6 Ideas to Make Your Online “First Impression” for YOUR Clinic Creative, Engaging and Shareable
“First impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes,” former diplomat Elliott Abrams observed.

But practitioners do not have much of an opportunity to make a face-to-face first impression these days. In the Internet age, patients come in the door with a predetermined perception of the provider. They know you by a dozen digital sources, including your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, email or Twitter stream.

For healthcare clinic owners, the challenge and the opportunity are to proactively shape new patient opinions with quality online content. And the goal is to attract, retain and interact with a community of prospective and new patients.

Use these impression-forming ideas and techniques to make what you post online creative, engaging and sharable:

1. Feed the needs of your audience. The operative words are “valuable and relevant,” with a backdrop of “authoritative.”

2. Inform, do not promote. The value of information is high when it is perceived as beneficial to the reader. But “overtly pushing your practice service” that is perceived as sales promotion (and benefiting the clinic) destroys trust and confidence.

3. Go for “ah-ha” moments. When ideas communicate, there is a breakthrough—the evocative ah-ha spark—of inspiration, comprehension or realization.

4. Add the spice of variety. Incorporate diversity in the way’s information is presented. Where they fit, consider using:
• Authoritative Quotes
• Charts and Graphs
• Guest Authors
• Infographics
• Interviews and Podcasts
• Lists, rankings
• Photos, Illustrations, Images
• Thought Leaders
• Videos, Animation

5. Inspire interaction. When possible, ask questions, encourage dialog/discussion, make comments, ask for reactions or input.

6. Be timely, fresh and relevant. Hitchhike content by connecting useful information to news headlines or popular topics. Present or report about what is new, little known or surprising.

And above all, do not be boring. Readers disappear in droves when they do not understand, or when information simply isn’t interesting and useful. Highly effective and interesting content that you publish will capture attention, be thought provoking, and inspire a reaction.