Are you a doctor struggling to implement social media at your practice? Do you wonder if it’s even worth your time and effort?
If so, you might want to hear what Dr. Jeremy Smith, D.D.S., P.A. an orthondontist in Rogers, AR has to say. Dr. Smith is a successful doctor who uses content marketing and social media to give patients a convenient and approachable orthodontic experience.
Why did you to begin your personal healthcare social media journey?
It was just the way our patients and community communicate. We have to keep up with trends and preferences of our patients and their families.
In your opinion what do healthcare professionals gain by using social media?
It really creates a more personal relationship with the doctor and patient. It gives us a way to interact with our patients without them even being here. It’s also good for building our business. These days people want to know about the practice and doctor they are seeking treatment from. A patient can get a feel for the environment even before stepping in through the door. It’s more personal than just a website.
Which platforms do you use?
Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Linked In, and YouTube. They are the easiest and most widely used platforms. Facebook & Twitter are the main platforms we use. We prefer Facebook just because more of our patients are on it and we get to display more about us. Our Twitter account is linked to Facebook so whatever we post on Facebook just auto posts to Twitter.
How much time do you spend updating your social media platforms?
I spend on average 30-45 minutes a week updating our social media. We try to post something a few times a week. When we have a contest going on I might spend more time with it as needed. We will post office updates, contest entries and winners, reminders, or just something fun.
Do you maintain a professional versus personal presence when posting different context?
Professional regardless of context.
What tips would you give to healthcare professionals who are considering using social media?
Make it fun, post things that people want to read and will share with others. Don’t force it. Also look at other healthcare social media pages to get an idea of what to post. Respect patient’s privacy. Get a consultant to help you set up if you’re unsure.
What is the biggest problem for healthcare professionals using social media? How can it be avoided?
What to post. Try to get input from staff and your patients as well. Negative comments are another problem – we haven’t experienced this yet but it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Always treat the person in a professional manner and never stoop to their level of negativity.
What kind of social media contests or promotions have you used to enhance your practice?
The one we are currently doing asks patients submit a picture of themselves taken during the summer with a cutout of Dr. Smith as Captain America.
We’ve also done patient parties like our annual patient appreciation party that we’ve held at Fast Lane (a local fun zone) the past two years.
Also we do fundraisers like the one we just held for ‘Smile for a Lifetime Foundation’ where we sold tickets to Arkansas Naturals game.
Physicians who have most success with social media are the ones who are proactive in trying out new things with social media. They don’t just sit back and hope that patients will come to them but instead they experiment with different platforms, have fun and take suggestions from their patients and staff members. They also understand that social media is about their audience (not about them!) and so they conform to the preferences of their patients.
If you haven’t started using social media and are still in the research stage, check out how Dr. Dorothy Mellon is conducting her own research before she jumps into the social media band wagon!
Over to you: How are you using social media for your practice?