Posted on June 1, 2011
6 Benefits of Facebook to Enhance your Practice
I realize that to most medical practices Facebook may seem like a place where people go to complain about their day, put up pictures of their new baby, or find out who is having a birthday. You would be correct in these assumptions about personal Facebook use, but there has been a major evolution within the last year of the benefits Facebook now offers businesses. In this article I will outline the major advantages and provide incentive for creating a Facebook business page for your practice.
1. Brand Awareness
Facebook puts your practice name out there for everyone to see. If you can convince your current patients to “like” you on Facebook, your business page will post to all of their friends’ news feed and give you immediate visibility to hundreds, maybe even thousands of prospective patients. There is also the “Check-in” function that is very popular with iPhone users that allows a person to post to Facebook their exact location, which also becomes visible to their friends. This is free advertising from your very own patients.
2. Reputation Management
Within your Facebook business page: you can give status updates about your practice, post pictures (of the practice itself, employees, patients, before/after surgery photos, doctors, etc) or even videos (surgeries, educational videos, and testimonials from happy patients). There might be instances where negative content will be posted about you, but this can be used to your advantage. While a negative comment seems like a bad thing, it’s actually very beneficial to have all users see how you can positively respond to an unhappy customer and find a pleasing solution.
3. Customer Engagement
This is the best benefit to using Facebook. Having a business page allows you to interact with former, current, and prospective patients. They can ask questions or leave comments and have a real person respond back to them. It helps you paint a picture to your consumer that you care about them, and in turn can strengthen practice/patient relationships while also increasing customer service.
4. Educating Consumers
People have become informed purchasers; they want to research products and services before committing to buying. Facebook allows you to make informative posts about your practice and your services. It also gives you the opportunity to further educate your patients with articles that are related to your field of expertise. For example: A practice who provides LASIK surgery might post an interesting article relating to eye health and benefits of bladeless LASIK surgery.
5. Promotional Updates
Facebook can help you keep your patients “in the know”. It is a great way to inform them of any upcoming seminars, webinars, events, contests, discounts or promotional opportunities without having to pay for commercials or radio advertisements.
6. Surpass Competition
Lastly, your competition WILL, if not already, engage in marketing their practice on Facebook. This is a good way for you to scope out how they are using Social Media to their advantage and enhance their strategy for your own practice.
When deciding whether or not to utilize Facebook for your practice consider this, the conversation about your practice will go on with or without you present. So now is the time to step in, get involved, and maintain control of your own reputation while also getting to know your patients.