4 Best Business Techniques for Online Orthopedic Practice Marketing

Practice Management

Here are four techniques for successful internet marketing of your orthopedic practice.

1. Create pages and applications on Facebook. If your practice is looking for ways to connect with current and potential customers to increase retention, word-of-mouth referrals and gain new patients, social media is an inexpensive, direct way to do so. However, the world of social media is new, vast and can be overwhelming, so it is crucial to develop a plan before embarking on social media outreach. Identifying your target audience, finding out what social media platforms they are using and strategically entering into their conversations through applications and advertising is the best approach. It’s also critical to budget time within your workweek to manage the content and allow the project several months to grow. Assign an office manager or hire an outside marketing agency to assist in the planning and implementation of social media strategy.

From "500 Million Potential Patients on Facebook: Why Your Practice Needs Social Media."

2. Build physician profiles and links on the practice website. The website should include surgeon profiles stating their credentials and professional affiliations so the patients know their surgeon's qualifications. If the surgeon has a professional website or Facebook page, the website should link to those locations as well. "We want to link up the site with the doctor's sites and other key sites so patients can find them easily," says Bill Rabourn, founder and managing principal of Medical Consulting Group. The number of surgeons with personal websites or connected to Facebook has been growing in recent years and patients often seek out these pages to become comfortable with their surgeon before the procedure. "Facebook pages are something that's relatively new, but we really encourage the physicians to use it," Mr. Rabourn says. "They don't have to be the ones who manage their Facebook page, but it's an important business tool."

From "6 Essential Elements for Surgery Center Websites."

3. Use social media to interact with patients. Social media needs to remain a two-way street. After all, that's what sets it apart from traditional websites. On his blog, David Geier, Jr., MD, is an orthopedic surgeon and director of sports medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, responds to patients' questions. Through a disclaimer, he clarifies that his response contains general information rather than a specific diagnoses or individualized treatment advice. Those who submit questions know ahead of time that Dr. Geier may feature them in future blog posts. He also encourages people to reach out to him via Twitter and e-mail, and shares the locations of his practice.

From "5 Ways Orthopedic Surgeons Can Improve Their Social Media Presence."

4. Promote the website in the office. Practices should have information about the website available in the office waiting room and physicians should encourage their patients to explore the website after each visit. Driving patients to the website will increase the practice's exposure and give patients another way to interact with the practice. Patients who have a good experience with the practice's website are likely to remember it for the future. "You can't just build the website and have it work," says Ted Epstein, Director of Sales at Medical Web Experts. "You have to promote it in the office."

From "5 Essential Features of Orthopedic Practice Websites."

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