Let’s face it - social media has taken over. People jump onto social media to check out the latest current events, connect with family and friends, and seek recommendations for just about everything.
With social media at the forefront of communication, businesses are capitalizing on social platforms 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 is a beneficial tool medical practices can use to grow 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 #FakeNews and #CancelCulture, it’s critical to stay ahead of the curve and make sure you’re putting out the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Sharing timely public health information not only helps the public by providing them with trustworthy facts, but it can also help distinguish your practice as a reputable source and aid in crisis communication. Take, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic and announcements on vaccination guidelines and availability. Being a healthcare professional, you have the opportunity to distribute factual, valuable information that can impact the health of your community and help your followers make health-related decisions that protect themselves and their loved ones.
Controlling the information you share about your practice is one of the strongest marketing practices there is. Immediately rectifying any mishaps is a crucial benefit that didn’t exist in the early age of print marketing. If there was a typo or a misprint on a handout, it would take weeks and excess costs to fix resulting in dollars lost. In the age of social media, posts can be edited or even deleted to rectify errors. Your best option is to address any errors, offer a genuine apology, and provide accurate updated information clearly and concisely.
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 share information faster than ever before. If someone trusts and likes your practice, they are much more likely to share your content. This exposes you to their entire network of friends and followers, many of whom are potential patients. You can reach a large volume of people in real-time for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. Social media uses one of the most successful tactics for business growth, word-of-mouth marketing, and adapts it for the digital era.
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 a top priority!
3. Garnering Engagement
A feature of most social media platforms that are especially useful for healthcare marketing is hashtag tracking. You can see which hashtags people are using in high volumes and where they are sharing them from geographically. You can use this data to monitor public health trends in your area and prepare for a possible influx of patients due to current health concerns.
If people are interacting online about their ailments and health issues, they are likely to connect with others who are struggling with the same things. This opens the door for you to create support communities for those experiencing similar issues to share their experiences. Facilitating such health-focused interactions can be rewarding for people on an emotional level and also build your practice by attracting new patients.
Summing It Up:
The takeaway from these tips is that social media is an easy-to-use and budget-friendly resource that everyone has access to. So use it! Social media can increase your patient volumes, help you control the accuracy of health-related information available online, strengthen your relationships with current patients, and broaden your exposure to potential patients. Take advantage of the opportunity to build your practice’s brand awareness by establishing a strong social media presence!