Until a few years ago, the idea of following your doctor on social media might have seemed bizarre, but today it is no longer the case. Social networks have become a fundamental health marketing tool for many doctors, clinics and hospitals.
According to a report from PewResearch, 80% of social media users are looking for health information and half of them are searching the web for a specific medical professional.
The versatility of the contents offered by social media , which include videos, photos, surveys and text content, has led many health professionals to interact with their patients via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram . It is a real medical marketing strategy designed to involve the largest number of potential patients and make themselves known in the world of the web. Social media are not only used by many doctors to seek out new clients, but are increasingly used to follow all patients more closely, exchanging information and questions with them.
A report by Adobe Digital Insights said that social media is the most relevant advertising channel for 50% of Generation Z and 42% of millennials. A fact that makes us understand how strong the impact that a presence or absence on social media can have for a professional. As far as healthcare marketing is concerned , social media are now essential both to involve patients with precise and rapid information and to offer their public a healthcare experience in step with the times. An active presence on Facebook can greatly increase the number of requests from users and make your old patients more loyal.
The confirmation comes from the Sprout 2018 social index which found that medical posts containing links are the most followed type of content on social media. If 18% of surfers in the sea of the web prefer graphics and images, 17% would like to see videos produced by their doctor’s office. The people of the web therefore already seem to be part of this important revolution in the way of conceiving Healthcare Marketing and many professionals use social media on a daily basis to make themselves known by new customers.
Social media allow a decisive advantage in medical marketing , giving patients the opportunity to interact in real time with their doctor, ask questions and seek information. Once you have become aware of this advantage, it is legitimate to ask yourself how a doctor or a health clinic can be effectively present on social media and how they can best interact with patients .
The websites and pages of a healthcare professional must be effective information support networks, therefore it will be essential to activate forums with thematic discussions . One example is PatientsLikeMe which allows patients to exchange information with other patients about their medical conditions. In addition to forums, the healthcare world can take advantage of social media to encourage discussions between patients, as in the case of Children’s Mercy which uses its Facebook page as a real online square, where everyone can discuss and ask questions, getting answers from both patients and staff.
The content you share on your social media should give a message of positivity and hope to your patients, so carefully consider what kind of articles, images and texts you want to post. A good healthcare marketing strategy includes different contents, in order to respond to the most varied needs.
How many people surf the web looking for a self-diagnosis? To avoid that your patients are confronted with information of dubious origin, post content on your social page that you believe is reliable and useful for their pathologies. Health tips and curiosity will increase the trust your patients place in you. Defeat myths and question your patients, thus educating your audience about prevention and providing them with the right information.
When we are faced with serious and progressive diseases it is difficult to comfort the patient and the family. To try to convey positivity, you can use social media by sharing stories that inspire your clients. You can ask your patients to share stories and testimonials to comfort as many people as possible and at the same time get a great business card for new potential patients.
Social media in healthcare can become a vital healthcare marketing tool thanks to hashtags. In fact, through studied captions and the right hashtags you can reach a much wider audience than the close circle of your followers. Here’s a post from Northwestern Medicine for #NationalDonutDay that tapped into this potential of social media:
Talk about how your social media work actually goes. Transparently showing how you operate on your patients will be a great healthcare marketing strategy. Showcase your work environments and hilarious moments with your team. For example, this post from Johns Hopkins hospital shows some moments of joy and sweetness during a pet therapy within the hospital facility:
In some cases, the best way to highlight the results of your work is to let your patients speak. The UGC marketing strategy plans to create such an engagement with your patients’ network that they share the results obtained online on social media.