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New trends to get your healthcare blog noticed 

New trends to get your healthcare blog noticed  | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

If your practice doesn’t have a blog — or you have one that’s not actively maintained — it’s time to make a change.

 

Spice up your doctor blog by experimenting with different post formats like interviews, how-tos, and personal stories.

 

More than half of marketers (55 percent) cite blog content creation as their top inbound marketing priority, according to HubSpot.

As a busy doctor, not having much time for healthcare marketing activities like blogging is understandable.

 

However, your competitors likely have a doctor blog, so you need one, too. Here’s a look at several different kinds of blog posts to help you get inspired.

 

Different types of healthcare marketing blog posts

1. Interviews (Q&As)

Captivate your patient base by sharing interviews on your practice blog. This type of blog post is great because you can do so much with it — i.e. interviews with you, your staff, and industry experts. 

 

Interviews will draw patients to your blog because they won’t find this unique content anywhere else. Marketing for doctors is all about educating patients and building trust, and this will do just that.

 

2. How-tos / Tutorials

As a doctor, you have a lot of knowledge that can benefit your patient base.

 

Imparting this in the form of tutorial videos is ideal because it can really help people.

 

For example, a dentist could share a video demonstrating the proper way to floss. Patients will appreciate the lesson you have to teach them, and if they find it especially valuable, they’ll share it with family and friends.

 

3. Personal stories / Patient case studies

When patients have a health problem, they often feel alone. This is why sharing personal stories — or patient case studies — is a great idea. A case study takes an in-depth look at an issue experienced by one patient or a group of people. 

 

This type of content is a valuable healthcare marketing tool because it really speaks to patients. Reading about your extensive experience treating an issue impacting them will encourage them to make an appointment.

 

4. News commentary

When a health issue impacting your patient base is in the news, patients want to know your thoughts on it. News commentary is great for healthcare marketing because it can boost your search rankings and highlight your specialized expertise.

 

For example, a family doctor might write a blog post on local measles outbreaks — i.e. what’s causing them and how to avoid exposure.

 

5. Reviews / Comparisons

Patients trust your opinion, so they want to hear your thoughts on the products they use. In fact, product recommendations account for nearly one-third (31 percent) of eCommerce site revenues.

 

For example, an ophthalmologist might share a review of a new brand of contact lenses or compare and contrast two popular brands. This adds value because it can help patients make an informed decision on the best product for their needs.

 

6. Video blogs

Some 96 percent of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, according to Wyzowl. 

 

The demand for video content is clear. Online marketing for doctors must engage and inform, so posting videos to your blog is an ideal way to market your products and services because it’s what people want.

 

7. FAQs

Chances are, patients ask you many of the same questions over and over. Turning this into a blog post — or several — is smart because there’s clearly a demand for it and it’s relatively easy for you to create.

 

Blogging should be an integral part of any healthcare marketing strategy. This is a savvy way to connect with patients and keep them coming back to your website on a regular basis.

 

Your doctor blog can bring tremendous value to your practice. Making time for it in your busy schedule might be a challenge, but it’s an investment you won’t regret.

 

Read More: https://www.patientpop.com/blog/marketing/content-social-media-marketing/5-article-formats-healthcare-blogging/

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When Doctors and Patients Are Facebook Friends

When Doctors and Patients Are Facebook Friends | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

When Kenda Ross's husband, Robert, has an excruciating arthritis flare-up or other urgent health issue, she typically calls the office of his doctor, Jen Brull. If she can't get Dr. Brull by phone, she sometimes tries another way—Facebook


Dr. Brull gets the messages on her smartphone and usually calls back quickly with advice. Once, when Mr. Ross's knee was red and swollen after a shot and Dr. Brull was traveling, she urged a visit to an urgent-care clinic to check for infection. "I know she's available, no matter where she is," says Ms. Ross, a 64-year-old retiree in Plainville, Kan.

As social-media tools become ubiquitous, doctors are finding a role for them in their medical practices. But Facebook, Twitter and other social media bring challenges and worries, as well as opportunities. Among the concerns: protecting patient privacy and maintaining appropriate boundaries between professional and social relationships.


