There is no profession that requires more personal interactions than the healthcare field. Each day, physicians make personal connections with their patients and maintain their relationships with staff, fellow physicians, and their community. Yet, most physicians would not consider themselves a “brand”. As an independently practicing physician, even in a large well-known practice, your name alone is often your brand – because patients and colleagues are looking for you on social media.
Building Your Brand on Social Media
Building your brand on social media can be intimidating when starting from scratch. Remember that top physician social media users did not grow their following overnight. They did, however, consistently post relevant content that their target audiences were drawn to. You can do this, too:
- Share Your + Your Care Team’s Accomplishments, big or small. Taking on an additional position, reaching a center milestone, beginning to use a new technology, or delivering a speaking engagement are just some of the different types of accomplishments to highlight.
- Share News Articles that interest you relating to the GI field. Inspired by a new treatment option? Share and comment that you were intrigued. See a peer receive an award? Share and congratulate them. Don’t share news articles that are not closely related to the GI field on your professional accounts.
- Spread Awareness for the causes you care about as a GI physician. Encourage patients to get their routine colon cancer screenings, and to come in for any other annual preventative appointments. Use a health awareness calendar to remember when to post for Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, and others fall.
- Post Practical Updates that your patients need to know—changes to practice or center hours, changes to health and safety protocol, etc. Even if you are sharing this directly with patients elsewhere, posting it on social media will show other potential patients that you care about keeping your patients informed.
- Lean on a Partner for assistance in posting regularly, if needed. While you may have an administrator or marketer running your facility’s social media accounts, your own accounts should reflect your own voice. At PE GI Solutions, we do not post on behalf of our physician partners personal social media accounts but do provide timely post topics that they can tailor to make their own.
Protecting Your Brand
In addition to growing your brand on social media, you’ll also need play defense, when necessary. Research shows that 82% of patients take time to read online reviews of healthcare providers when choosing a new provider. Some of these reviews may be directed towards your Facebook page. Other general comments, concerns, or complaints may be written to you on other social media platforms, like Twitter. Being truly engaged with your audience means you should acknowledge these reviews and remarks.
There are a few best practices to remember when communicating directly on social media:
- Show understanding and compassion when responding.
- Directly @ mention the account you are speaking to.
- Don’t go into detail on your public page. Publicly request that they email or call the office to discuss further.