The importance of having a strong social media presence

By: Amanda Davidson, Account Marketing Specialist, Phonak

#ClinicalPractice #Technology

Are you fully utilizing social media channels to communicate with patients and potential patients? If not, you may be losing potential patients to other providers that use social media to share information and connect with consumers. Take a look at why you should implement social media usage in your practice!

Social media is used personally by all demographics and professionally by businesses in all industries. Some hearing care practitioners do not fully take advantage of all that social media has to offer. It is proven that almost 90% of older social media users utilize social media to find and share information regarding their health1. Because of this, it is no surprise that there are many benefits to having a strong social media presence. Social media platforms can be used to showcase new products or new technology, patient testimonials, good reviews, or to help get the word out about upcoming events. Not only is there opportunity for practices to utilize social media to advertise and share information, but also connect to customers.

What are we referring to when we say social media? We are referring to online applications that enable users to share content and engage in social networking. Some of the most popular social media platforms are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube

As an audiology practice, we suggest you focus on: Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Take a look at the reasons why you should increase usage of social media for your practice! In this article, we are focusing on how to easily use social media to share information.

Are you looking for ways to share information with patients about new technology, products, services, or patient care?

Social media is a great way to do this and should be used as an easy way to market and disseminate information related to your practice! The intent of social media is for users to communicate with others and access information. Not only can social media be used as a free marketing tool to share new information, but can also be used to spread awareness of your brand. The more content you share, the greater digital presence and awareness your brand will have.

What is the purpose of deploying content on social media?

  • To Promote Your Organization: About 44% of individuals who conduct online research will schedule an appointment4, while 63% of patients will choose a provider because it has a strong digital presence5.
  • To Improve Patient Care: Over 60% of doctors say that social media improves patient care through increased communication with health care professionals, or better accessibility of real-time information, patient feedback, or reviews5.
  • To Further Educate Patients: About 60% of users are more likely to trust a social media post if it is posted by a health care professional2. Social media can help inform the public of truthful information and stop the spread of false information.

There are many ways to share information on social media and many different topics that content can focus on.

Make company information easy to find. This includes your company address, phone numbers, and hours of operation. Make sure that this information is on your company’s profile page. Practices can post information through text or images on what actions a prospective customer could take if interested. This ensures that the customer knows exactly what they need to do to schedule an appointment and also increases their chances of scheduling because they do not need to do outside research.

Provide updates on new technologies or products. Customers that have received hearing expertise from your practice before, will see these updates through posts and become interested in upgrading themselves or share this information with others. Hearing care practices can post these updates through sharing their own content or sharing articles from other organizations. There are many different ways to do this including sharing an article on Facebook, retweeting on Twitter, or posting an Instagram story.

Improve patient experience. Hearing care practitioners should be communicating with consumers on social media to help improve patient experience. More than 30% of people use social media to communicate with a company3. Direct communication on social media sites is continuing to become a preferred method of communication for consumers. To improve patient experience you can provide how-to videos, answer commonly asked questions, and monitor direct messages.

If your hearing care practice is using social media, you are already ahead of the curve. If not, we recommend that you add social media strategies to your marketing plan!

Do you want to use social media as a marketing tool but don’t know where to start?

First, ask your sales representative for one of our Phonak Marketing Communication Kits. Marketing Communication kits contain brand-related content that you can use to post on social media, along with other marketing strategies you can utilize.

Next, you should build a social media content calendar to ensure regular posting. We recommend posting 3 times a week where each post contains different types of content. One post should contain practice-specific content, which includes any information that can be shared about your practice in particular. This could be sharing about someone in your office celebrating a birthday or promoting an upcoming event. Another post should be product or feature-specific content. This includes posts about new technology, hearing aid upgrades, or new product accessories. Lastly, you should also be posting about services that your practice offers. An example of this is if your practice offers free hearing screeners throughout the week, you should post about it. By using a variety of content, your brand will be able to appeal to a lot of different audiences.

In our next article posting about social media, we will talk more about how you can increase brand awareness and build community.

Sources:

  1. eHealth Literacy and Web 2.0 Health Information Seeking Behaviors Among Baby Boomers and Older Adults,” JMIR Publications.
  2. How Modern Health Care is Being Revolutionized by Social Media [Infographic],” SocialMediaToday.
  3. Social media for healthcare providers: 9 statistics you need to know,” PatientPop.
  4. The Role of Social Media in Health Care: A Public Health Perspective,” Online Masters of Public Health.
  5. 50+ Social Media and Healthcare Statistics You Need to Know,” Etactics.