Let’s face it - social media is taking over. Most people are getting their news from social media over any other source at this point in time and more and more businesses are capitalizing on this social media as a marketing resource.
Related: For more information on marketing to millennials, check out our post on increasing patient volumes.
Especially when it comes to healthcare marketing, social media can be a very beneficial tool for medical practices to grow their patient volumes. Let’s dive into 3 ways social media benefits healthcare marketing.
THE TOP 3 BENEFITS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN HEALTHCARE MARKETING
1. Controlling the Narrative
One of the most daunting things about social media is how quickly false information can spread. In the age of “fake news”, you want to stay ahead of the curve and make sure you’re putting out the most accurate information possible.
Not only will this help the public by providing them with trustworthy facts, but it will also help you distinguish your practice as a reputable source.
Providing information to the public on such a potentially large scale can also help aid in crisis communication. Take, for example, the recent “anti-vax” movement. Being a healthcare professional, you have the opportunity to distribute factual, valuable information that could help stop the re-emergence of potentially fatal diseases.
Additionally, controlling the information you share about your practice is potentially one of the strongest marketing practices there is. Immediately rectifying any mishaps is a crucial benefit that didn’t exist in the age of print marketing. If there was a typo or a misprint on a handout, it would take weeks and excess costs to fix.
Related: Check out this blog for tips on how to stay within HIPAA Guidelines when using social media.
2. Gaining Exposure
A huge benefit to social media is the fact that it’s just that - social. People talk, and they share information faster than ever before. If someone trusts and likes your practice, they are much more likely to share your content, exposing you to their entire network (many of which may be potential patients).
Plus, if more people are viewing and interacting with your content, you are more likely to gain followers. As you gain more followers, those users are more likely to view you as a reputable healthcare provider, which is always your goal!
3. Garnering Engagement
A feature of most social media platforms especially useful for healthcare marketing is hashtag tracking. You can see what hashtags people are using in high volumes and where they are sharing them from, geographically. You can use this to help monitor public health trends in your area and prepare for a possible influx of patients due to current events.
Finally, and along the same lines, if people are interacting online about the different ailments they have, there are bound to be people who are struggling with the same things. This opens up the door to create communities for people who are going through similar issues to support each other and share their experiences. Facilitating that can be not only rewarding on an emotional level, but also build your practice by bringing in new patients.
The takeaway from these tips is that social media is an easy-to-use resource that everyone has access to, so use it! It can increase your patient volumes, help you control the health-related information available online, and increase your exposure and engagement, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity!