When you have a waiting room full of patients, stacks and stacks of labs to review, letters to sign, statements to send out, insurance claims to process, and 100’s of phone calls to answer (with patients that need more info on their condition, prescription refills, prior-auth request, insurance forms to fill out etc.) is there any good reason to jump on the social media bandwagon if it isn’t going to give me a return on investment.
Most, if not all medical practices are burden with an immense amount of work and are staffed as thin as can be. Thus, adding yet another task, like Facebooking (I think I just made up a word) and Twittering to the mix just doesn’t seem feasible if I can’t see tangible return… right?
Many social media initiatives are non-measurable and if not done with a specific intent, can be a huge time waster. But if you think about it differently, and have clarity in the matter, you might find it very valuable.
I approach our social media efforts like a hotel concierge service. A hotel concierge doesn’t really provide a tangible ROI to the hotel. The concierge doesn’t sell anything, really. But the benefit the concierge desk provides to guest is immensely valuable.
- Our social media efforts accomplishes among other things:
- Maintain a conversation with our patients (engagement)
- Keep our patients informed of pediatric related news or practice news
- Directs patients to good, reliable sources of online information
- Provides additional insight to potential patients about our practice, our office and more important, our docs.
- 6. Gives the practice a personality
Let’s say a patient is looking for a peds office, comes across our webpage and sees the usual stuff a medical office webpage has. Then decides to Google our name or my doc’s name and finds we have a Twitter and Facebook account. She checks out Facebook and sees how we engage with our patients, how we answer questions, what type of feedback we provide and resource among other things. Compare that to the medical office down the street that just has YellowPage.com listing. Waste of time? I think not.
The truth is, we do a lot of stuff for our patients and their family that don’t have a ROI on investment (what is the ROI for the your landscaping?), but that doesn’t mean our efforts are in useless or ineffective.
Social Media in a medical practice gives you the opportunity to be involved with your community outside of the practice. Moreover, it can also serve as an extension for the practice by solidifying the practice as a trusted source of information online. And lastly, it serves a marketing opportunity. Surely there is ROI in all these things.
What are your thoughts? Am I off the beaten track or do you see value in social media?
Image via: http://technmarketing.com