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Online Social Engagement Succeeds where Paid Ads Do Not

April 13th, 2014 | Social Media Networking

In the age of social media, your potential patients are far more empowered than they were ever before. The chances to influence their choices through traditional advertising have diminished increasingly. Instead of receiving one-sided guidance through paid marketing, potential patients are much more comfortable to listen to the experiences, online reviews and suggestions of others over social media and allow their decisions to be guided by them.

If your medical or dental practice must prosper in this new social environment, it is important that you recognize the changing preferences and growing empowerment of your target audience and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly. Traditional advertising is nothing more than a one-way communication that forces a self-serving message to the audience. Not only is this method of communication expensive, but it is also increasingly ineffective in an era when the audience has communication alternatives.

People expect you to engage with them more socially, and deliver more value in your communications to them. When you engage with your audience through social media platforms, unlike paid advertising, you are not expecting immediate returns. The goal in this engagement strategy is to build trust and goodwill and establish the authority of your healthcare practice in your area of expertise. The central focus of your communication on social media is the patient, and not you.

Your healthcare social engagement strategy must hold intrinsic value for your target audience. Blogging is a very effective way to achieve this goal. Numerous studies have shown in the past that businesses and professionals that blog tend to generate a lot more interest as well as sales from their target audience compared to those that do not. Once you engage with your potential patients over social media, you can be more involved with their thought process, goals, expectations, and needs.

Once you are fairly clear about what information or advice they need, you can fulfill that need through a personal blog or a column for a widely-read website, online publication or blog. The needs and preferences of the audience will change constantly. You can keep addressing these changes through innovative and informative blogs, articles, columns and videos.

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