Much like when websites grew in popularity and became a must for most medical practices in the early 2000s, social media has grown dramatically in popularity over the past two years. Social media has grown from something that people were interested in, but unsure of the value, to something that medical practices need to get involved in.

Whether you are a plastic surgeon, physician, dermatologist, medi spa/salon owner, cosmetic dentist, or operating any medical-related business, here are some tips to help your practice stand out using social media:

1) Utilize a blog: I recommend creating a blog as an extension of your website. It can be a page within your site, a sub-domain or a completely separate domain, but it needs to match (or somewhat match) the look of your website. Try to incorporate the navigation strucure on the blog so that people reading can easily link back to your website. More importantly, you need to use the blog at least a few time a month. Write articles, optimize them and syndicate them to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit and Delicious. The optimization is key as you want your articles to mirror questions, concerns and tips patients are looking for.

2) Promote review sites: Notice I didn’t say get set up on review sites because that’s not enough. You need to actively promote the review sites to your patients. Consider sites such as:

  • Yelp
  • Google Places

Make sure your profiles are completely set up and accurate. Then your job is to promote these sites and make it as easy as possible for people to leave reviews. Consider creating a work station with a computer in your office where patients can leave a review before they even leave the office.

3) Set up & custom brand your social networks: You need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Furthermore, you should try to use the same name for each network. All three social networks also allow you to customize your page look with your logo, colors and other text. I highly recommend this as it extends the branding our your practice and give it a more professional look.

4) Be active & promote your social networks: Make sure you have a message going out at least every other day on Facebook & Twitter. The key is to not be overly promotional, but provide a lot of value in terms of advice and tips. With YouTube, aim to add at least one video every monthly or every other month. The videos can simply be the doctor speaking about a procedure or interviewing a happy patient.  More importantly though, just like the review sites, you need to actively promote your social networks. Have signs plastered throughout the office, promote them on your intake forms, promote them in email marketing or newsletters. Give people a reason to find you on Facebook or Twitter too, and that can be a simple discount or promotional giveaway.

If you follow the steps above you’ll have a very solid foundation for improving the visibility of your practice, not only on search engines but also with current and former patients. If you have any questions about how to get set up on or utilize a blog, review sites or social networks then contact Turbo Social Media today, or call 877-673-7096 x2.