As more and more users are turning to the web, it is vitally important for health practices to do the same. Social media is a great way to connect directly with prospective clients and gain a foothold into the community, thus increasing their online visibility.
However, there are an endless amount of social media platforms, ranging from giants such as Facebook and Twitter, to relatively niche platforms such as Foursquare. How can the health professional determine which platform best suits their practice?
Facebook allows businesses and individuals to create “pages”, specifically used to give voice to a product or service. One characteristic of the Facebook page is the “like” button, giving users the option to publicly promote your business. In addition, individuals are able to check into a location through status updates, an advantageous feature for health practices. As your Facebook page accumulates more activity, your practice’s social media presence will increase, alongside your online reputation.
While Facebook users can display their location to others, Foursquare makes this feature the main focus of its social networking platform. Integrating game elements, Foursquare offers scoring systems and the ability to become the “Mayor” of a venue. In addition to attracting new customers, health practices also have the option of keeping existing, loyal clients engaged with special offers. By claiming your business on Foursquare, you also have access to a host of data and monitoring tools, such as the ability to see recent visitors and when users are likely to check-in.
Twitter is a microblogging social media platform that constrains users to express themselves in 140 characters or less. Used by a variety of individuals around the world, Twitter can also be an effective tool in the health professional’s social media arsenal. Twitter can be used to interact with patients and answer common health problems, keeping them updated with the latest news in the health industry. As the practice accumulates followers, it can be a great way to notify clients of last-minute changes or upcoming events. Providing individuals with an immediate stream of information, Twitter is an essential tool for building a community around your practice.
This social networking site is popular with professionals worldwide. Health professionals are not exempt from the benefits of this tool, and can leverage LinkedIn to market their practice and connect with others. LinkedIn users are also able to join groups, which connects them to other like-minded individuals. There are hundreds of dental and healthcare-related groups, as well as an endless amount of social media groups on LinkedIn.
While the use of social media is important, these platforms require that the health professional is consistent and constant in their activities. Like any tool, social media is only effective when the individual utilizes it to its full potential. Don’t just set up the Facebook page or Twitter account and expect it to perform on its own. In order to see results, make sure that you stay on top of your social media strategy.
See on www.business2community.com