or answering a question you get asked frequently or demonstrating something but keep it professional.
Should you be on Twitter?
What’s Twitter? (Just kidding!) Your potential clients who are suffering with health issues aren’t looking for answers on Twitter. So, you won’t be able to appeal to them or engage them in a social conversation on this platform. Most businesses should stick to a few platforms and do those well. Since your target audience is not looking for the help you can provide them on Twitter, feel free to ignore this social platform, and focus more on Facebook and Instagram.
What can email marketing do for my practice?
While many business owners worry about flooding peoples inboxes with their message, and being overlooked in the crowd, the reality is, email marketing still offers one of the highest ROIs out of all the marketing channels.
While writing emails that appeal to others may seem overwhelming, there’s actually a simple formula you can follow and apply. Think of a good email being like a good magazine headline— you need a hook! You also need to be consistent and make sure that email is easily consumed, has a call to action and is worth their time to read.
The easiest way to do this is to be yourself, write in your voice, and authentically talk about the results you’ve achieved with the patients in your practice.
Keep in mind that your patients, even though they have already met you and have been treated by you, will never have a full understanding of what health problems natural medicine can solve.
Even if you have achieved results for them, they won’t understand that you can treat their uncle’s gout or help your friend who is struggling to conceive or that the consistent pain your colleague has may not ever be healed by conventional ways and may need an energetic approach.
Explaining to them that your practice can do everything from fixing insomnia, achieving weight loss, and reducing anxiety, to reversing inflammation, disease prevention, and disease management will not resonate with them. Your message will not be heard. So you need to look at your email and social media platforms as the outlet to educate your followers about what you can do…but in a non-salesy, non-pushy way.
Stay front of mind, be an educator and stand out as an expert!
People want to follow their doctor. They want to read what you write, if you show up the right way for them.
In my monthly marketing program for doctors we provide two blog articles a month that can also be used for email. While a full blog article may seem like a bit much for an email, you can put part of that article in your email and give your readers a link to the blog post and/or a video on the subject you’ve posted on Facebook. This gives you a chance to invite people to all your platforms so they can consume your helpful content the way they like!
So let’s summarize:
Your online presence needs to be strong across your website and your Facebook business page, and possibly Instagram as well (if your ideal patients are on Instagram). You also want to to consistently send emails to continue your relationship with them.
The key to an effective online presence are consistency, communication and engagement.
Building content isn’t easy. Most of the clients I’ve consulted for don’t have enough time to create content and are overwhelmed at figuring out where to start while establishing their online presence. So I created a monthly marketing program to solve this issue. The strategy I use in my program is simple and I am going to share it with you so you can build momentum with your online marketing!
Step 1: Choose two topics a month and be an expert on them.
Step 2: Brainstorm all the questions you get, what people would google on the topic and make those part of your content.
Step 3: Use the content in your article to extract social media posts.
Step 4: Find nice graphics that grab attention.
Step 5: Make videos on the topics (even better if they are Facebook live videos).
Step 6: Schedule across all your platforms.
Rinse and repeat each month, or take a look at the low-cost done-for-you monthly marketing program that takes the content creation off your plate and delivers you everything you need to schedule it and put your marketing on autopilot!
Check out what Your Ideal Patient’s monthly marketing program can do for YOUR practice right here.
Book a FREE call to see how we can help