Social Media for Your Medical Practice: Why, Where, & When

Posted by Team PracticeForces on Jul 5 2016

Starting a social media campaign can feel daunting, especially for physicians who aren’t familiar with digital marketing or who are new to it. More and more people are using the internet and social media to research, locate, and communicate with their healthcare providers. And social media is a great platform for your practice to engage with those around you.  

Digital marketing is basically a huge, inexpensive marketing tool. Whether you are just opening a new practice, looking to grow your business, or starting a new practice, you should make social media a part of your marketing campaign.

Practice_Forces_-_Blog_Image_for_Facebook-2.jpgIs Social Media Really That Important For My Medical Practice?

In a word, absolutely. There are so many reasons why social media needs to be a core part of your marketing campaign. Did you realize that simply having a company Facebook page automatically increases your search results? When potential patients search for a caregiver online, the search engine takes many aspects of each business into consideration, including their presence on social media. Those businesses with active, working social media accounts will have better search results.

Digital marketing is all about engaging with people and building relationships. Your patients can reach you easily to access information about your practice location, hours, services, and contact information. An active social media account makes your practice more visible and available to current and potential patients, and allows you to share relevant information, tips, and guidance to them as well. Your patients will have a richer experience, ensuring they stay a part of your practice and that they share your practice with those around them.

Utilizing social media for your practice can improve the service you provide. If you have any patients that have concerns or have a less than stellar experience at your practice, you have the ability to deal with their concerns quickly and effectively. Many people will complain or give poor ratings online with the hope that the business will reach out to them. Being active on social media also means having an extended ability to work through any potential problems.

Read more: Why online reviews matter >>

There Are So Many Digital Marketing Platforms. Which One is Best For My Medical Practice?

There are lots of social media websites out there, so which ones are right for your medical practice? Your priority is to go where your patients are. There are benefits to each type of social media platform. Determine where your patients are, test out each one independently, and see how they perform. Your practice can alter your digital marketing plans as you determine what works and what doesn’t.

Facebook: As one of the most popular and most used social media websites, Facebook is a great place to start. A business page for your medical practice can help build your reputation, advertise your specialties or services offered, and help connect you with others in the area. Facebook offers the opportunity for your patient base to rate and recommend your practice, a valuable marketing tool. Also, verify that your contact and location information is correct. If your audience can’t locate or reach you, they will look elsewhere.

Twitter: People are using Twitter more and more to find useful and relevant information. Twitter allows you to share posts from your blog, useful articles, and information that is important to your patient base. Conversations and interactions among the community are also easy and convenient in Twitter, offering your patients another way to reach your staff.  

LinkedIn: In the past several years, users have flocked to LinkedIn, the leading social media site for professionals. While Facebook and Twitter are more socially minded, LinkedIn focuses on professional ideas, improvements, advice, and networking. Sharing information on LinkedIn and growing your professional network can help advance your business and help your community.

How Often Should We Post On Social Media? What Should We Post?

The single most important thing about social media is the content and consistency of your posts. Any posts you make on behalf of your practice should be educational, informational, professional, and/or interesting to your audience.

How often your practice posts is dependent upon your goals and the digital marketing platform you’re using. Twitter posts can be multiple times a day, while it’s generally frowned upon to post on LinkedIn as often. Use the insights that each site offers, to determine when your target market is online and how they respond to your posts. Determine what posts your audience enjoys most, and try to commit to creating more like it. Digital marketing is a plan that can be adjusted as you determine what works best for your practice and your audience.

One crucial mistake many beginners make is to post the same information across many social media platforms. Your audience will be different at each location, and so your message should be directed at that specific audience. Custom design each post to attract and interest a specific market group instead of trying to attract the entire community at once. For instance, write articles that interest pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women, another for parents of teenagers, and others for the retirement community. Reaching out to a small market specifically will result in more defined, useable leads.

Digital marketing is the best, least expensive way to increase your patient base, grow your business, and enrich the experience of your patients. Through trial and error, you can learn more about your community and help improve the reputation of your business. Every medical practice can benefit from the introduction or regular use of social media, so why not get started today?

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Topics: Social Media, Digital Marketing

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