What’s holding you back from being social?

https://www.privatepracticeninja.co.uk/whats-holding-back-social/

When was the last time you checked your iPhone to look at Twitter or Facebook?

Chances are, it’s been a few times today already.

If you’re looking at social media online, you can bet your bottom dollar that your patients are also staring at their smartphones and screens (unless you’ve just done their cataracts, that is). If you’re not getting on, and being social, you’re missing a trick.

Let’s make one thing clear:

I’m not encouraging you to post pictures of your disturbing looking ‘green grass and yaks milk power shake’. I want to encourage you to use social medial as a vehicle for discussion with peers and potential patients. Don’t kid yourself that it’s just for bored teenagers or people who read Grazia. Just about every age group is represented out there on social sites, and they congregate there day and night.

According to Forbes, almost forty percent of ‘millennials’ (those folk lucky enough to be born between the early 80’s and the mid 90’s) will make health care decisions based on what they read online. That means they go about choosing their Physios, Doctors, Osteos, and Surgeons, based on the ‘word of mouth’ reviews and chatter that’s out there on the internet.

If you’re not really embracing social media, you’ve probably convinced yourself you’ve a good reason to hide from it all. Which of these excuses ring true with you? …

Fear of the unknown:  I think I want to get started, but I don’t really have a clue about how to post or where I should be posting.

Paranoia:  I’m worried that someone will try to shoot me down professionally and then I will look a bit stupid, or worse still, what if I get the likes of Adam Meakins taking a pop at me?

Insecurity: What if a patient writes something bad about me? Might I be inviting a duff review or testimonial?

Headless chicken:  I’m not sure it’s a good use of effort.

Apathy:  Do I really have time to do this at all?

Private practice Ninja helper  Well, the best thing about social media is that it is free. It’s free for anyone to use, and whether you like it or not, patients and colleagues will be out there sharing their views of you online. So, why not get stuck in, and steer the conversations in the direction you’d like them to be taken?

It’s no longer enough to rely on word of mouth referrals; you need to nurture an online following of raving fans.

Private practice Ninja helper  When you are using social media effectively, it helps to establish YOU as the brand, and the more times that you are seen, the more times you will be recognised as the go-to person for X or Y.

Social media also enables you to get very specific about who you want to reach out to, and those people will be connected to other like-minded people too! Double Bubble.

Private practice Ninja helper  If you add a very small amount of marketing budget to your social campaign, you can get a fantastic return on investment – far better than shelling out for traditional local newspaper inches, magazine ads, or those glossy leaflets that get scattered around on waiting room floors.

Social media also helps you prove your credibility by providing links to blogs, vlogs and website posts that you have written. You get to display your prowess in treating the condition the patient is hoping to get sorted. Let them find you.

Private practice Ninja helper  It’s really important to keep your nose clean (as Mother would to say), and that means behaving in the same way online as you would do in your consulting room.

There are some words of caution here:

Obviously, you’re not going to do something that at actively endangers patient confidentiality in a clinical setting. So even if you get a lovely testimonial from a patient, you can’t state exactly who they are. Nevertheless, you are able to share useful stories that demonstrate ways that you have been able to help people.

It’s also very important that you separate out your personal profile from your professional one. After all, you don’t want to be in the embarrassing situation of having patients ‘liking’ the picture of you laid glitter-encrusted, drunk in a shopping trolley, that was thoughtfully posted five years ago by a ‘mate’ after the stag night to end all stag nights. Whilst showing a little of our personality is important, most patients would probably rather not see you in ‘tassels’.

Private practice Ninja helper  Once you are ‘legit’ and online with your professional identity, you can enter Facebook groups and offer to be of help. For example, there may be a Facebook group relating to local triathletes, new parents, or patients who want to have better control of their diabetes whilst exercising. Jump into a group, say “Hello” and contribute to the discussions.

Private practice Ninja helper  Social media is a surprisingly good search engine in its own right, to use in your hunt for good connections – so think about this when you are looking for potential referrers. LinkedIn can be an amazing resource, and on Twitter, the advanced search options can enable you to search for specific people, such as those training for the London marathon.

If you feel like your Private Practice needs help in developing your social media strategy, with gaining referrals, more effective ways to work, or you have questions about GDPR, then we’re here to help.

Get in touch!

Together we can grow your Private Practice.

 

                                                                               

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