Social media experts recommend you keep your audience engaged by posting on Facebook every day, on Instagram three times per day, and on Twitter fifteen times per day. That is a tremendous amount of content to generate on a regular basis to attract potential patients and to stay top of mind with your current patient base.
Posts featuring your doctor(s), educating patients about procedures or treatments you offer, and before-and-after patient photos are commonplace. However, one area that is often overlooked, are posts highlighting your team.
Creating posts that showcase specific members of your team is an excellent way to keep content fresh and to extend your social media presence.
Here are just a few reasons why you should consider featuring your team on social media and some examples from practices we think are doing it well.
1 - Recognizing Your Team Can Increase Employee Satisfaction AND Patient Satisfaction
According to Entrepreneur magazine, employee recognition lowers turnover, increases employee happiness, increases employee engagement, and increases trust.
With social media, recognizing your team and sharing accolades is easy.
You can highlight a specific team member, maybe on his or her work anniversary, birthday, on a day that celebrates their contributions like National Doctors Day (March 30) or National Nurses Day (May 12).
Austin Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Reston, Virginia commemorated National Nurses Day, with Instagram posts profiling all of their nurses.
View this post on Instagram
Happy #NationalNursesDay! A big shout out to all the amazing nurses here at the Austin-Weston Center. We are so thankful for everything you do 💕 Not pictured: Cat Bahumian & Erin Germain ▫️ austin-weston.com ▫️ 1825 Samuel Morse Drive, Reston, VA ▫️ Board-certified by the #americanboardofplasticsurgery
Not only will your team appreciate being recognized, but when you highlight the talented people working with you, you might find your patient satisfaction scores rising as well.
According to Mark Somol, founder of Zeal and an expert in employee metrics, “Employees who are passionate about their workplace are typically much more highly engaged. Passionate and engaged employees are your best customer advocates. Research shows that companies with very high levels of employee engagement can have 3x higher customer satisfaction ratings.”
You might worry about remembering every team member’s birthday. Luckily, social media platforms have scheduling either built-in or available as a third-party app like Hootsuite. Edgard Izaguirre, brand manager for Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, plans their social media campaigns for the entire quarter. “Things can be tweaked, but it’s better to be planned in advance,” he says. With these tools, employee appreciation posts can easily be scheduled for the entire year all at once.
2 - Posts Featuring Your Staff Almost Always Garner Higher Engagement
Posts highlighting team members consistently have a higher level of engagement on social media platforms.
Compare these two Facebook posts by Brinton Vision, in St. Louis, Missouri.
The first is a classic social media post that advertises their services in a creative way:
The second shares a childhood photo of one of their team members on her birthday.
The post highlighting a team member not only received more comments, it also received a much higher level of engagement with more “social reactions” (emoticons) as compared to simple “likes”, which translates into a higher ranking within Facebook’s news feed algorithm.
Other posts that garner a high number of “social reactions” include promotions, achievement, or life events. Take a look at this post from Belcara Health in Baltimore, Maryland:
Beyond “social reactions” and “likes”, posts like these are more likely to be shared beyond your social media feed and on your employee’s own personal feeds. According to the MSL Group, your employees are already networked to more than 10x the number of people on social media than your organization can ever hope to on its own. By spreading the message, you increase overall brand awareness and can reach more current and potential patients.
3 - Showcasing Your Team Alongside Doctors Can Make Potential Patients Feel More at Ease
As the saying goes, people buy from people they trust.
Patients need to feel comfortable with their doctor, of course, but some patients have difficulty connecting with their doctors. They might see an education difference, a class difference, a racial difference, or a gender difference, and these differences can be invisible barriers to building a trusting relationship.
However, there are likely many similarities between your team members and your patient base.
Highlighting members of your team in your social media is one way you can help build trust since patients may relate to your team more easily.
Plus, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, employees are judged to be more credible than their bosses. There’s an average of a 16 point gap between how much a consumer trusts an employee of a company and how much they trust the head of that company.”
All practices are very proud of their doctors, but highlighting other team members can make patients who look and feel different than the doctors themselves, more open to your team. Brand manager for Austin-Weston, Edgard Izaguirre says, “It’s always important to know the surrounding market and develop a campaign that they are receptive to.”
Izaguirre also notes that managing a brand is about connecting with the “human element.”
Photos and videos of your team put an approachable human face on your entire practice. Allie Watson-Fowler, Relationship Management Specialist at Belcara Health add “While doctors are the recognizable names and faces of a practice, our patients are primarily in contact with the other members of our staff, like nurses, patient advisors, and administrators. By featuring these team members on social media in addition to the doctors, patients can quickly and easily see exactly who it is they will spend their time with while in our office. Our existing patients love seeing the ‘behind the scenes’ staff like anesthesiologists and post-operative nurses who helped them after their procedure; we always get a good deal of comments on these types of posts, which also helps prospective patients to feel comfortable with the care they will receive at our center.”
4 - Build a Social Media Army by Turning Your Employees Loose
Satisfied patients are fantastic evangelists, but even the most satisfied patients will be thinking about your practice only occasionally. On the other hand, your staff members are thinking about the practice’s success (hopefully) every day.
FastCompany advises “Simply encouraging employees to share their company’s social media updates–when done properly–can dramatically expand a company’s total following, extending the reach and impact of its messages.”
Every “social reaction”, “like” and “share” on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn promotes the social media post in the respective system’s algorithm, resulting in higher rankings and more current and potential patients seeing your messaging.
High-profile brands like Starbucks, Zappos, and Southwest Airlines even train their employees to constantly share their work on social media, with rewards for who can get the most likes, views, and engagement.
This is not mandatory, of course. FastCompany continues: “To be clear, any employee social media program has to be voluntary. I’d even go a step further than that, however. For this process to work, employees have to actually want to share company news.”
However, it is an easy program to incentivize. You’re not asking for additional time, any more than the five minutes it takes to craft a status update. The occasional $5 Starbucks gift card for the team member with the most liked post this week goes a long way towards incentivizing the kind of behavior that will have immediate tangible effects in generating new prospective patients.
Word-of-mouth messages from friends and colleagues are widely seen as more relevant and trustworthy than social media blasts from corporate accounts; according to the MSL Group, “Brand messages are shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees vs brand.”
Think about it yourself: Which car dealership are you more likely to trust? The one running slick Facebook ads in your feed? Or the one where your cousin Debbie works, that she’s always talking about (positively) online? Naturally, you’d lean to the second choice.
You’ve always known that your team is the most indispensable asset By showcasing them in your social media posts, you are inviting potential patients to preview an integral part of their experience with your practice. You’re overcoming mental barriers to treatment by presenting relatable people. And you’re allowing your team to speak directly with more credibility than your official pages ever could have.