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Why use social media as a communication channel?
Social Media can be a great way to communicate with a large number of patients quickly and cheaply. It is especially effective when communicating last-minute changes to your practice such as closure for training, marketing seasonal campaigns such as flu vaccinations, or reaching an audience that might not be accessible with other marketing methods.
Social media is already online. It’s the perfect place to share eConsult links and templates, benefits and how it works.
As with all marketing, social media will take some effort to have an effect, so we have put together the following tools to try and make life as easy as possible for you. You can either set up your own account, or you get in touch with your patient participation group/forum or commissioner to help post information updates about your practice for you.
Setting up social media accounts
If you don’t have an account then think about which platform would be best for your practice. You need to think about what your patients will look at.
From our experience, the majority of patients use either Facebook or Twitter. It might be good to look at your patient participation group/forum and ask them what they currently use.
There are many tools to help you schedule posts so that you can upload a number of social media posts in bulk, say once a week, and have them 'released' at pre-determined times.
With Facebook, you can do it directly. When you write your post you will have the option to ‘schedule’ for another time. If you prefer to use Twitter or other social media platforms then you might want to look at other free to use platforms such as Hootsuite (their guide is here).
Tagging in key contacts or businesses
Tagging others in your posts can help boost their publicity and reach. We would recommend tagging eConsult and then your commissioning body and PPG networks. Each one can then re-share the content. Usually, you tag people by using the @ symbol and then the appropriate username or social media handle, e.g. on Twitter we are @eConsult_thinks.
Example content to share on social media
We have put together social media packs with content and example posts ready for you to schedule. Each one explains the benefits of eConsult or how it works.
Below are some examples of how other GP practices are using social media to promote eConsult.
You could announce the service to patients and the community.
You can share elements of your eConsult patient feedback report.
You could share feedback from patients that you've had through any other means!
eConsult on social media
Feel free to follow us for easy content to reshare with your audience!
If you have any questions or you feel that this article could be improved, please feel free to give us some feedback by emailing us, pressing the emojis below or using the chat button on the bottom right-hand side of this page to speak to one of the eConsult team.