Social Media: Use It to Help Your Practice Beyond Marketing

Male and Female Physicians at Computer I recently came across a nice article on AMedNews.com entitled, “4 Ways Social Media Can Improve Your Medical Practice.” It offered four specific ways physicians can use social media in their practice to gain “business intelligence.” Let’s recap it here.

The article refers to two, large-scale studies that recently looked at ways social media can help achieve business goals beyond marketing. Overall, the studies showed that social media is a good way to find out what patients care about. In essence, physicians can “listen and learn” about what’s important to their patients in a very easy way –and learn about what their competition is doing.

Specifically, what four things can physicians learn?

1. They can discover needed services. By observing what is trending in social media, physicians can gauge what services are lacking in their community. And, they often can help identify disease “hot spots.” The article interestingly notes that smaller practices are often in a better position to respond to these needs, due to their flexibility.

2. They can improve customer service. While patient confidentiality should always be strictly observed on social media, the article says that complaining patients should be seen as an opportunity to respond appropriately. It allows the customer community to see that complaints are taken seriously and addressed immediately by the practice.

3. They can gather feedback on medications. When using social media, again, you don’t necessarily have to only refer to your own accounts. Physicians can use others’ social media to easily gather information, including information about medication side effects, among other things.

4. They can compare and improve quality. As mentioned above, one doesn’t only have to refer to his or her own social media for information. Viewing the competition’s social media can give a physician previously unavailable access to other practices’ services in their region and insight into how they run their practices. And, you can learn from their mistakes, too.

Tuning in to social media (your and others’) can be insightful for your practice.

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