Social media is one of those areas of the digital world where people have strong feelings. Whether you think Facebook is the end of the world or is the be all end all, your patients are using it, and so should your practice.
This needs to be outside your personal thoughts about social media and today’s world. That’s why at Advice Media we’ve long advocated for our client practices to be active on the social media platforms your patients and potential patients are using.
Not to confuse these social media pages with any personal pages — these are pages for your practice; they have nothing to do with any personal posts from you or your team.
Just like any aspect of your practice, with social media you need to be cognizant of the customer service you are delivering within the platform. What’s the use of a practice Facebook page if you never post anything and if you never respond to user posts?
Whether your practice is on Facebook and YouTube only, or whether you’re on everything from Instagram to LinkedIn to Twitter, customer service and engagement is critical to making these platforms work for your practice. In this second toasty blog of August, let’s get into some steps to help you step up your practice social media customer service.
Why social media?
First, let’s get into why we feel strongly that your practice needs to be engaged in the social media universe. Sure, you’re running a medical practice and it can seem trivial to run a photo caption contest on your practice Facebook page, but your patients love it. It allows them to see a different side to your practice.
Social media gives you the chance to toot your own horn when you acquire a new laser, for instance, or when one of your surgeons is presenting at a conference (be sure to link to any video!). It allows you to let your practice hair down, so to speak. You can be more casual and open. You can introduce staff members and show their outside interests. And it allows you to do some free marketing. Have a special coming up next month with Restylane’s new lip filler, Kysse? Put it out there on your Facebook or Twitter feed with a couple before and after photos, and watch the comments come in.
Social media interaction is also valued by Google. Active engagement boosts your site’s ranking in organic search. Sometimes a practice’s social media page can actually rank on the first page of organic search results.
Some steps to take with your social media customer service
But if you have these pages, you need to be active on them. This comes both from your side, posting regularly with engaging, interactive content, and responding to activity coming from users/fans of your social media pages. That’s really where we mean customer service. Here are a handful of tips to up your customer service on your social media pages to reap the benefits of engagement on these platforms.
- Make customer service and customer interaction a facet of your practice. You’re more concerned with staying up to date on procedures and maintenance of your facilities, but customer service in the form of social media management needs to be a part of your business plan.
- Monitor everywhere your patients are commenting. Wherever they are, so too should you be. Make sure you set it up so that you are notified every time a comment is made on your social media outlets.
- Respond quickly. People posting on social media expect speedy responses. After all, this isn’t a “Dear Sir or Madam” letter from the old days. Your responses don’t need to be the same day, but surely by the next morning.
- When you reply to a complaint, the initial response should be out there for all to see, in public. This shows the world you’re addressing the complaint and you care about the problem. Once you establish that initial response, then take the back-and-forth private, maybe on email or Facebook Messenger. Once you resolve the issue, go back public and comment on the initial post, thanking the patient for the feedback and the opportunity to make it right.
- Respond to everything. If a patient posts a picture of her cat saying it looks like Fluffy just had blepharoplasty, post a comment on it. Good customer service on social media involves continually participating and engaging with customers. The more the merrier!
Social media is so…social. And it demands constant attention because your patients expect it. Do it well, and you’ll strengthen relationships and foster long-term loyalty. And isn’t that really the goal? After all, most of your patients aren’t just going to have one procedure in their lifetimes.
Do you have questions about how to manage your social media pages? Call your Advice Media representative; we’re all ears! And if we’re not helping you navigate the social media world, why not? Fill out a contact form, and let’s talk.