How Doctors Can Use Social Media to Connect and Talk to Patients

Having trouble balancing your business and social media? Not getting a lot of engagement on your social media efforts?

Don’t think social media is important for your business? Think again.

44% of people search for doctors online.

81% click on a sponsored link when looking for health information.

41% of people would choose a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation

As you can see, people are using the internet and social media more than ever to find providers.

Social media isn’t as easy everyone thinks. Balancing both social media and your business is possible. Having the right strategy in place is important for that to happen.

Find out where you audience/patients are

A lot of doctors don’t see the benefit of social media is because they aren’t seeing results. The big thing to understand is that you have to know where your patients are. If you don’t, you’ll be wasting your time and energy in places where your patients aren’t paying attention.

How do you find out where they are?

You reverse engineer your patients that you’ve worked with.

Find out their age, gender, race, location, interests, etc.

By doing this, you can figure out what platforms to use.

Snapchat is geared towards millennials.

Facebook is a universal tool.

Linkedin might not be the best platform to gather new patients. This is because it is a professional/networking setting.

This will also help when choosing to use paid media as well.

Understanding the platforms they are one will allow you not to spread yourself too thin.

Choose one or two platforms with the strongest patient presence and focus all your efforts and time there.

Update Contact Info

Many doctors forget about their website and social media accounts over time. I don’t blame them.

With all the great work they do, their internet presence is the last thing on their mind.

Even if that is the case, it doesn’t mean it’s not important to be aware of.

Because of doctors forgetting about their internet presence, their contact info can go out of date.

Making sure your physical address, phone number, office hours, email address, links to website are all up to date. This will help your patients contact you.

The other thing to be aware of is social proof. There are many platforms such as Yelp, Google reviews and the doctor review sites out there. It’s important to maintain your presence on those platforms and reply to all reviews.

Create a short list for you patients to view

This will allow them to understand if you can help them or not.

People use social media and your website to figure out what you do exactly.

You’re a doctor? Great, what kind of doctor?

A chiropractor? A podiatrist? A pediatrician?

Great. What type of services do you provide?

What type of specialties do you have?

What type of treatments do you offer?

Have any new services? Seasonal offers going on?

Separate yourself from other practices and show what value your practice brings. Let your patients know what you do. Let them know you do it well.

Ask for testimonials from patients and put them on your website. This will allow people that visit your website and social media platforms to deem you as trustworthy.

Advertise your Availability

Let you patients know when you’re office is opened. Make sure this is shown in an area that is easy to find. People don’t want it to be hard when search for a doctor and the times their opened. Help them out.

Show your patients when you’re available for appointments, walk-ins and also any special hours you might have. That could include holidays, last minute calls, seasonal events (flu shots), etc.

Share updates about the services and promotions you offer. If you have flu shots for patients or if you have a new treatment and want to record a demo of it. Let your patients know about what you have to offer and when.

Share Useful Content

You may be reading and watching thought leaders in your space to educate yourself. Why not become that thought leader?

Share all the content that you find helpful on your social media accounts to share with your audience. Yes, it may not be from you. Make sure to include a headline on what your thoughts are about each posts. This will help the audience understand that you read it. Also, this offers an opportunity to share your expertise with your audience as well.

Creating your content is a good way to intrigue patients as well. You can create a blog, video, a podcast. This will show your services, viewpoints on the healthcare industry, and more. People will find value in that and come to you for advice and service.

Places that most doctors are on and share content are Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

Build Relationship with Patient and Others

This is important for you as a thought leader or aspiring thought leader.  While you put out content, people will comment and ask questions. Responding to these comments and questions will help patients feel valued. This also allows you to share your expertise on these topics increasing your credibility.

Doing this will increase your visibility as your audience trusts you and shares your content. Because of this, people will share this information with people they know. As we know, word of mouth is the strongest advertisement there is. Showing your expertise in your industry will have people buzzing about you.

Another way to build relationships is to join a Linkedin Group matching your expertise. What this allows is for you to jump in on the conversation there.  Many individuals will be asking questions, sharing their own content and much more. Since you are an expert in this area, you can answer their questions and respond to the content shared.

Conclusion

Many doctors don’t see the importance of social media. I don’t blame them. They’re busy people. Having a social media presence is important today. The amount of people using social media for reference when choosing a doctor is large. Using the tips listed in this post will help you get started in developing a strong presence on social media. This can also help you become a thought leader. If that’s not your goal, it can help you image, show your expertise and organic advertising. There is no reason to not get yourself and your practice on social media. Start today.