Gerry Tolbert, a family physician in Florence, Ky., uses Twitter to communicate health messages, and occasionally some personal interests—like "Star Wars"—will surface. He likes relaying useful information broadly to patients and others, he says. But he never tweets about individual patients, not even anonymously, he says. "It's not my place to decide who gets to hear their personal story."

According to a survey published in 2011 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, 94% of medical students, 79% of residents and 42% of practicing physicians reported some use of online social networks, nearly all for personal reasons. Among the practicing physicians, 35% said they had received a "friend" request from a patient or family member—and 58% of those who had received those "friend" requests said they always rejected them.

A survey of physicians last May by Epocrates inc., which develops medical reference apps for physicians, found that 82% were using social networks to engage with other physicians, while just 8% were doing so with patients.

Saroj Misra, a Warren, Mich., family physician, saw a patient with a fracture last year and used Doximity, an online professional physician network, to send a question to a medical-school classmate who is an orthopedic surgeon. His friend suggested a certain type of splint and urged that the patient follow up with a local orthopedic surgeon. It took just "a few minutes" to get the advice via his smartphone, Dr. Misra says. "That is awesome."


Jake Varghese, a Cumming, Ga., family physician, communicates with patients digitally, using a portal and other tools provided by his employer, the Kaiser Permanente system. But he said he wouldn't feel comfortable "friending" a patient through his personal Facebook page. "It crosses a line" from a professional to a personal relationship, he says. "If I'm talking to them about their blood pressure, and they say, 'You went out to eat at so-and-so last week, should you be doing that, Doc?'—it takes a bit from that objectivity.


Dr. Brull, the Kansas family physician, says in her small-town practice she inevitably has social contact with many patients, and she's comfortable with having those who are her friends offline also becoming Facebook friends and seeing updates about her family and professional life. Plus, it's an easy way for certain patients to reach her, she says. "It fits the way I like to practice," she says. Like other doctors, though, she says she won't send answers to health questions via social media for privacy reasons.


Mark Ryan, a Richmond, Va., family physician, doesn't mind if patients follow his Twitter feed, which sometimes reflects his views on political issues related to health care. He wouldn't spontaneously bring up his policy opinions in the exam room, he says, but if patients choose to seek him out on Twitter, it is their choice. "They may or may not agree with it, but at the end of the day, I don't think they could point to anything and say it was unprofessional," he says. "Physicians need to be actively involved in our communities."


Patients can reach Jen Brull, a Plainville, Kan., physician, by Facebook message.

The American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs published guidelines in 2011 suggesting doctors need to "maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship" online and to consider separating professional and personal content online.

Some doctors say they connect with patients in ways that are completely separate from their own personal lives, and they sometimes see benefits. Pamila Brar, who practices in La Jolla, Calif., focuses on health advice and information in her tweets and on her Facebook page. Sometimes she learns something useful about her patients. One patient mentioned in a Facebook post that he was waking up a lot at night to use the bathroom, which he hadn't shared with Dr. Brar at his physical exam. Dr. Brar followed up by phone and eventually prescribed treatment.


Wanda Filer, a York, Pa., family doctor, connects with some patients via LinkedIn, and she tweets to followers who include many fellow doctors. Her Facebook page is dedicated to health topics, and she doesn't post personal information. Still, she once learned via a LinkedIn update that a patient had been in the hospital. "I gave her a call and said, 'Maybe we should make an appointment,' " Dr. Filer says. "It was fortuitous."


Social-media issues are getting more attention from medical schools, which are starting to teach about social-media standards and regulators. A survey of state medical board officials published last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine highlighted several hypothetical situations they might target. Of most concern were physicians who posted misleading information about clinical outcomes, misrepresented credentials, used patient images without consent or contacted patients inappropriately—the same kinds of behavior that typically draw scrutiny offline, said S. Ryan Greysen, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco. The article said several scenarios were based at least partly on actual incidents.


The Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline in 2011 reprimanded an emergency-room physician who posted about her clinical experiences on Facebook. Though she didn't identify patients by name, readers were able to identify one of them because of the nature of the injury. "There's no business for protected patient information on Facebook, period, the end," said James McDonald, chief administrative officer for the Rhode Island board. "Social media isn't meant to be the exam room." The physician didn't return a call seeking comment.

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