You’ve just taken over an old healthcare practice in a new city where nobody knows your name.

You have no network.

Your practice barely has enough clients to scratch out the lease payments.

Your bills are burying you. And everybody out there is trying to sell you black hat SEO services that are bleeding you dry, but failing to deliver results.

How do you keep the doors open?

For starters, take a peek at Dr. Eric Hosaka’s social media playbook.

Back in 2009 when Hosaka, a fourth generation dentist from Peru, took over a faltering practice in Chevy Chase, MD, he needed to get found… fast!

The lack of a network was a challenge for sure. Yet Hosaka, armed with a business background, had a plan…

Rock the Social Media Scene

He took advantage of all web and marketing tools available to him and plunged into the social stream. “I just love technology and this whole notion of social marketing,” he explained.

The result? Hosaka quickly grew his practice and popularity.

He tapped into every relevant channel where he could invite people to engage in different ways:

  • Get dental care tips and updates on YouTube and on his blog
  • Share dental jokes and photos on Pinterest
  • Enter contests, participate in events, and chat with Hosaka Dental staff on Facebook
  • Give feedback and hangout on Google+
  • Learn more about the practice on LinkedIn

Dental-Tips

Yup, Hosaka was soon out of the shadows of anonymity and into the limelight of social networking. He was everywhere that prospects and patients hung out.

“Normally, dentistry is a practice where your patients will forget about you until they have a problem. So you have to stay top of mind by educating and sharing with them regularly.

With social networking, I can carry on conversations with my patients all year long. Not just twice a year when they come to see me. I’m more connected and closer with my existing patients, which is great.”

Roll with Google

Okay, so patients love him. But does Google? You betcha!

The variety of content (status updates, videos, blog posts, contests, tips, tutorials, etc.) shared across multiple platforms extended Hosaka’s reach, helped build his reputation as a trusted expert, and provided organic, Google-friendly traffic back to his site.

And because Hosaka and his entire staff remain active on the various social networks with frequent updates and interactions, the Google love keeps on growing.

Hosaka’s strategy for success is not specific to dentistry or just a fluke. According to the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSs), social media has become a big part of healthcare delivery and it’s here to stay:

  • People expect information from and interaction with their healthcare providers.
  • People are impatient. If they can’t access their doctors on social media to get the information they need, they’ll create their own communities or look elsewhere.

Reach Prospects and Grow

Ultimately, it comes down to making it easy for people to find what they need when and where they’re looking for it.

“I learned from public speaking to be loud and clear,” Hosaka said. “But the best advice came from my mom who told me, ‘Presentation ready on a tray, ready to consume.’”

What about you? Is your message presentation ready?

Aphrodite Knoop

Aphrodite Knoop is the founder of Epic Vision Marketing and works with businesses in the U.S. and abroad providing copywriting, content development, and ghostwriting services. Her work has been published online and off in various trade and niche journals. Areas of expertise include online business, healthcare IT, publishing, and social media marketing. You can reach Aphrodite at amknoop@epicvisionmarketing.com.