One challenge in urgent care marketing is that traditional methods of “direct response” advertising don’t work. A patient will never go straight to the urgent care after seeing an ad because people aren’t searching for urgent care clinics until they have a dire need. As a result, urgent care marketers need to make their centers easy to find online when that dire need does arise. Social media can be highly effective for this marketing goal.

But healthcare marketing ideas shouldn’t stop with social media pages. You can also leverage patient feedback from social media, review sites, and surveys to drive more patients through your doors.

How Do People Find Urgent Care Centers?

Any successful healthcare marketing strategy should include social media, and urgent care is no different. When a person needs urgent care, the first thing they’ll do is search Google for the closest clinic, then ensure that clinic is open. The next thing a potential patient may do is check the center’s reviews.

Having your clinic on social media not only provides a boost in your search ranking, but it also gives an easy and familiar platform to find the details that consumers consider important: location, hours, and reviews.

Other successful healthcare marketing techniques include using Google My Business to optimize Google maps and the “find near me” feature. Make sure the pages for all your urgent care centers offer complete information, verify all the locations, keep the hours accurate, manage and respond to reviews, and add photos. These tactics allow Google to quickly zero in on the closest and most relevant urgent care provider for the patient.

Planning Social Media to Enhance Visibility

Successful healthcare marketing campaigns start with a social media posting policy and schedule. The policy should come first. Coordinate with your compliance staff in developing the policy, including any boilerplate responses to comments.

Next, develop a general schedule. Valuable content can establish you as an authority in your field and an active member of your community. Regular posting helps ensure that you rank high in search engine results, and it also sends a positive signal to potential patients when they visit your profile.

The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Marketing Development’s Calendar of Health Observances & Recognition Days is a great place start in building your 2020 content marketing strategy. Develop content around the calendar entries most relevant to urgent care, such as Physical Fitness and Sports Month (May) and Nurse Practitioner Week (November 8-14).

Managing Feedback on Social Media and Third-Party Review Sites

Patient reviews are a valuable component of urgent care marketing. Whether on Yelp, social media, or a healthcare-specific site, reviews play a big role in the consumer’s decision on where to seek urgent care. Review site and social media management requires healthcare businesses to exercise caution. This is because HIPAA compliance prohibits providers from sharing information that can identify patients.

When someone has left you a review on a public site, you first want to be careful not to acknowledge in any way that this person was a patient. Any conversations should be taken offline, whether positive or negative. What can seem to be a simple and innocent response to a post, can violate a patient’s privacy rights simply by acknowledging that they ever stepped foot in your clinic.

It’s important, however, for the public to see that you care about your patients, so don’t make the mistake of ignoring reviews. Responding to feedback, both positive and negative, shows your readers and those shopping for urgent care that you care about others and that you are easy to reach and communicate with.

How you respond to social media posts depends on the tone of the post. For a positive post something simple can suffice:

“Thank you for your positive comments. We hope you will remember us when your friends or family need medical care.”

Negative feedback can be trickier, but the same rules apply. Keep emotions out of your response and don’t acknowledge that the person you are communicating with was in your clinic. Here’s an example of a good boilerplate response:

“Please call us to discuss your concerns. Our goal is to always provide the best customer service to anyone that interacts with us. We would like the opportunity to determine what happened and how we can best resolve any concerns.”

These are general guidelines to get your started, but information on the Calibrater blog is not legal advice. Healthcare professionals should always check with their legal teams to ensure compliance in marketing.

Simplify the Review Process—and Speed It Up

Regular patient reviews are another tool that will boost the chances of patients choosing your urgent care clinic over others in your area. Text-based patient surveys allow you to capture great reviews right away, instead of waiting days or even weeks.

Publishing these reviews as they happen can result in more star ratings on Google search. Review publication also boosts your site’s SEO by providing fresh, new content regularly. The ability to see recent reviews can be the determining factor in a patient choosing your urgent care center.

Calibrater Health provides the ability to customize text messages and questions with a Smart Survey.  This feature can even allow you to send different questions to different patients, narrowing down which provider they saw, which location they visited, or the patient’s age.  You can easily share the responses to your site with our Review Publisher.

Combine the Power of Social Media, Online Reviews, and Your Site

Increasing visit volume at urgent care centers comes down to optimizing marketing on the channels that matter the most in the patient’s moment of need. In the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, Velocity Urgent Care CEO Alan A. Ayers says that social media and reputation management goes hand-in-hand with a good website:

“With an SEO-optimized, mobile-friendly website along with a Yelp! business account featuring positive reviews working in conjunction with an optimized Facebook page, a mom with a sick kid can go from tapping into her phone, ‘urgent care near me’ to picking your center literally within seconds.”

For more details about how you can improve your online visibility with text message surveys, read our recent case study.

Patient Experience Case Study

We conducted a case study to measure the impact that the Calibrater Health system had on NPS scores in the first 6 months of implementation.