As communities across the United States become more and more diverse, medical practices are challenged with marketing to patient populations with differing views of healthcare and of varying degrees of English proficiency. Most immigrant communities are very tight-knit and word of mouth is their primary source of referrals to community and healthcare services. Building trust with the community as a whole can be challenging, but worth the effort as you tap into a growing pool of customers. The following tips will help you customize your marketing strategies for diverse groups.

Diversity your staff – As you grow your staff, think about the populations you serve and hire with the needs of your patients in mind. Diversity initiatives are proven to improve the quality of your workforce and will increase patient satisfaction and referrals. When hiring with specific language needs in mind, contract with a testing service to do in-language evaluation including the evaluation of knowledge of medical terms in the second language. Some bilingual individuals, particularly second and third generation immigrants, vastly overestimate their level of fluency and can put your practice and the patient at risk by miscommunicating something.

Partner with a reputable translation service – People often view translation services as an unnecessary expense with no return on investment but this is far from the truth. Even with persons who can communicate well on day to day issues, when it comes to healthcare related discussions, they may feel more comfortable doing so with help of an interpreter. A reputable translation service can help you with email communication and translation (or transcreation) of marketing materials for different groups.

Create a targeted social media presence – Smartphones have outnumbered computers nowadays and it’s easier than ever to connect with patients. While the content on your current Facebook page may resonate with the vast majority of your patients, consider a social media campaign to reach out to emerging  communities. This could take shape in the form of a twitter account or Facebook page solely dedicated to posting healthcare-related content aimed at women, the LGBT community, or a specific immigrant population.  Posting valuable content that elicits interaction with patients, increases it’s virality and reach to other potential patients. Be a valued resource to the community and write engaging posts that give people a reason to comment, like or share with their friends. Cater your posts and respectfully incorporate holiday greetings and, when appropriate, 2nd language content.

Reaching a diverse patient population is not as hard as it seems, and with a little effort and creativity your medical practice can reach a loyal and growing patient population.

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