When you are ready to start using social media, I recommend starting Facebook and Google +. Start them only if your website is up and running…and in that order.
Social media platforms are great and very powerful, but if you are not ready for social media, no need to draw attention to a website that either doesn’t exist or is horribly stale.
Your primary reason for starting is to broaden exposure of your website, thereby marketing your practice…and to get indexed on local search. Both Google and Facebook have likely already indexed your office address as a local business. More and more, readers are using FB and GP for “local search,” that is, looking for doctors and other businesses while logged in to FB and/or Google Plus.
Setup Facebook First
Establish your Facebook first. It is the largest social media platform filled mostly with friends and family. Not only will you know many of your new “fans,” but, it will be much easier for you to find someone to help you get started. Starting will be less onerous! Chances are that someone in your own home or office can show how to get started.
Facebook is a great way to politely remind your friends and family the nature of your business and what type of medicine you practice. Most of us don’t like to “advertise” to our friends, yet most of our friends and family would indeed prefer to use our services because of our relationship. Your friends may be too bashful to ask you directly about talking shop or are too embarrassed to admit they forgot your specialty, but they can look you up easily on FB.
Set up a Facebook Page or claim ownership of a pre-existing page (sometimes you’ll find your business is already listed on FB). You don’t have to duplicate the information on your website, but do make sure you have accurate contact information. Second, make sure you have a link to your website.
Readers interested in becoming your next patient, as is true for all social media platforms, will find their way to your website. Your FB page (and other social media platforms) simply draw attention to you and your website.
In your office and on your website, ask your patients to visit your Facebook page and “Like” you. “Liking” you ensures that everyone who does so will receive all updates made on your Facebook Page. Also, the more likes a page receives, the more a business page will be displayed during local search.
Lastly, make sure Facebook Page is linked to an email address. Comments and “Like” notifications will be emailed to you so you an monitor FB without logging in!
What Do I Write on Facebook?
Announce your most recent articles posted on your website. You’ve already spent lots of time and energy writing some great content, now use your new social media accounts to share your stuff! As you gain confidence, you’ll want to add news about the office, media releases about health related events, etc.
The idea is to let people know about your office, the type of medicine you practice, you are willing to engage in social media and you have a website.
With time you’ll find others will take notice and will be following your postings on FB and GP.
To your successs!
Next time…Google Plus!
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization