Today’s blog post comes from WebPT copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.

Like us! Follow us! Nowadays most clinics have a Facebook and/or a Twitter. With everyone vying for customers’ attention on their newsfeeds, how do you stand out? How do you make your posts, tweets, and page more than just standard business promotion? Let’s talk about impact, emotion, and education. This week, we’re discussing four ways to use social media beyond the standard and instead, use your online presence to market yourself and the profession.

This week we’ve talked thought leadership, promotion, and feedback. In this fourth and final installment, let’s talk getting into the trenches with your fellow users.

Be One of the Users
Be a person first and a business owner second. While the face that you present through your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and/or Pinterest accounts should always remain unfailingly professional, it’s important to find and use your own voice. Your consumers will relate to and therefore trust you much more as a human instead of a company. So how do you successfully achieve this? Be relatable, be honest, be humble, and most importantly speak in a way and about topics that your consumers are interested in hearing. What that ultimately means is be one of the users, one of the people, a member of the community.

As much as it is essential to share content, it’s also vital to participate on others’ social media pages and blogs. It’s the best way to generate traffic on your page. After all, social media is about dialog, community, and reciprocity. Interact with others; participate in their discussions; give insight and feedback. In return, you get traffic and engagement on your own pages.

Another way to be one of the users? Listen. Use conversations on social to gather feedback on treatment. In an article on amednews.com, Pamela Lewis Dolan reports that “Jared Rhoads, senior research analyst with CSC’s Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices, said feedback on therapies is one of the most valuable uses for social media—and possibly one of the easiest to facilitate.” Use Twitter to learn about patients’ opinions on treatment plans or alternative therapies. You can also use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social sites to stay current on research and published studies supporting evidence-based practice.

be a person first and a business owner secondYou can also benefit from your user status. In an article on KevinMD, Lauren Chasin, MD, encourages medical professionals to use social to talk to each other: “With forums such as Twitter, physicians can communicate [in] real time with each other to discuss current practices and share experiences. To me, this is invaluable in a time where the amount of useful information is inversely proportional to the amount of actual information available.”

Of course, all this dialog is great, but it has to be two-way. So make sure you have the time to talk (and post, like, and comment) before creating your social media profiles. The only thing worse than an absent social media site is an inactive one.

Now that you have these four pointers—thought leadershippromotion, feedback, and community—(did we miss any?), run with them! And be sure to let us know how it goes. We’d very much so love to feature your practice’s marketing experiences here on our blog.