Raise your hands if you would like to know more about your doctor before you enter their office … and be able to further educate yourself after you have left.
You’re not alone !
Ok… who’s paying attention? Doctors are human beings… so are patients. Some people trust and get along with one another … some, not so much.
It would be nice if you were able to get to know more about your doctor before you entered the four walls of their office (and perhaps waited an hour to see them).
A typical “parking spot” style physicians’ website with purchased pictures, limited content, and their address and telephone number isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Physicians have a moral obligation to educate their patients. Patients are looking for information online. Some are being misled by nonsense information posted by disreputable sources! Physicians should, therefore, endeavor to create content and enter the digital and social space to educate patients. Think of it as extending your relevance and pushing out your shareable knowledge base beyond the four walls of your practice.
A deep digital presence can also go a very long way in terms of “humanizing your presence”, and enabling your patients to determine if they think you are a proper fit. After all… we’re in this together as a team. If one member of the team doesn’t trust the other… game over.
… patients don’t want to talk to a faceless, nameless entity; they want to sense the person behind it — the personal. They want to like and get to know you, not just interact with your business. Remember that emotions are everything — they always have been and they always will be. Without them we cease to be human and we cease to invest in the human race.
While the numbers of physicians who are developing a deep online presence is growing… very few physicians (and healthcare organizations) understand the complexities and dynamics which accompany a web presence rich enough to enable, engage, comfort and educate patients.
You are your brand. You can not separate your own voice from that of your brand. Powerful branding comes as a natural extension of a purposeful (perhaps altruistic) inbound initiative because of your presence.. and is simply icing on the cake.
Sarah goes on …
… it’s so important to acknowledge the fact that today’s patients, consumers and clients have the ability to communicate online all day, every day, sharing, tweeting and blogging about how they feel. Sentiment is oozing out of every post they make, and we should not fear it, but instead, embrace it as the new lifeblood of branding. The ability to listen and understand how our patients feel (whether good or bad), what is important to them and what their expectations are, provides huge opportunities for forming the emotional allegiances needed for enduring personal brand loyalty.
So what’s the dilemma? Adopting a new media presence to push your digital content and to enable patients to ‘meet” you on their terms represents a change… and change is painful and evokes a fear response in many. But change is necessary, and social media is not going away.
We need to be the change we wish to see… or in this case, the change our patients want to see.
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