How social media brands your physicians
Physician branding goes beyond traditional advertising and involves an ongoing effort to demonstrate excellent patient communication and healthcare knowledge in the public forum. It’s about meeting consumers where they are, and putting your best foot forward.
Hospitals doing a great job with social media are maintaining active accounts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to engage the public. LinkedIn can also be used to position your doctors as industry leaders and connect with other healthcare organizations and insurance providers.
Whichever social media channel you choose to focus on for physician branding, be sure to stay proactive rather than simply setting up the accounts and waiting for patients to engage. Hospitals need to think long-term with social media; these channels are best used to communicate your value to the public so that they think of you when they do need care.
Why physician branding is so important
Over time, branding on social media creates competitive value for the hospital. In today’s marketplace, some patients will stay with the closest or cheapest medical care, but the patients you can potentially bring in are those who perceive substantial value from an experience with a knowledgeable, sought-after physician. Beyond the doctor-patient relationship, physician branding also helps move the hospital forward as a leader in the eyes of partners and colleagues.
Specifically, social media content helps hospitals in these key areas:
- Staying top-of-mind. More than ever, doctors need to be visible and strongly associated with their areas of practice.
- Cultivating a voice of authority. Doctors using social media can become authority figures in their town or within their expertise. By offering guidance, tips, and thoughts on medical news, the physician becomes a reliable voice.
- Building an online presence. With new patients beginning the search for medical information online, physician branding through social media puts you higher in the search results because you are creating unique content on popular sites instead of relying on your home page.
- Fostering a strong relationship with insurance providers. With a constantly evolving landscape in the insurance industry, hospitals with competitive advantage will always have leverage when building insurance relationships.
How leading hospitals are succeeding on social media
A few hospitals lead the way on social media to show how physician branding can demonstrate value and engage the public. Here’s how they’re doing it:
- Mayo Clinic. Through the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, this iconic hospital uses cutting-edge marketing efforts to stay ahead of the game. The most popular of its kind on YouTube, the Mayo Clinic is also approaching one million Twitter followers. They succeed by promoting unique, original, helpful content on a range of medical and lifestyle issues.
- MD Anderson Cancer Center. This leading specialty hospital in Houston creates narrative videos on YouTube that garner massive public attention, while other videos focus on physician branding with individual doctors discussing their latest advances. The result is a YouTube account with millions of views that mix industry-leading advice and news with promotion of top physicians.
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In the competitive Boston market for healthcare, this hospital stands out amongst respected peers by engaging social media like Facebook, where the brand shares local and national news and health advice with a five-figure following.