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Social Media Mistakes Medical Professionals Should Avoid

medical socialWhen you run several social media profiles while running your medical practice, it’s easy for mistakes to happen. Furthermore, social media etiquette changes constantly and can be different for every industry. It can be difficult to know how to market your practice through social media without making blunders that can cost you new patients, or worse, get you into legal trouble.

The following tips will help you navigate the sometimes-tricky waters of social media marketing. For medical professionals, knowing the right strategies from the wrong strategies can be enough to propel your social media following forward. While these points are not all of the mistakes you could be avoiding, they certainly are a good start.

Inconsistent Posts

Many businesses make this mistake with their social media profiles time and again. They get very excited and post, post, post for several days. Then the enthusiasm dies down and their social media pages become ghost towns for weeks. Then they feel the spark again and go back to posting like crazy for a few more days. And while you might not be doing this on purpose, this kind of rollercoaster social media practice is bad for business, bad for your following, and bad for marketing. When someone subscribes to your Facebook or Twitter, they are doing so with a certain expectation that you’ll continue to post the same great content that got them to subscribe in the first place. If you stop posting consistently, lose track of the kinds of posts your followers enjoy, or post too often, you’ll put your fan base in danger as many users will feel tempted to unsubscribe. Instead of posting whenever is convenient or only when you find something important to say, try creating a calendar that can help you schedule what to post, when to post, and where to post it. Your calendar might change from month to month and you should experiment with what schedules work best for you and your following, but by staying on track, you’ll keep your followers interested while continuing to attract new clients, as well.

Inappropriate Patient Interaction

It can be tricky for medical professionals to interact with their patients through social media because there are many rules that can potentially be broken. However, other industries interact with their clients and consumers because it yields great results, builds brand trust, and fosters loyalty. So how can you bring the same elements into your practice’s marketing strategy? The answer is simple: keep your patient interaction appropriate. Client testimonials, for example, are great for marketing purposes. But if you want to gather testimonials from patients, do so privately and respect their anonymity. Don’t post their photos, don’t share their names, and don’t link to their social media profiles, unless you have explicit written permission. Also, don’t connect with you patients over your personal social media profiles. Invite clients to Like your Facebook page, follow your clinic’s Twitter account, and so on. Having them join the right profiles will still allow for the kind of interaction that can boost your reputation, but in an appropriate and legal way.

Giving The Wrong Kind Of Advice

In addition to appropriately interacting with patients, you might feel tempted to use your clinic’s social media profiles as a way of attracting new clients by showcasing your expertise. Well, first of all, this is a great plan! However, don’t be too candid with your posts and responses. If you write blog posts and receive comments and questions, by all means, respond to your audience. They want to feel included and by having their questions answered, they’ll be sure to come back. Answer their questions to the best of your knowledge, and even use their questions as a subject matter for future blog posts. However, you should stay away from using a platform like Twitter for a “Ask The Doctor” kind of forum. Prescribing medications, advising on ailments, and giving any sort of advice that can be misconstrued can be dangerous, both to the person and to your business. Instead, tweet about ways to stay healthy, comment on new studies, and promote some common tricks of the trade. This way you can still attract new followers by offering beneficial information, but you won’t cross the line while doing so.

Marketing your medical clinic can be tricky without a trained social media manager on-call. Many medical professionals struggle with knowing which marketing moves can be advantageous and which can be dangerous. But generally speaking, the whole point of social media marketing is to keep your followers steadily interested. As a rule of thumb, as long as you post quality content on a consistent basis, while keeping in mind that your followers might be your patients (and you should therefore interact with them appropriately and respect their privacy), you can’t do too much wrong with a Facebook or Twitter account.

Pete Wise is a Copywriter for 20/20 Institute, the leader in vision correction in Colorado. Their years of experience and top-rated doctors make their offices popular places to have your eye examined and get LASIK. Call for free information about the denver LASIK.

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