Why Social Media Is Essential For Your Practice

Author(s): 
Rem Jackson

What does social media have to do with practicing medicine? Nothing. You could ignore social media and the Internet, and still practice podiatry just as effectively as you always have. However, at some point in the future, you will be practicing podiatry less often and with fewer patients. I don’t make this point to be confrontational or arrogant. I make this point because it is a fact. It is important for you to know and understand why social media is important to you and your patients.

   Do not judge social media by your own behavior. It is entirely possible and highly likely that you have never blogged, tweeted, posted, retweeted, pinned an image or done anything remotely close. It is also highly likely you have had some minimal exposure to social media and found it to be boorish, possibly vulgar, ridiculous and irrelevant. If this is close to your experience, it is understandable that you can find no connection between this activity and your podiatry practice. It is understandable but you would still be wrong.

   Why would you be wrong? Every day, thousands of people who live within 20 miles of your practice are communicating on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more social media outlets. They are doing this hundreds of thousands (actually millions) of times in a week. This is part of a fundamental transformation in the way in which individuals share information. This transformation is accelerating and will continue to be pervasive in the future. Something is happening before our very eyes on our smartphone screens. The human race is sharing information in new and powerful ways, and social media is at the center of this behavior.

   “OK,” you say. “Let’s say that is all true. I see all the little icons in the newspaper and on television. I see it at Dunkin Donuts. So what? I still want to know why that involves my podiatry practice.”

Connecting With Thousands Of Patients Within 20 Miles Of Your Practice

Your podiatry practice is filled with people who are communicating like they never have before online and in social media. More of these people are women and, as a marketer of podiatry practices, I can tell you it is all about the women. “She” is the caretaker of her health, her husband’s health, her children, his and her parents, literally everyone in her life. We always market to “her.” We always speak to her because she is listening on social media. She is asking questions, researching, keeping lists and making appointments for podiatrists.

   If I told you that I had a software program that would connect you to thousands of perfect patients who lived within 20 miles of your office and that I could create a referral network that was robust, active, dynamic, and highly profitable and it only cost $10,000 a year, many of you would be interested in buying it. That is precisely what social media is and the cost to purchase is zero. It is free. I know it sounds crazy but nobody knows how to charge you for it and it is going to stay free.

   However, nothing in life is free or very little is, right? The cost to you is time and effort. The good news is that it does not have to be your time or your effort. The even better news is that a well designed and executed online and social media marketing plan for a podiatry office will produce significantly more revenue (bottom line profits) to your practice than the investment you will make of having someone who does understand this implement it for you.

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