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5 Reasons Why Doctors Should Leverage Social Media

Let's connect, tweet, comment, share, post! These words form part of the digital vocabulary connecting people on various social media platforms across the world. From baby boomers to millennials, to Gen X and Gen Z, social media is a big part of everyday life. Currently, approximately 4.48 billion people use social media across the world, and this number increases every other day.


Over the years, social media has transformed from being a toy of the Technorati to a mandatory marketing tool across various industries, including the healthcare industry. The way patients approach healthcare today is not similar to how they did ten years ago.


Currently, patients typically begin their typical care continuum online (including on various social media platforms) long before scheduling their first medical office appointment or doctor-patient face-to-face encounter. As such, doctors should have a social media presence to build credibility, increase reach, and attract more patients.


Are you still undecided whether or not your medical practice needs a social media presence?


Here are 5 reasons why you should leverage social media in your marketing campaign


1. It increases patient reach

With over 4.48 billion social media users, it is almost a certainty that the majority of your target audience has a presence on prominent social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Most of them login into their social media accounts daily. For instance, studies have shown an average of 1.82 billion people log into Facebook daily.


While originally social media was built to foster personal relationships, you can now harness it to get you and your practice in front of potential patients. Your existing patients are probably already following your medical practice on social media. However, social media allows you to get an audience with more than just the patients who visit your practice.


By employing the right strategies, social media can help you broaden your audience and attract more patients through your doors. Embrace social media—refrain from being one of those conservative medical practices missing out on the opportunity to reach millions of people on social media.


2. Provides a platform for educating patients

Many people turn to social media for everything, including answers to various medical conditions. In fact, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center report, people receive breaking news updates from various social media platforms more than from any other news outlet. 62% of US adults said that they got news through social media while 18% said that they occasionally relied on social media for news.


Medical practitioners can capitalize on social media users by providing them with helpful and accurate information via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are several ways you can educate patients through social media. For one, you can upload a link to new research about your area of specialty. For instance, if you are a dermatologist, you could share a study on how to prevent skin cancer.


Another suggestion is recording live YouTube and Facebook videos on various health topics or the medical services you offer, and sharing with your followers and the public at large.


3. Improved customer service

Now more than ever, customers expect you to be on social media. This is reiterated by the fact that approximately 67% of them turn to social media for customer care needs. Gone are the days when people waited on hold or left messages when they had queries about your medical practice. You risk losing your patients if, unlike your competitors, you don't offer online customer service options.


It is understandable that, as a doctor, you may not have enough time to answer customer queries and complaints all day through. Even so, you can assign a medical office manager or any other employee the tasks of handling such issues on social media.


Whereas social media provides a great platform for attending to patient complaints and queries, the caveat here is to never give direct medical advice on these platforms. If the questions become too medically directed, you should either direct them to reach you at your office or direct them to helpful materials on your website.


4. Helps you build a relationship with your audience

Different studies have shown that doctors spend approximately 13-16 minutes with each patient. This duration is enough to attend to the patient's immediate concerns but not sufficient to also build a relationship with them. Social media platforms give you a chance to connect with your audience and engage with them outside the office.


As a healthcare practitioner, you have the chance of helping people by correcting the medical misinformation being spread out there, helping terminally ill patients manage their conditions, and encouraging them to lead healthier lifestyles. With consistent effort and as time passes by, you'll be able to gain their loyalty and trust. By creating an ultimate experience for your patients, they are likely to stick with your practice.


5. It can help your medical practice communicate its availability

Social media can come in handy in accomplishing simple administrative tasks like posting appointment availability and your medical practice's working hours. For existing patients, it can link to appointment scheduling websites and software, or sites where they can log in securely to view their medical information.


In the case of new patients, social media provides them with the convenience of finding information such as contact numbers or office hours—they can use such information to book appointments at your practice. Medical practices that go through the trouble of keeping their profiles and social media pages updated with office working hours and contact information are more likely to see more patients walking through their doors.


You can take this concept further by establishing telemedicine websites and social messaging apps to make it possible for patients to receive medical care for various health issues without the need for face-to-face doctor appointments.


Bottom line

Given the prevailing healthcare industry market dynamics, it cannot be emphasized enough how vital it is for doctors to have active and engaging social media platforms. That said, your medical practice should not only be present on various social media platforms, but your social media handles should be well managed for you to accrue benefits from them. DearDoc can help towards this end. We are the best content strategists and graphic designers in the industry who will help you create stunning content that will help elevate the status of your social media accounts. Reach out to DearDoc to get started.


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