You’ve made sure you have the best equipment, the best doctors and the best support staff, but if patients aren’t walking in or making appointments to be seen at your urgent care clinic, you could find yourself closing your doors.
6,585 Healthcare organizations around the country are actively using social media to prevent this type of result, reports Mayo Clinic.
How can you join them and grow your clinic?
Hang Out Where Your Patients Hang Out
Out of the 3,371 hospitals identified by a University of Pennsylvania research, over 99% are active on Facebook, and have Foursquare or Yelp accounts. Almost 51% use Twitter, and about 59% are available on all 4 platforms.
But don’t just do what everyone does because everyone does it. Instead, analyze social media accounts of competing urgent care clinics and do some digging on Google to understand the ages, genders and locations of people who use your desired social platforms – as well as their needs from the platform.
Start a Group to Stay at the Top of Patients’ Minds
Start a group where your target audience can share its challenges and get tips. Initiate discussions that could help their daily lives, and have doctors available to answer questions when emergencies come up.
Don’t use this platform to constantly pitch your services. If every answer you give is “come to our urgent care clinic”, engagement will drop and people will leave the group. But if you provide actual value, your urgent care clinic will be the first they think of when they need your type of services. They’ll know that your staff is made up of experts, who are dedicated to group members’ wellbeing.
Offer Q&As with Doctors to Social Media Accounts You Don’t Own
Identify the top reasons people walk into your urgent care clinic, and look for groups and influencer accounts that serve these audiences: people dealing with diabetes or disabilities, pregnant women, etc. Similarly, look for local accounts focusing on a healthy lifestyle or nutrition.
Partner with them for live events, where your doctors can answer their audience’s most burning health questions.
Give Behind the Scenes Peeks on Social Media
There’s a reason ER was such a loved show for so many years. People lovemedical drama.
While you don’t want your medical staff focusing on social media when someone walks into your clinic with a situation that requires urgent care, you can have a social media professional broadcast “a day in the life of our clinic” on Periscope or Snapchat. Just make sure there are strict guidelines to protect patients’ privacy.
One way to do that is to host short live interviews with the medical and administrative staff, so you can show different perspectives. Broadcast the interviews throughout the day, or edit them together and upload the final video to YouTube.
Move Your Audience from Social Media to Your Email List
Social media platforms can shut down or change the rules whenever they want. To make sure the conversations you start on social media continue long term, give your followers a reason to join your urgent care clinic’s email list.
Run giveaways, offer free e-books or e-courses, or give new email subscribers a discount on their next urgent care clinic visit.
It’s time to take your urgent care clinic’s social future in your hands. To get started, choose a primary social media platform. Then, develop a strategy for promotions to run throughout the year. Based on that, develop an editorial calendar of supportive content.
Ultimately, build connections with complementing social media accounts, and offer partnership possibilities, so you can help each other build your audiences.
Mastering social media takes time but your audiences will come to know and love you for a unique and authentic voice. Life can get complicated and brands and clinics have a great opportunity to be there, in the same feed as family and friends, offering tips, advice, a heartfelt story, or a lighthearted moment.
Efforts in social media effectively build long term brand affinity and give you the opportunity to differentiate yourself in a highly competitive space. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to test different strategies until you find what works best for you!