• Cecilia Li

Strategies to Start and Grow your Medical Practice's Social Media

Social media websites and apps have become vital health information resources. Many medical professionals and physician practices run Facebook and Twitter accounts to engage the public. Many more have blogs that they use to share vital health information.

According to Pew Research Center, 70% of physicians use social media at least once a month to contribute or explore health information. This number is set to increase as more medical professionals seek media channels to educate their existing patients and promote their practice to new ones.

Whether you want to share important health messages or promote your practice's niche services, an excellent social media strategy means more than just posting the once-in-a-while holiday greeting on your social media pages.

This post looks at the strategies you can use if you're new to social media or want to improve your social media presence. We also provide some tips on how to keep your social channels compliant with HIPAA guidelines.

Why is a Social Media Strategy Important?

A lot of medical practices do not use their social media channels effectively. Social media does not only encompass Twitter and Facebook. It also includes blogs and other online platforms where you can share your content and engage readers.

Combining health care and social media offers many benefits to your medical practice. According to a recent survey, 76% of respondents said they used social media "at least a little" to learn about COVID-19. Medical professionals on social media can inform the general public and mitigate the spread of false information.

There are many ways of using social media in the medical field to promote awareness and share accurate health messaging with others. Unless you craft a strategy to use social media, then you'll be losing out on a valuable, low-cost opportunity.

How Can I Implement a Social Media Strategy?

Navigating the challenges of social media in health care can be daunting. Medical practices need to create engaging social content. All your content should be accurate, informative, and timely. It should be guided by relevant rules and regulations of the social media platform you're using.

You should only share health information that is backed by facts with your readers or followers. Social media channels can also help you refute the false health information that is widespread on the web.

Sharing accurate and timely health information on your social media account will help promote your medical practice. By helping your readers or followers on social media make good health decisions, you gain their trust and get new patients at your practice.

#1. Have a specific purpose

Social media outlets are a good marketing channel. They are also an excellent tool for conveying health messages to the public. A well-defined objective for your medical practice accounts will help you grab the attention of your readers and reap the most out of your social media channel.

Remember, you are creating a community of followers, and everything that you do on your social media channels should aim at building trust in your services. Your objective should be consistent across your blog, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts.

Some of the questions that you should ask yourself when determining your social media strategy include:

  • Are you out to attract more "ideal patients" to your practice?

  • Do you want to prioritize sharing with your community information about pressing health issues?

We can help you figure out your ideal patients and then help you pick the social media platforms most frequently visited by your ideal patients.

#2. Post timely, relevant content

With the easy and increased access to the internet, a lot of the misinformation that patients find online creates a lot of anxiety. It would be best to be the voice that offers accurate information and assurance in the murky waters of the media and health misinformation.

It's essential to keep your social media channels updated with relevant information. Memes are fun, but if you want your audience to take you seriously, they may not be the best thing to post on your Facebook page. Sharing fun once in a while is okay, but not too often.

You should always use your social media accounts to educate patients on current topics and avoid going off-track. Share with your readers hot topics and how they affect families, kids, and teenagers. Keep your accounts active and interactive by engaging your patients by replying to their questions to build a following.

#3. Maintain patient privacy

Sharing information about a unique case can be tempting, but this is not only unprofessional, but it could also be against patient privacy policy. Posting detailed information about a patient could get in trouble with state medical boards or HIPAA.

Avoid oversharing at all costs. You should never post anything about patients, even if you don't mention their names in the post. It is much safer to post about a particular problem.

Some of the things that you should avoid doing are:

  • Posting photos of patients without their consent

  • Posting information containing potential identifiers

  • Inappropriately contacting a patient through a public feed

Some patients might ask for medical advice on a social media platform. This is okay, so long as you don't let them engage you on their personal medical condition.

Whereas patients can share anything about their medical conditions, HIPAA guidelines forbid health professionals from doing the same. You should call them and advise them to come and see you.

Bottom line

The medical field is competitive, and you need to go where your patients are. An estimated 3.6billion people are on social media, so you are likely to find your target audience. An excellent social media strategy will help you effectively engage your existing patients and promote your medical practice to new ones.

Using social media outlets to share knowledge, market your medical practice, and engage your patients builds trust in your services. You should create engaging content that is timely, accurate, and informative that follows all relevant guidelines. Investing in a solid social media strategy pays in the long run.

Are you thinking of taking your medical practice to social media?DearDoc can help you create effective strategies right from the start and help you build your online presence.Reach out for a consultation.

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