By BETH RUDLOFF,
Innovation Executive, MedSpeaks
When you are ready to build your social media presence, you will need to develop content. If you aren't as comfortable tweeting off the cuff like Donald Trump is, you will want to spend some time developing a strategy. So how do you create content that doesn't get you in hot water but is also interesting enough so that you develop a following?
John Nosta, President of NostaLab and member of Google Health Advisory Board states, "Social media means that you must recognize that there is a social aspect (for example saying thank you to a patient for a follow), that is integrated with media that can be more traditional information sharing."
Content is the way potential customers will get to know you before they decide whether or not to make their appointment. Content needs to reflect your personality as a physician and draw people (potential patients) to dive in deeper to get to know you and your brand. It is important that you don't use a generic service but create personalized content.
Three points that you will want to remember as you develop content:
Clear - Before you post, think about what you are trying to communicate. If you have an area of expertise, most of your posts should reflect that expertise. If you post about random topics, your message will become muddied. "It does not always need to be about medical care. You can borrow fun facts from related areas to enhance the conversational tone of social media; for example, if you have a practice that is mostly about cosmetic surgery, you may want to include posts about fashion or art," according to Nosta. Decide on your top areas you want to be known for, and keep it in mind every time you post.
Concise - The beauty (or curse) of Twitter is its 140-character limit. You must be concise in making your content known. There are statistics that state that 80 percent of Facebook users don't open a post or turn the sounds on the videos. Therefore, your post needs to either be able to be read from the summary or tweet people are scrolling through or interesting enough for clicking through to your website (not an easy task!).
Creative - Social media content is not like writing a research paper or scientific presentation. It needs to be well written and understandable for potential patients so that they can get to know you as they decide with whom to seek medical care. "Craft the content very carefully. Avoid inundation of generic, mundane information but focus on ways to makes it unique, with wording, like Top Health Tip of the Day," said Nosta. Talk about breaking medical news in your specialty, or common medical problems in your geographic area that relate to your practice in a conversational manner.
If all of this seems overwhelming to you in the midst of running a busy practice, you may want to contract out for these services with a company that can develop content customized for you.
"Content marketing can help already established experts become wider known for their expertise...it is not what makes them an expert. The content marketing pieces is what helps them become known a little wider than perhaps might have been known today," according to Christoph Trappe of Authentic Storytelling.