When you Google “Doctor Steven Park,” you don’t go straight to online review sites about him. Instead, you go to the content he himself has created: his own website, a YouTube video he posted, his book for sale on Amazon, and so on. A key for this is frequent blogging, which he said he can keep fresh with an investment of just 30 to 45 minutes a week. His blog posts are automatically posted to all his social media sites with no extra time expended on his part. “Blogs are so powerful in terms of helping you drive up your search engine rankings,” he added.
Explore This IssueDecember 2015
Steering web traffic to your own content is far more effective than obsessing over online reviews, he said. But if you’re considering “stuffing the ballot box,” as he puts it, with a bunch of anonymous favorable reviews about yourself, think twice, he said. “Don’t do it, because people will figure it out,” he said.
Richard Thrasher III, MD, managing partner at an otolaryngology private practice in McKinney, Texas, said he’s proof that use of the web can help drive a practice’s business.
Using social media has been an enormous boost to his practice, he said. Part of the beauty of it is that it is so malleable. “You can tailor social media,” Dr. Thrasher said. “You can tailor the Internet; you can tailor all of your different activities online to go along with whatever your background is. There’s no one formula that’s successful all the time for everybody.”
Like Dr. Park’s, Dr. Thrasher’s blogs are a big part of what drives traffic to his website, which now gets 66,000 hits a month. He noticed a spike in traffic when he started posting blog entries, and saw dips at times when he took breaks. Those dips also led to a slower rate of growth in the number of patient visits, he said. He also uses tools to make posts to social media sites at certain times of the day, for optimal timing.
It’s important to remember that no matter how skilled you are at using social media, you still need a good product to market. “You have to have a brand,” he said. “And what I want to emphasize is [that] your logo is not your brand. Your brand, as a physician, is an experience. It’s the patient’s experience. Whatever that patient walks out of your office with, that’s going to be your brand.”