Why Build an Online Community?
- To advocate for your patient community – whether that is rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, cancer, whatever.
- To connect – to engage with your patients beyond the door of your clinic. The doctor-patient dialogue must continue beyond the clinic for the optimal health of your community.
- To be a resource. Patients never get ALL of their questions answered during the clinic visit. If YOU don’t provide the information on your site, your patients will find it elsewhere – often inaccurate and misleading. BE their source of trusted information to optimize their health.
- Cost-effective marketing, branding. Helping your community builds trust, loyalty, and builds your practice – whether you are a one-doc shop, or a large hospital.
How to Build Your Online Community?
- Decide who the community is for
- Reach out to specific individuals, invite their participation
- Write about the people you want in your community
- Have conversations – communicate, engage
- Grow – consider a forum format
- Promote your community members
- Above all else, grow it slow!!
- Finally, unite your community – around a common disease, shared experience, or life goal.
Building your online community is part of your brand:
Be a great advocate for your patients.
Be a trusted source of reliable information.
Be connected to your patient community.
This will be your reputation – your brand.
Write a Blog. Organize a Forum. Send out Newsletters. Emails.
We can show you how.
The best online blog on the topic of Community-building is written by Richard Millington, at http://www.feverbee.com/
If you are serious about building your online community - either for your practice or for your hospital - Richard's blog is a great resource!