Can you use Twitter to help manage negative reviews, enhance customer care, boost employee engagement, and attract those coveted 5-star ratings?
Yes, yes, yes, and YES.
If you’re one of the doctors or medical practice managers that has seen the light and realized the power of social media to reach your patients where they spend a LOT of their time, you’re ahead of the game.
Regular, ongoing communication with your audience can help solidify and build your patient base, expand your reach to colleagues, peers, and leaders in your specialty, and provide lasting benefits to your medical practice.
Below we’ll share 4 ways you can knock it out of the park on Twitter and start using it today to engage your patients, employees, and solidify your reputation online.
1. Know Why Twitter Matters
Social media has changed the way people communicate and interact with each other. Many people now prefer to read a text message or check their Twitter feed rather than waste precious minutes talking on the phone.
Twitter can provide your practice with an honest, real-time (free) barometer of how you are performing. The platform opens the pathways for your patients to celebrate and accentuate your successes, express their concerns, and provide valuable feedback on how to improve your overall quality of care.
Important note: As with Facebook and other social media platforms, you’ll need to show sound judgment and discretion vis a vis privacy and ethical standards, and be diligent to never “tweet” anything that would violate HIPAA standards and codes of conduct relating to patient privacy.
2. Develop a Twitter Strategy
If your tweets didn’t go viral right away, don’t sweat it. There is a logical and coherent way to build up your Twitter audience and expand the reach of your posts. Here’s how:
Invite Your Patients to Follow You
Once you are up and running on Twitter, tell your loyal patients about it. You can send them a direct message via Twitter or Facebook and invite them to “follow” your practice on Twitter.
Connect with Your Peers and the Media
Search for your colleagues and other doctors and researchers that you respect in your field. Follow them and retweet their best tweets. Engage in dialogues with local businesses, medical offices, associations, and nonprofit organizations.
3. Balance Your Content
The best way to increase your reach on Twitter is to have a balanced approach to the types of tweets and content you post. Here are some great ways you can use content on Twitter:
- Let patients know that you are running behind that day or that your phone system is down.
- Help spread the word about drug recalls, product alerts, and local healthcare emergencies.
- Take some pictures “behind the scenes” at the office. Patients and employees will love those spontaneous moments.
- Post videos, important resource links, common patient questions, and health facts.
- Tweet about topics related to your specialty. This will allow you to build a loyal following of patients and organizations that value the content you post.
4. Boost Customer Service and Enhance Reviews
Twitter has become a key channel for customer service. Major companies including Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Taco Bell have adopted Twitter to interact with customers.
Using Twitter responsibly to interact with your patients will allow you to boost the number of high-star reviews and transform potential negative customer service interactions into positives for future patients.
There are an infinite number of ways you can integrate Twitter into your medical marketing strategy. Be creative, but use the platform responsibly. As a healthcare practitioner, you take pride in the quality of care you provide to your patients – and your social media efforts should aim to do the same.
By Jennifer Thompson
Jennifer Thompson is co-founder and chief strategist for DrMarketingTips.com, a website designed to help medical marketing professionals market their practice easier, faster and better.