In today’s challenging environment, it’s important to make your COVID-19 patient communications beneficial. One glance at your email shows that messages have moved from none to over-communicating within a couple of weeks. Useful information is something your patients appreciate. In addition, you differentiate yourself from others. Here are some actions to consider.
COVID-19 Patient Communications on Google My Business (GMB)
Most people find your information via a Google search, so it’s important to optimize your Google My Business listing. In fact, BrightLocal just released a survey showing GMB as the most valuable local marketing tool. Yet, this an area that many people rarely review. Check this information:
- Hours—If you have changed your hours during the coronavirus pandemic, update your new schedule.
- Description—A short message may be noted in your description. If it is longer, consider the Question/Answer feature on GMB.
- Appointments—This link typically goes to “request appointment” on your website. Update that website page with information about scheduling appointments to make it easy for patients to find.
- Posts—Support for local charities and resources is always helpful. Links to online events, specials, etc. are also beneficial for your audience.
- GMB Features—Ensure that your information is listed in Google My Business. Check your services, procedures, products, pictures and other information. Likewise, look at your GMB insights for the best keywords.
Social Media Coronavirus Communications
Because work commutes and social activities have decreased (if not stopped), people are home more. Sports, concerts and most get-togethers are canceled. Thus, post information on social media that interest people.
- Resources—Follow local news and groups to reshare information on community resources.
- Videos—Many people have time for research right now. Record short videos on a product, procedure or surgical results. Facebook also offers watch parties.
- Entertainment—Many celebrities are performing one-person concerts, cooking tips, recipes, etc. Sharing general information can bring some light into someone’s day.
- Pictures—Every social media post needs a picture. Most links automatically add the picture on the page. If you don’t have a picture, make one or search for a “free” picture on Google.
Update COVID-19 Patient Communications on Website
Current and potential patients expect to find information on your website. Make sure a link and/or information is visible (no scrolling) on your home page. Possible information includes:
- Updated Hours—Add temporary hours and/or any plans to close your office on your website.
- Appointment Guidelines—Most medical practices have specific rules for appointments to communicate.
- Blogs—This is ideal for sharing links on protecting families. In addition to local information, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have a wealth of information to which you can link.
When to Send an eBlast
Inboxes are filled with communications, so many of us are on info overload. Because most of these eblasts have no value, we’re deleting them without reading. It’s important to stand out.
- Significant—Avoid regular eblast schedules. Send information only when you have something beneficial to your patients.
- Concise—Keep your messages short and scannable. If you need more information, create a blog or a webpage with details.
- Print—The World Health Organization (WHO) has many resources that you can print for posters for your medical practice. In addition, some of these tips also are ideal for patient packets. You can also print inexpensively locally.
As a doctor, you are in the special position as a trusted resource. So, rise above your competition with on-target resources and helpful information. If you need help or have questions about COVID-19 patient communications, contact PUMC or visit our resource blog.