Friday, June 12, 2009

A Case for Social Networking

If you are considering adding a newsletter to your patient marketing plan, I would suggest you consider the power of social networking instead. The internet marketing opportunity that exists today with tools like Twitter and FaceBook are much too powerful to ignore. And frankly, looking at the cost, internet marketing is far more cost effective in terms of time and dollars as compared to the tired old printed newsletters.

Consider this, if you have produced printed newsletters in the past, at best you produced one on a quarterly basis. You probably cringed at having to sit down to produce a four page copy. The design is next, then the trip to the print shop. Once they have it, they print a proof to be reviewed and edited. Finally, you are ready to go and the final print run is underway. Now you get the final newsletter and it is time to stuff envelopes. Did you buy enough postage? How about patient addresses? When all is said and done you finally get the bill and the newsletter goes out just in time to start the process all over again. WOW!

Now consider the social networking opportunity. You hire someone to set the network up. Prinoro, Inc. charges a one time charge of $800 for this service. Now all that's left is to produce the blog. My experience shows that a blog takes only about 15 minutes to produce. Once your done, you simple click the "publish" button and the blog automatically goes out to your social networking foll0wers. The very nature of blogs is to produce quick, but relevant, information for your patients. I bet a day does not go by that you exam a patient and think, "more of my patients need to be aware of this condition." If this is you, and it probably is, then sit down for 15 minutes and tell your patients about it. If you can do this at least once per week, you are connecting with existing patients, relating to them and providing the consistent patient outreach most of you would like to have.

Today, patients are using the internet for all kinds of information. And, they do it on their timetable. Take advantage of this opportunity. I know your patients will appreciate it.


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