Summary: Except the marketing fraternity, social media has largely remained a detach subject for most of the professionals. Here in this post I have tried to highlight how social media tools can be of help for medical sector, epically the doctor fraternity, what tools they can use and how can they gain patient confidence.
It is important for doctors to market their service through all available tools / mediums and social media is one of the best tools in the present scenario. Here I have tried to list down various types of marketing tools used by healthcare professionals in the order of their importance:

  • Word-of-mouth
  • Public lectures or seminars
  • Being a visiting consultant with more hospitals
  • Featuring in media stories
  • Websites
  • Participating in free check-up camps
  • Giving lectures at CMEs
  • Social Media

The above comprehensive list gives a good amount of publicity for the doctors to portray their services to their customers (patients, media, doctors, etc). With the advent of new technology it has become much easier to inform patients, since the patient are also connected to these new mediums of communication and collaboration. Now looking at this scenario from Indian context the doctors are quite illiterate with these social media tools. They still think and believe in the traditional form of marketing i.e. Word-of-mouth. The new generations of doctors are to a large extent aware about new ways to market themselves.

Doctors now are aware about treating their patients, keeping a stock of disease awareness brochures in the clinic, are available on mobile and email, don’t mind debating with patients and updated with latest developments in d medical science field.

Social media through, freely available, but time has to be invested to understand, it is better to hire trained Social Media Optimization (SMO) consultants.

The SMO tool helps to create and design different pages and accounts on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube, Slideshare, Connect doctors, etc. Along with this designing clinic or doctor’s website is important. All these platforms collaboratively can help to reach out to communicate with patients on knowledge, case studies, scheduling of appointments, etc.

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