More and more people are using social media platforms to express their opinions and seek out information about their health and healthcare providers. With about 80% of Americans using at least one social platform these days, social media for medical practices is a must (Search Engine Journal, BroadbandSearch). When used to their fullest potential, your social platforms can be powerful tools that offer ways to advocate for your medical practice and patients.
In a recent PatientsLikeMe survey of U.S. consumers, 11% said they turn to social media to find reliable health information, 9% said they use it to research treatment options, and 7% said they use it to find information about medication side effects. While 1 in 10 Americans may not sound like many, remember that’s approximately 36 million people scouring social media for healthcare information.
Medical practitioners can leverage the power of social media to market their practice and reach more patients. Using platforms like Facebook and Instagram provides an interactive tool that can increase awareness of your practice.
Post, post, post!
One of the easiest ways to bring steady attention to your website, and in turn your practice, is to consistently post on social media. Keep in mind there are several platforms out there, and some are better for healthcare marketing than others. Take the time to research which platforms are the best fit for your practice before diving in.
Once you’ve selected your platforms of choice, you can use them to keep patients informed about:
- The services and medical procedures you offer.
- Operational updates like your office hours.
- New doctors you may want to introduce.
- Retiring doctors you may want to honor.
- Your practice’s involvement in the community or sponsored events/teams.
- Local or national awards your doctors and practice receive, in addition to other achievements and milestones.
- Office renovations or new office locations.
- Fun occasions like decorating the office or dressing up for the holidays.
Social content is a game of capturing and holding attention. According to Facebook, the average time spent looking at a post on mobile feeds is 1.7 seconds. This is because people scroll quickly through social feeds, stopping only for content that catches their eye. With this in mind, pause to consider the most powerful ways to attract attention. Lately, video is a must-have when it comes to satisfying those mysterious social media algorithms. If you get stuck, we offer several ideas and tips for creating video content.
Social Media for Medical Practices Means Education for the Rest of Us
Proactive healthcare is all the buzz these days. Doctors are educating their patients on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Social media is another space where this useful information can be shared and found. For example, as flu season approaches, you could post a reminder for individuals to get their flu shots or share flu statistics. Sharing informative, educational posts on social media connects you with current and potential patients. This improves the chances that people will not only use the information, but also share it with others.
Patient Testimonials and Feedback
Many medical practices fail to take advantage of one of the top marketing tools: patient testimonials. With social media, there is ample opportunity to engage with your audience and get feedback about your practice. Generating social proof on platforms like Facebook will showcase patient satisfaction and increase your credibility among potential patients. Not only is rater8 the expert in building 5-star reviews on Facebook and major healthcare review platforms, we can even automate the selection and posting process. rater8 Social ensures your Facebook feed sees regular new content, as often as you want, with no effort required.
Helpful Tools for Social Media
There are some terrific tools you can use to assist with your social media design, posting, and scheduling.
Canva offers design solutions and social media templates that are correctly sized for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Posting your content manually is time-consuming, and individual platforms don’t offer an all-in-one solution. Hootsuite and Social Sprout offer tools to curate and schedule content, measure your return on investment, run social media ads, and more.
What You Can Expect
Establishing and maintaining a successful social media presence may take some time for your practice, but the benefits will be measurable. Doctors and healthcare professionals can build brand awareness, provide their audience with educational information, engage patients, and earn reviews that increase and showcase their credibility. With these variables in place, social media acts as a critical tool to garner attention and grow your practice.