5 Halloween Ideas for Medical Practices in 2021Posted: October 22, 2021 - By Health Dev
Halloween is a popular time of the year. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 65% of people plan to celebrate the holiday — with many planning to do things like carve pumpkins, pass out candy, dress up, or throw a party.
Based on these numbers, your medical practice (and many others) can safely assume your patients love Halloween. There’s a pretty good chance that you and many of your staff members do, too. While you might run a business that revolves around taking care of people’s healthcare needs, that doesn’t mean you can’t also have a little fun while you’re at it.
Decorating your office with orange and black garlands, spooky bats, pumpkins, and skeletons is a great place to start. There are plenty of other Halloween-themed ideas you can implement that aren’t only fun but can help increase patient engagement and boost patient relations. Here are five suggestions for your medical practice’s Halloween 2021 plans.
1. Host an Online Halloween Costume Contest
As a medical practice, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are an excellent place for you to engage with your patients while also marketing your services. You likely already know the importance of updating regularly and interacting with the patients who comment on your posts. Halloween is a perfect opportunity to foster even more engagement.
This Halloween, host an online costume contest. Ask your patients to post pictures of themselves in their Halloween costumes on their profiles. Consider creating a themed hashtag for them to use (think #yourpracticecostumecontest2021 or something similar) and have them tag your practice. Offer up an incentive to encourage participation, such as a gift card or a free exam/consultation at your practice. Be sure to include the dates your contest runs so your patients know how long they have to enter.
You have a couple of options for choosing a winner. After closing the contest, you (and your staff) can choose your favorite. Or you can ask your social media followers to “like” their favorite instead, and you can select the person with the most likes as the winner.
2. Share Staff Costumes on Social Media
As we touched on earlier, your social media pages aren’t only for marketing your practice — they offer a perfect platform for engaging with your patients. They’re also an excellent way for patients (and prospective patients) to get to know you and your staff.
This Halloween, let your patients get to see the fun side of your practice and your employees. Let your employees wear their favorite Halloween costumes to work and take pictures to post on your social media pages. You could even pick a theme and go all out with not only the costumes but also your office décor and materials. For instance, if you’re a pediatric practice, you might choose a popular children’s movie. You can decorate the office to look like a familiar backdrop from the film, your staff can then dress up as the characters, and you can show the movie on a TV in your waiting room if you have one.
Having your staff dress up for Halloween and then sharing photos on your social media pages accomplishes a few things for you. For one, it can help boost the likability of your practice online — patients get to see how much fun your office and your staff can be.
Second, your staff can share the photos you post on social media to their personal pages. That can help spread your reach online even further. People they know who might not be familiar with your practice can learn more about you. If they need the types of services you provide, they may be more likely to check your website out or schedule an appointment.
3. Coordinate Trick-or-Treating with Neighboring Businesses
If your practice sits near other businesses, you could coordinate with them for a fun trick-or-treating event. Even if you’re not related to one another (let’s say your neighbors include a boutique clothing store and a coffee shop), you can still work together. Depending on you and the other businesses, you can host it once at the end of October, or you can do it every weekend during the month.
Organizing a trick-or-treating event with neighboring businesses helps everyone increase foot traffic and referrals. You might have customers from a shop several doors down from your own who have never stepped foot in your practice come through your door. They can get a glimpse of your office and get to see how friendly and relatable your staff members are. If they require the types of services you offer later, they’re more likely to remember you.
At the same time, you’re sending your patients to nearby businesses. That helps increase their foot traffic and can add new customers to their bases. It’s a win-win not just for your practice and other local businesses but for everyone who participates in the event, too.
4. Update Your Phone’s Custom Greeting
Even the best-run practices can’t get to every phone call right away. A front desk staff member might be helping a patient in person, or a prospective patient might be calling after hours. Rather than using a cold, generic voice message, greet them with a welcoming, friendly one. It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a little touch that can go a long way.
During the month of October, you can take your custom voice message one step further by creating something with a spookier (but still friendly) flair. It can put patients (and potential patients) at ease and bring a smile to their faces. You don’t have to stop at Halloween either. You can create custom voice messages for various holidays throughout the year.
With Demandforce Phone, you can optimize the efficiency of your staff. In addition to Demandforce LivePop, two-way texting, custom call trees, and call monitoring tools, you also have configurable hold music. That gives patients listening options while they’re on hold, including marketing announcements, special promotions, and Halloween (and other holiday) -themed messages.
5. Create Themed Emails to Re-Engage Patients
Even the best practices have patients who disappear for one reason or another. Just because some of your patients stop making appointments doesn’t mean they’re never coming back. Sometimes, re-engaging with them can remind them that you’re there for them and encourage them to come back.
Email marketing is one way your practice can work to win back patients. You can make your messaging fun and effective during the month of October with Halloween-themed emails. What’s more, you can do it with an email update that’s similar to the message you send your current patients.
Craft a spooky message that explains your plans for the month. For instance, your email could let them know about the trick-or-treating event you’re hosting with neighboring businesses. Segment your email into two sections — current patients and non-engaged patients. Send the email as-is to your current patient list. Then you can tweak the email for your non-engaged patients to encourage them to book an appointment,
Strengthen Relationships with Patients in Fun and Effective Ways This Halloween
Halloween offers a perfect excuse to strengthen patient relations and boost engagement. There’s no reason it has to be all business, though. After all, Halloween is about having fun. Just because you are a practice that takes care of patients doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, too. Host a costume contest, show off your staff in their Halloween best, and organize a trick-or-treating event with nearby businesses to help one another boost traffic.
Not only will these strategies help increase your exposure, but they’ll show your current and prospective patients that you’re a great place to get the care they need.