Currently over 80% of people in developed countries admit to searching online for health-related conditions, yet the majority of doctors are afraid to venture in to the world of social media. Most doctors incorrectly choose to ignore social media due to concerns about litigation, regulation, liability and patient privacy.
With the right strategy, doctors have the potential to gain a huge level of traffic to market their services, by developing a social media presence which adheres to all guidelines.
Whilst many of the best performing private practitioners on Harley street use professional marketing agencies to handle their social media, what you might not know is that you’re ready to get your social media off the ground right now. You don’t need to know every intimidating buzzword or have the magic number of followers. Here are 3 easy tips for you to get started.
Before you get your teeth stuck in to digital marketing, it is important to be aware of the regulatory frameworks set down by the GMC and Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). We highly recommend that all doctors practising in the private sector read the GMC’s ‘Guidelines for doctors who offer cosmetic interventions’. This brief document highlights all the key pieces of regulation, and most importantly makes it clear what you can and cannot do to market your private practice.
The GMC emphasises that doctors must “market your services responsibly, without making unjustifiable claims about interventions, trivialising the risks involved, or using promotional tactics that might encourage people to make ill-considered decisions”.
After reading the article, it is very clear that the GMC allows doctors significant free reign to market their services, albeit responsibly. For examples of big companies advertising to patients, Google well known high street chains offering laser surgery and analyse their ads and social media to see what you can try for yourself.
Read the full guidelines here:
Facebook with more than 2 billion monthly active users, remains the world’s most popular social network, by far. In fact, if a social media giant were a country, it would be larger than China. Many doctors already use Facebook for their personal lives, but not for their private practice. Using Facebook’s Business Page feature, it is possible to market your services online directly to patients, keeping your business and personal profiles separate.
The process is quick and simple and involves you inputting basic details such as location, website address, logo etc. You can be up and running in 10 minutes. From here, you can post your own content, invite patients to like your Page and set up ads if you so wish.
For an 8 step guide to setting up your own free Facebook Page, check out the article by Hootsuite:
Patients are becoming increasingly savvy about which doctors they wish to see privately. Before making that decision, they will browse your website and social media.
If they were to do so right now, will they find an empty site or a rich source of information? Posting engaging and relevant content to your site and your social media feeds will build your own authority, demonstrate your thought leadership and show you are a trustworthy clinician.
Have a read of this article from Mangold Creative on How to write engaging content on Social Media:
Give it a try yourself today, write a quick post online about something patients care about in your specialty.