How to Build Your DPC Brand and Attract New Patients Using Social Media
One of the most important questions new DPC practitioners have is, “how can I get the word out about my practice and attract new patients?” Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC led a session at Hint Summit 2D‘21 to address this question, emphasizing the importance of sharing how DPC practices serve the local community.
To create a thriving DPC practice, it’s crucial to build meaningful relationships with your members and find opportunities to engage with potential patients. There are several ways to spread the word, including press releases, paid advertising, online reviews, networking and speaking engagements. All of these options might sound overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to find more time to spend with patients, but the best balance between time, cost and quality, Dr. Thomas says, comes from leveraging social media.
Using a handful of social media platforms is a great way to keep your community informed on the latest in your business. More importantly, it allows you to engage with current and prospective patients to develop relationships with them. This technique is free and doesn’t have to take too much of your time, as long as you learn to incorporate it into your routine and build a steady cadence of content.
Where to begin
To get started, Dr. Thomas recommends picking a small number of platforms that best fit your audience. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all widely used and are typically the best options for DPC practitioners. When developing posts, keep it simple: take a few photos throughout your week using a phone with a high-quality camera. Then, set aside an hour each week to share this content across your social pages while weaving in storytelling along the way.
Don’t stress too much about what kind of content you’ll share. At Plum Health, they document their business-as-usual to share on social media, posting content such as business milestones and happy patients (with permission), as well as results of small medical procedures like laceration repairs. You might start with sharing pictures of staff, patients and the office. Remember, the key to reaching people on social media is to be consistent, authentic, genuine and sincere. Your followers are looking to find out what it could be like to be a member of your practice, so offer them a glimpse of that experience.
The benefits of social promotion
Believe it or not, social media has a direct part to play in the sales funnel. Potential patients can find you via social media. Your posts have the potential to create user interest in your practice and can, in turn, attract them to become a member. Those who have a positive experience at your office may even become advocates of your business, recommending it to their friends and family, therefore expanding your clientele. For current patients, social media posts also serve as a reminder that you’re available should they have any questions or concerns.
While social media is an excellent option for free promotion, there are other ways to get the word out about your practice if Facebook and Twitter aren’t for you. If your talents include public speaking or writing, you might prefer to host a podcast, write a book or start a blog. Sharing videos on YouTube is another way to show off your practice to the public if you want to develop visual content on a different platform.
Whichever model you choose, you want to keep the goal of driving traffic to your website in mind. Dr. Thomas emphasizes the benefits of sharing blog posts on your practice’s website in relation to your social media posts. Not only does this continue the narrative found on your social platforms, but it also allows you to incorporate keywords in the title and body of your blog post to maximize search engine optimization (SEO). For example, when Dr. Raquel Orlich of Plum Health received her board certification in obesity medicine, the practice shared the news on social media, along with a blog post detailing rates of obesity in Detroit, where Plum Health is located. By using keywords in the title, Plum Health has driven traffic from search engines such as Google when users research “obesity medicine doctors in Detroit.” Doing so has led to new members looking to lose weight and better their health.
Create the model for future growth
By building a presence on social media and your website, you can build your DPC brand to attract new patients and foster engagement locally. With your new following, you may even attract the attention of reporters and earn the chance to be featured in your local news! The more you spread the word about your practice, the more opportunities you will have to engage with, and serve, your local community.