When applying medical marketing strategies, it is necessary to be very careful not to violate any of the rules imposed by the agencies that regulate medical services, like HIPAA for example. Besides it, is important to consider other points that can make a difference when attracting patients and keeping them close.
Currently, one of the best ways to carry out good medical marketing, if not the best, is without a doubt through the internet. With the advancement of technologies and the increase in the number of social networks that have emerged, health professionals have obtained good results through digital marketing. However, so that you don't make mistakes when making your disclosures, we created a list full of very important tips for your medical marketing to work correctly and safely.
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When talking about what you can and cannot do about medical marketing, it is necessary to make two important observations. The first one concerns the prohibitions by the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The second concerns what marketing experts have to say on the subject. To make it easier, let's address the subject by making this division.
What is not advised to do
Publish patient photos
You know those "before and after" photos of the procedure that are great to post on social media? Despite having the objective to demonstrate the result of their work, they are expressly prohibited without the patient's consent.
As much as there are trained and renowned health professionals, it is known that each body reacts differently to treatments. Also, some treatments may not be 100% effective, and for this reason, it is not recommended that the health professional give any guarantees or any results to the patient or their families.
Publish that there are no complications in your procedures or that all your patients are satisfied also enter this list. In this same context, any type of advertising with designations, symbols, figures, drawings, images, slogans, and any arguments that might give the idea of guaranteeing results is also prohibited.
In addition to everything that has been mentioned so far, you can check further details regarding other medical marketing restrictions in our article "Social networks and health professionals: know the restrictions".
What Not to Do - According to Marketing Experts
Buy followers on social media
In theory, buying followers seems like a great technique to show potential customers that you are already well known, and that way you can pass on trust through social media. The problem is that in practice, buying followers can do more harm than good to your business, and there are several reasons for that.
First, showing that you have a large following on social media is not proof that you are a good professional. The second point is that generally the profiles used to follow your profile are fake profiles, with no profile picture and with "weird names" (usually written with random characters as they are robots). Let's say then that a future patient decides to snoop on their social networks to find out who their followers are. If you have too many purchased followers, he will come across these fake profiles and you will lose your credibility. But for real people to realize this, we don't have to go very far. If the profile has a large number of followers, but the posts gain few likes and few comments, that's enough to know that there's something wrong with this profile.
Another negative point in buying followers is that from time to time the platforms end up cleaning up these "ghost followers". Because these are fake profiles that don't interact with anyone, mostly on Instagram, so you would be wasting your money. In addition, the very fact that you have ghost followers in your profile already contributes to your posts having a smaller reach compared to real followers. This is because if you have a lot of followers but little interaction on posts, the platform understands that your content is not relevant and so you start to appear less in the feed of those who follow you of their own free will.
Ignore comments and messages on social media
When a person is willing to take the time to comment on your post, it's only fair that you reciprocate with at least one like. This is an attitude that as simple as it may seem, demonstrate that you care about your followers and not just treat them as numbers. Messages that are sent privately (on Instagram are called direct), also deserve special attention, because, through direct, the follower can request information about opening hours, and forms of payment, among others. But beware, it is forbidden to consult or prescribe medication through social networks, so it is necessary to pay attention to the answers you will give to the follower/patient.
And when the comment is a criticism? le must also be answered, preferably by inviting the person to look for it in the "direct" to resolve it privately. However, there is one type of comment that should be ignored, which are sworn words and bad words. (and yes, as much as you are a respected professional, people may appear making comments like this), because although the internet gives us many advantages, there are also disadvantages, and so-called "haters" are one of them. This type of comment must be deleted and the user properly blocked, as in general, comments like this come from individuals whose sole purpose is to spread gratuitous hatred. But before taking any action, remember to analyze whether the individual in question is a hater, just a person dissatisfied with the service.
Not tracking metrics and results
When we talk about metrics, we are referring to the performance measures that led to that result. Both on social networks and other websites, you can track your performance through statistics. Statistics can reveal very important information for digital marketing, because through them it is possible to collect some data about your followers, such as:
- Age and gender;
- Traffic source (ie how they got to your page);
- Posts from your page that were most shared by them, among others.
From this data, you can better target your content and find out where you can improve. If there is a certain type of post that is more successful on your networks, invest in more similar content; those that have not been so pleasing, you can discard. In addition, you can also target your content correctly to your target audience. For example, if you are a gynecologist but your publications are reaching more males, something must be changed.
So, did you like the tips? Keep following the blog to stay on top of more content like this. Are you a healthcare professional but do not yet use management software for your clinic or practice? Meet Ninsaúde Apolo.