How to Use Facebook to Grow Patient Relationships

Social Media Marketing | Facebook

Whether you’re new to Facebook marketing or you’d like take your social strategy up a notch, we’ve put together some tips that will ensure you’re doing more than just getting vanity likes to your practice’s page. By enacting these tips, you’ll be on your way to developing and nurturing meaningful relationships that can extend offline and turn into acquiring a new patient.

Today’s independent medical practices know they must market themselves in order to succeed. Referrals and word-of-mouth are predominantly happening through social media channels, and your practice needs to be a player to maximize your reputation and build stronger relationships with your patients. Community engagement, reputation management, and the development of high-quality content related to your target audience is essential to sustaining relationships with your audience and creating brand loyalty.

Focus on Reputation Management

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

– Jeff Bezos, Amazon

What are people saying about your brand online? With 40% of consumers forming an opinion by reading just one to three reviews, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of your online reputation. Here are some ways to strengthen your reputation online and off.

Encourage your patients to leave reviews

While a handful of patients are inclined to provide a review for your practice out of habit, many patients are not. Invite each of your patients to leave a review on Facebook. For example, have your front desk staff ask patients to leave a review before they leave. Depending on your type of practice, you may also offer incentives. If you’re a dental practice, consider giving away complimentary oral health kits featuring recommended toothpaste, floss, etc. If you’re a primary care physician, consider giving away $20 Visa gift cards.

You can also send out follow-up emails to patients you have long-standing relationship with. Their loyalty and respect for your practice is sure to shine through any reviews they leave you..

Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative

Negative reviews are never fun to deal with, but did you know that 30% of consumers assume online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews? So don’t sweat it. It’s normal to get a bad review. Many people only choose to respond to positive reviews, but it’s crucial to respond to both positive and negative reviews of your practice. In fact, Yelp encourages responses to negative reviews on its platform, even though it can be a challenge to do so.

Aim to resolve negative reviews

Responding to a negative review proves that you offer great customer service. Maybe the circumstances were not ideal for the reviewer, but you can show them (and potential future patients) that you care by responding in a genuine and timely manner.

When you respond to a negative review, it also helps you learn more about what your patient was thinking when they left the review. This can become a learning experience that can benefit your overall practice and prevent future negative reviews.

The best response is to acknowledge the feedback and provide a callback number to address the reviewer’s concerns.

Encourage Wellness

Patients follow your page on social media because they care about what you have to say. Surprised? You shouldn’t be! It’s so important to show the value of your practice instead of just promoting appointments or listing your services. Think about the questions you are asked over and over as they pertain to wellness and healthy living. Answer these questions and your page will nurture a loyal following.

Wellness tips can help build trust with your audience. Explore delivering these tips in different formats – Facebook Live, videos, infographics – to learn what works best for you and your audience.

Get Insights

Have you noticed trends in the types of patients who come to your practice? It’s very likely that you can identify three or four different “personas” and individuals that fit into each category. When gaining insights about your patients through Facebook, consider the age, gender, concerns, frustrations, and goals of each persona.

Discovering your patient personas

To identify the types of patients that are engaging with you through Facebook, navigate to the “insights” tab on your business page and scroll down to “Ppeople”. You’ll find valuable data here. Take a look at who your page is attracting, posts engagement, and what posts seem to be capturing the most likes and comments. This information will help you craft valuable posts in the future. If you’re not attracting your ideal audience to your page, you can alter your content strategy as needed.

Start Today

Facebook marketing is all about being social. Each social media campaign is unique, so what works for you and your patients may not work for another practice. This is why it’s important to be open to ideas and find a solution that compliments the goals you have for your practice.

When getting started, be open to feedback. It’s okay to ask your audience what type of content they would like to see. Your patients want to help you succeed, so reach out to them when you’re starting out and check in with them regularly to ensure your content on social media is relevant and engaging.

For more information about how Facebook marketing can drive new patients to your practice, reach out to us today.