In just the last decade, the number of internet users has exploded from about 970 million to 4.5 billion.With so many users, you can advertise your practice in ways you may not have considered before. You can keep current and potential new patients abreast of current topics, help them learn about your brand, and keep your practice name in people's minds.
Healthcare social media posts that encourage people to read about your practice and share your information are one of the keys to success in the digital age. Post blogs, make videos, participate in forums, use surveys, and watch your reputation and practice grow.
The Importance of Healthcare Social Media
While social media was born to help people connect, it has become a significant source of information-gathering. Almost 75% of people in the U.S. use social media to search for health information online, a practice made clear during the COVID pandemic. This presents you with an opportunity to highlight your medical practice as a credible source and to personalize you and your team.
You can use your social media pages to reach out in several areas, including:
- Answering questions common in your practice area
- Helping to raise public awareness
- Combatting misinformation that causes harm
- Encouraging citizens to interact about healthcare issues
- Expanding the current reach of your webpage
A carefully crafted digital marketing plan includes social media pages that capture the community's attention and spurs them to share your posts. These likes and shares tell you when you are reaching people and when you need to rework your marketing approach. Be sure you have someone tasked with engaging people on your social media pages. A simple "Thanks for your feedback!" can be enough to gain a new patient.
Five Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Practice
Posting your blog posts is an excellent start to social media marketing — but it is a small start. Eye-catching headlines, constantly offering new, valuable content, and keeping people engaged through information sharing build your practice's brand.
Spotlight Your Expertise and Experience
Spotlighting patients in healthcare social media can be tricky, as you must follow HIPAA and other regulations regarding the information you provide. To avoid that risk, post their reviews of your practice, patient satisfaction survey results, or practice awards. These posts encourage people to read through your information and share it with others.
Consider the following two headlines for a healthcare social media post:
Water Contamination in Middletown Affects Thousands
Advice About Middletown Water Contamination From an Award-Winning Doctor
The first headline resembles countless other posts, newspaper headlines, and TV leads. The second catches the eye and gives you credibility. This leads people to "like" your post and increases the chance they will share it with others.
Awards from professional associations are an effective way to promote your skills but don't underestimate the power of patient-driven satisfaction scores. People who look for a doctor on social media aren't just looking for experience. They are looking for happy patients.
Promote Practice Specialties and Services
There is a lot of competition in the healthcare industry, and you need to set your practice apart. This is another area where effective use of social media gives you a significant advantage over relying on just your website. Catching the attention of people skimming through social media could be as easy as including pictures of smiling patients or the newest technology.
New techniques are exactly the kind of thing that people want to learn about when they are looking at medical social media posts. For instance, if you are a dermatologist who recently started offering Xeomin as a natural alternative to Botox, tell people about it. You don't have to include your practice name in your headline, but be sure to include it and your contact details in your content.
During challenging economic times, let people know if you offer installment plans. If your practice has a new piece of laser equipment that negates the need for more invasive procedures, brag about it.
Increase Traffic to Your Website
Someone who searches for "family doctors in Cleveland" could get thousands of hits in a search engine. Effective social media marketing gets people to your website, even if you don't rank high on Google or other search engines.
For stand-alone posts, you should provide a link to your website and direct people to your other social media profiles.
If you post information that leads directly to your webpage when people click on it, make sure they are going to the right place to learn about that topic and your practice. If it directs them to a blog, ensure there is contact information or a contact form on that page. Within the blog, there should be links to other parts of your practice.
For example, If you have a medical practice in an area with contaminated water, post about it on your social media pages. Write a blog about signs and symptoms related to contamination. If it is well-written and people recognize their symptoms, they may turn to you for help.
Speak Directly to Your Patient Persona
Developing a patient persona is critical for reaching your desired audience. If you have not done so, you should develop one and target your healthcare social media strategy toward that group. Your patient persona is fictitious but based on the demographics and needs of your ideal patients.
If your neighborhood dental practice skews older, you can use your social media presence to discuss important topics. But don't just discuss eating healthy to promote good dental hygiene. Talk about the importance of dental hygiene for older adults. And if you want to expand your practice to reach a younger audience, keep topics closer to their needs.
Choose the type of social media content you post based on who you are trying to reach. Videos have become a great way to reach all social media users, particularly younger ones. If you prefer writing blogs, use tools such as the Flesch Reading Score to ensure people can understand and connect with your content. The average internet user reads between the 6th and 8th-grade level, and language that is too technical will make them leave your page.
Personalize and Add Credibility to Your Practice
Traditional word-of-mouth marketing strategies are still effective, but practical social media marketing takes them to a new level. It is not unusual for people to turn to social media if they are unhappy with their healthcare provider or are new to an area. What they do next with the answers they get provides you an opportunity to expand your patient base.
Some potential patients will look for your webpage, but others will search your social media pages first. If they find you on Facebook, Twitter, or another platform and the first post they see doesn't catch their eye, they may move on to the next suggestion. Everything you put on your page should be informative regarding healthcare and your practice.
Smiling faces, advanced equipment, employee spotlights, and good information keep people on your page, and clicking through gets them to your contact information.
How to Implement Your Healthcare Social Media Strategy
Implementing your social media strategy includes several steps that increase engagement and protect you from posting information that reflects poorly on your practice.
- Limit who can update your pages - Understanding healthcare and using social media to your advantage are separate things. Medical information should come from one of your doctors or at least be reviewed by them before it is released to the person who updates your page. In the world of social media, misinformation spreads like wildfire, and having your practice branded as one that spreads it can do extreme damage to your reputation.
- Focus on your headlines - People on social media are scrollers, and you need something to make them stop and read. Your headlines should grab attention without being overly catchy or looking like you are trying too hard.
- Look at social media yourself - Scroll through the pages of your competitors and see what people are responding to. Look at popular posts in the healthcare field about current topics and see if people are responding to surveys, general information, or videos. Make sure to spend significant time on your own page.
- Keep your focus on value - Value can take many forms in healthcare social media. Valuable information is critical, but so is avoiding content that looks like it came from a sales team or journal contributor. Everything you post — written or video — should offer something to readers that makes your practice stand out.
Get Help Building Your Brand and Expanding Your Healthcare Practice
Effective social media use can help to cement your reputation in your community and build your practice through patient retention and new patient acquisition. Learn more about how our experienced team at Scorpion can help you use social media and other marketing strategies to grow your healthcare business.