As we think about our role in the world around us, we can easily identify that we are all unique individuals. However, when you take humans as a collective group, we have some patterning throughout our global society that can be decidedly predictable. While the surface of social proof looks like it may be a marketing tactic deployed to get customers to buy traditional products, social proof can also influence your patients! So let’s dive into some of the details of social proof and how you can use it to leverage your practice.
Social Proof 101
Now that you understand that we can predict and somehow influence people’s behavior to choose certain products (or, in your case, practices) over others, let’s take the next step. Social proof is a form of marketing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re actively pursuing customers. If you’ve ever been looking for a restaurant for dinner, but drive past an empty parking lot and think, “Wow, that place is dead, they must serve terrible food.” and then continued driving? Well, that’s a negative social proof experience. However, the inverse is also true. When you see everybody flocking to a single location, you may experience a fear of missing out (FOMO)!
While there are different scales of social proof, it is important to recognize that different marketing measures have different levels of success. Social proof can be thought of in almost the same vein as a personal recommendation — and those are more valuable than gold!
In the online world, we can think of social proof as to your reviews across all platforms. So, just how valuable are your reviews? Let’s break it down by ranking categories from highest to lowest.
- If your practice targets younger individuals (18-34), then recent studies suggest that 91% of these individuals trust online social proof as much as personal recommendations.
- 82% of people say that they value the opinion of someone close to them before they make a purchase.
- 70% of individuals look at online product reviews before they make a purchase.
All of these studies suggest that the people around them play a role in any purchase that they are making. How valuable do those recommendations become when your health plays a role?
Capitalize on Your Social Proof
Now that you have a general understanding of how social proof plays a role in your business, it’s time to figure out how to put social proof to work for your medical practice.
Break out the Reviews
If people value others’ opinions so readily, it’s pretty apparent to see that you need to be increasing the number of people that tell others just how great your business is. Many medical practices can do this by simply asking their patients to leave them reviews in key areas. You can e-mail the link, create custom QR codes that lead to that page, or offer specialized incentives or promotions to reward your patients for leaving you high-quality reviews.
Create a Blog
If you have a website, you’ve likely heard that you should create a blog. While you also recognize terms like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), that isn’t the primary focus of increasing your social proof via your blog. Instead, social proof is all about getting actual people (not search engines) to connect with your content. That means that your content connects with your audience and that it is easy to share. You can add buttons to quickly allow for social media sharing across a variety of different social media platforms. That includes Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other areas that your clients might use.
Improve Your Online Presence
This means that somebody within your organization is going to have to get down into the weeds. Interacting across social media can help keep your practice at the forefront of your current and potential patient’s minds. Keep regular posts that connect with your current patient’s needs. Podiatrists may consider specialized footwear to avoid slips and falls during the winter months. No matter what your specific industry is, you can find a following on social media that directly benefits your practice.
Finding the Time
Of course, not every practice has the staff or the expertise to optimize your online strategy. If you’re considering becoming more relevant in your community, consider collaborating with McDonald Content Solutions. We have the expert staff that you need to help create health content that connects with your future patients. Call us today!