Nope, Social Media Isn’t the Magic Cure-All You Think It Is

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

Ninja or robber pointing at a smart phoneYou might be surprised to learn how often we get questions about social media. Medical practices—and sometimes larger healthcare providers—want our help to “fix their social media.” The problem isn’t the call; that’s a lot of what we do for professionals.

The core issue is that social media (SM) isn’t the bad guy, and not the real problem. We have a case of letting the treatment get ahead of the diagnosis.

The story usually unfolds like this…

Competition is increasingly intense, market share is slipping and/or, for whatever reason, the practice simply needs or wants new patients. The bright, shiny and omnipresent tool of social media, they believe, is the answer. After all, everyone at the coffee shop is actively using Facebook, Twitter or other popular platform. It must be the cure, so let’s jump on that bandwagon.

But when social media doesn’t produce the magic or explosive results they expect, they call us for help. (And, by the way, we welcome these consultative calls. We have a lot of experience in healthcare marketing and in fresh-perspective diagnosis of what works and what doesn’t work.)

For healthcare practices, most often, the primary culprits are:

Social media alone is fairly pointless. Yes, SM is popular and widely used. Although social tools play an important role in a complete marketing plan, it doesn’t work as a stand-alone cure-all. Social success is synergetic with, and supportive of, a strong Internet presence.

Social media without a website is an Internet orphan. Perhaps not surprisingly, social media calls emerge in situations where the provider or facility has a bad website. It might be a “set-and-forget” web presence that has never been refreshed or properly maintained. Or worse, it’s an elementary website that was hobbled together with limited resources or direction. (And then neglected.)

Please, if you have questions about social media or your Internet presence, please give us a call at 800-656-0907 today. Or you can begin with a no-cost marketing assessment that leads to a proper diagnosis.

And in addition, feel free to tap into the following related articles from our marketing library:

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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