How To Grow Your Internet Presence As A Physician
This article will show you how to grow your internet presence as a physician, and get more business from it.
If you’re curious about how to grow an internet presence as a physician, there are a couple of different paths you can take that can help you promote your medical practice, find new patients, create a social media presence, and establish a trustworthy online reputation.
How to Harness Social Media
Social media is a relatively easy way to create an online presence without a lot of expense, and it can help you achieve a wide variety of business goals. Social media is used by a large portion of the US population, with approximately 223 million users as of 2020.
The leading social media website based on visits is Facebook, which is no surprise since this platform gets used for business and personal tasks and interactions of all kinds with a wide variety of content.
New patients might look for your medical practice Facebook page to see if you have any online reviews or ratings, and it’s also common for people to use Google or another search engine.
Potential patients often like to use various review sites such as Yelp to read others’ experiences, and healthcare providers should have multiple pages for their business on other sites such as LinkedIn, Zocdoc, and Rate MDs.
When you begin to set up your social media pages, you may hear it called healthcare marketing, which is specific to healthcare providers and the marketing strategy that works for them. This type of marketing strategy can include:
- Content easily viewed on a smartphone or other mobile device
- Testimonials from patients and other healthcare providers
- Healthgrades from different websites that use a rating system
- Online reviews of specific doctors
- Basic contact information such as a phone number or location marked on Google maps
Using social media to achieve your business goals gives you many options when it comes to establishing your online presence, and many prospective patients are convinced to visit a doctor based on the testimonials or online reviews left by others.
The downside is that there are some drawbacks to consider, and you’ll need to understand how digital marketing and content marketing work to take advantage of social media as a powerful tool.
The Benefits of an Internet Presence for Physicians
When you consider how to grow an internet presence as a physician, it’s important to remember that there are a number of benefits you’ll gain. Besides the obvious fact that most businesses need an online presence to thrive, there are other advantages you can harness to help your medical practice grow faster.
Create a Positive Online Reputation
If you want to grow your business online, you’ll need to establish and maintain a positive online reputation. Achieving this goal means responding promptly to patient complaints and feedback and thanking people for their positive reviews.
New patients often decide whether or not to visit a business or other healthcare providers based on the online reviews that they find, but you can use social media to gather positive feedback and reviews from satisfied patients.
Attract New Patients
A polished online presence will undoubtedly attract new patients, but it doesn’t hurt to use some basic SEO concepts such as hashtags, high-quality keywords, and Google My Business to help drive a higher engagement level with the content that you post online.
Gain Brand Awareness for Your Medical Practice
The more useful and complete your online presence is, the more you can expect your potential patients to recognize your name and come to you the next time they need medical care. While these individuals may not have immediate needs when they are aware that your practice exists, they’ll think of you first when they need to see a doctor at a later date.
Another way to gain brand awareness is by using social media to create landing pages for your business on platforms used by your target audience. You can also use content marketing to post unique videos, images, or articles to a blog that can help you rank higher on search engine results.
Set Yourself Apart from Other Healthcare Providers
Cultivating a precise online reputation also means setting yourself apart from your competition in multiple ways. It also involves keeping tabs on their social media pages to see what posts have the highest engagement level and how you can use that information to grow your own following online.
Social media platforms are an excellent venue for posting original content, and you may find that a webinar, a timely blog post, or the option to schedule telemedicine appointments can make you appear more authentic and accessible to your target audience.
The Drawbacks of an Internet Presence
Figuring out how to grow an internet presence as a physician isn’t without drawbacks, and some pitfalls are unavoidable. With some proper planning, you can solve the most common issues promptly, and by sticking to a strategy, you can minimize any negative impacts on your reputation.
You Need a Cohesive Marketing Strategy
If you’re going to be posting content online, it’s best to have a well thought out strategy that includes content marketing, medical marketing, and search engine optimization concepts.
You’ll want to look at your business’s goals and figure out what content you need to create and post online that allows for two-way communications between you and prospective patients.
This part often means you’ll need a marketing budget in place and typically involves using multiple social media platforms to reach a more significant portion of your audience.
You’ll Need to Know About Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, and SEO
Digital marketing includes the internet, all mobile devices, social media, and all other means provided by the internet to reach your target audience. Digital marketing is different from content marketing, which involves distributing content to reach your target audience and bring in new patients.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has more to do with boosting how high up in the search results your website ranks to maximize the number of visitors to your site. SEO techniques involve posting unique content, using hashtags and keywords, and posting text-based content that a search engine can display when someone performs a Google search.
Negative Reviews and Reputation Management
Negative reviews aren’t something you can avoid forever, but if you’re growing your online presence, you can combat them by attempting to remedy the complaint and making adjustments to your strategy to prevent future issues.
For example, having clear contact information and other relevant information handy for patients can help them measure their expectations and avoid surprises that might negatively affect online reviews.
Understanding how to grow an internet presence as a physician can help you boost your business, bring in new patients, and allow you to interact with large segments of your target audience.
Many physicians use social media to accomplish all of these things for their medical practice, but understanding SEO can help you appear higher in a Google search and allow patients to read convincing online reviews that persuade them to see you for their medical needs.