Social Media is the New Yellow Pages

Social Media is the New Yellow Pages

Social Media Turns a Physician Listing into a Needle in the Yellow Pages Haystack

Finding a new doctor, despite the Internet, is still too difficult. I am surprised to find most doctors don’t use the Internet to grow their practice. I moved a little over a year ago and have been looking for a primary care physician ever since. I started where everyone does and asked my friends who they recommended. Four of them saw the same person and raved about her, so it was a “no-brainer.”

As I tend to do, I took my time in making an appointment, and while I dallied she left her practice and has not joined another. Now we’re all looking for a new doctor, and we’re having a difficult time.

Missing Out on Your Target Market

Last month, I turned 38, and I keep hearing about how my physical condition is pretty much a slippery slope from this point forward. I’m an upwardly mobile professional with a flexible schedule and great health insurance. I was raised to believe that preventative care and regular visits with a doctor are important. I am probably your target market… but I can’t find you because you don’t have a Web presence!

Finding a New Doctor

Let me explain what I mean by “find.” I’m not talking about the Yellow Pages. And yes, I did receive a few cards in the mail from one practice or another welcoming me to the neighborhood, but I found they smacked of desperation more than anything. The listing of physicians that have a partnership with my health insurance company is obviously important to my search. But when I say “find,” I am specifically looking for more than your name, phone number and location. I am looking for information that indicates you have a strong reputation and you’re open to sharing information, learning from others, and interested in having a dialog with your community.

I am interested in learning something about you, and I want to learn it on the Web.

Social Media for a Medical Practice

The use of Social Media can allow potential patients to find you by increasing your internet search rankings. It can also build your practice’s reputation, help both you and your patients stay up to date on credible industry news and information. Engagement and dialogue are becoming paramount in the way that people are making decisions. If you are not participating in the discussion, you will increasingly be overlooked.

So, while I continue my quest for a physician that I can get to know a little before making an appointment, I challenge you to consider what you can do to put yourself out there and invite a conversation with your community. And if you are part of the small percentage of physicians who have already headed down this path, I’m just sorry we don’t live in the same town.