Any way you spin it, the world is more electronically connected than ever before. Although there’s quite a bit of noise on social media, it’s still a tool healthcare can really latch onto.
Considering that the likelihood of patients using social media is only going to increase, medical professionals have unique opportunities for engagement.
Yes, it’s easy to get distracted by our phones and tablets, but that doesn’t mean it’s all fluff. The rise of sites like WebMD have people believing their common cold is a rare disease the likes of which medicine has never seen…
Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the point is that your professional voice cuts through chatter when sharing new findings or just tips and tricks to encourage healthy choices.
How Social Media Can Help
On a larger scale, marketing your practice through social media is a must in a society shifting to any and all things digital. It used to be that word-of-mouth, television, radio, and even print could reach potential customers. Although these mediums are not entirely eclipsed, you can find the maximum benefits by going the social media route.
Just as people search for online reviews to inform their purchases, finding a doctor or clinic is no different. Most patients want to know what they’re getting into before making an appointment. That’s where social media comes in!
Focusing on your branding, whether as an individual or a facility as a whole can help to drive a better practice and start to break down communicative barriers in the doctor-patient relationship.
One of the reasons people will neglect to seek medical care comes down to their fear of the healthcare experience. Maybe they’ve heard stories or had bad experiences in the past, but your social media presence as a professional is a way to fix that.
Social Media Strategies:
- Find Your Platforms
Using the popular sites and apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to start if you’re looking to reach large audiences. Find a consistent look and feel to each platform you’ll utilize.
- Plan Your Content
Since each platform has its unique appeal, you’ll want to figure out how you can tell your healthcare story effectively. With the shift toward news and trending media on Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram continue to hold down the visual side of things leaning toward fun and novelty. In a busy medical setting, planning the release of certain content will help to maintain consistency and increase the impact of your posts.
- Flaunt Your Uniqueness
Releasing content reflecting your passions as a healthcare professional is key here. Maybe your facility is in a unique setting or has lively staff members – find a way to show patients that doctor’s appointments can be a bright part of the day.
- Refine Your Quality
Try to post things that can add value to patients, although breaking up the mundane with fun posts is great once in a while. You may not be posting peer-reviewed articles, but keeping people reasonably informed about health, in general, can hopefully make your job a little easier!
Aiming to Help without Hurting Yourself
Keep in mind that you won’t want to give any professional advice or encourage patients to discuss their conditions via social media. Make sure everyone using the accounts considers HIPAA requirements in every post. The last thing your social media should do is actually cost you money and lawsuits.
Remember, building a presence on social media takes time and effort, but it can be done. Connecting your practice to these platforms can be a great way to help patients feel at ease and build better relationships. Since healthcare continues outside of the hospital or clinic, a social media presence may serve to maintain patient, as well as professional health.