How Doctors Can Effectively Use Social Media To Improve Their Patient’s Lives
Of all business verticals, the healthcare industry as a whole, and physicians specifically, might be the latest adopters of social media that we know of. Over the years, most doctors have shied away from any form of healthcare marketing, and especially away from social media marketing. They’ve felt like social media marketing was for less professional industries trying to sell products and services. But recently, the tides have turned and many younger physicians have begun to see the value and importance of implementing a social media marketing strategy for their patients.
Most healthcare providers are not using social media as a way of prospecting but of staying close and educating their existing patients. There are a few related healthcare professionals such as Dentists, Optometrists, and Chiropractors that will use social media marketing strategies to generate new patients, but generally, the medical field stays away from prospecting with social media.
Why To Stay In Front of Your Patients Using Social Media
Patients are craving a community, education, and ongoing help with their medical issues. Social media is the key to providing that for them. These tools are already being used by the patients of these healthcare providers which makes it an easy way to provide added value to those patients. (You can see examples of the type of healthcare marketing and strategic content strategies by looking at some of the top brand names in healthcare.)
How To Use Social Media As A Healthcare Provider
1. The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure that you have a clear social media policy. You obviously don’t want to violate anyone’s privacy or violate any HIPPA regulations. Make sure that everyone inside of the practice knows what to post and what not to post on the company’s Facebook page.
2. Create a Facebook group and then invite people who are interested in the content you will be providing and producing. A Facebook group can be private and closed and will generally have a much better engagement and visibility to its members that a standard Facebook page or profile. You cannot run any paid campaigns on a Facebook Group. You’ll need to setup an actual Facebook page in order to be able to run targeted paid campaigns.
3. Create a business Facebook page so that anyone can like the page and follow your posts without being a part of your private group. You will also be able to run paid campaigns if you ever decided that you wanted to try and prospect for new patients.
What Type Of Content Should You Produce and Post?
There are lots of great ways to make valuable content for a healthcare patient. We’ve seen physicians and physician groups create diets videos, doctor profiles, motivating stories of hope, patient spotlights, and more. Even posting just a picture or a meme can lift the spirits of the patients in the group or that are following the physician’s pages and profiles.
The social media platforms crave video content more so than anything else right now. So if you have the means to have a video production person on your staff or a trusted video production company, then by all means, find ways to create videos that can help your patients.
Other valuable forms of content include:
- Weekly blog posts
- Relevant news stories
- Dietician advice
- Success stories of other patients (anonymously or with permission).
It’s important for a medical group to have some sort of a content plan if they wish to have content to post on social media. Content is what will drive any sort of successful social media campaign. You’re not going to want to post random thoughts or not have a sense of purpose when using social media as a healthcare professional.
Paid Social Media Campaigns For Doctors
If you’re looking to reach new audiences and not just reach your existing patient base, you can use social media to run paid ad campaigns and potentially reach hundreds of thousands of people within a target demographic.
You can do this by setting up a Facebook page or other social media profile and then setting up an ad account with the platform.
The social media platforms have all become a “pay to play” type of platform, meaning that if you want to reach people, you’ll have to pay for that reach. You could spend as little as 5 dollars to get started and then see how it goes, but it’s best to carve out a budget and give it a good run.
If you can get an effective social media campaign going as a physician, you’ll be ahead of the pack. Many larger healthcare organizations have caught on, but when it comes to local physicians and their groups, the competition online is relatively easy to beat right now.