Social Media for Healthcare
Healthcare social media involves many industry specific factors that can make it a complex and time consuming process, in addition to the more general learning curve that comes with managing a successful social media presence, which we explain in detail below, but it is also a powerful tool for healthcare marketing. If you find would like our assistance in creating and or managing your social presence, Contact Us Today, we would be glad to assist you.
During our work with healthcare providers we have found social media plays an important part in humanizing the institution and growing digital word of mouth, and research supports our experience. With 41% of people saying social media affected their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or facility and 22% of parents saying they seek medical information for their children on Facebook. Even the Mayo Clinic found social media to be an important part of their marketing efforts and saw podcast listeners rose by 76,000 after the clinic started using social media. Social Media plays an important role in growing referrals and building trust with patients online and offline. Let us share some of our social media expertise with you.
Before You Start Posting
For those healthcare institutions looking to leverage social media for their facility there is one thing that must be addressed before beginning. Patient privacy rules like HIPAA must be followed in social media postings and interactions, this means that healthcare providers should never identify patients nor share information that could identify patients online, unless explicitly given permission by the patient to do so. Even if a patient shares their medical information on a providers Social Pages, privacy is still the healthcare institutions responsibility. A post by a patient on your page does not release you from patient privacy responsibilities. Patient posts should be responded to, but providers must not give any additional information about the patient or their history than what was provided by patient themselves. We have found that if it is desired that a specific illness or patient centered process be shared as a more personal story to educate and engage users on social media it is more effective to create a completely imaginary patient, thus avoiding any potential conflict while still sharing useful and engaging content.
Share Your Expertise
Being a member of a healthcare organization gives you access to a wide variety of professional expertise, leverage that expertise through blogs and publicize and share it on social media. While some institutions use social media to directly interact and share expertise with patients in real time, this takes a level of social media dedication, expertise and time, many healthcare professionals do not have. A more efficient way to share expertise is to provide general information and advice through blog posts that are relevant to the expertise of your employees, institution or practice, these blog posts can then be publicized and shared with healthcare users on social media. Social Media allows you to greatly expand the number of users you would have reached otherwise, while also building a Social Community that is helped by the expertise you share. This community then becomes a great way to grow your word of mouth referrals, the most effective of all new patient acquisition formats.
Make Healthcare Warm And Human With Social
Social media provides one of the most effective mediums for humanizing and generating continuous emotional and personal engagement with healthcare users. While patient stories, information and images may be more difficult to share, your staff provides a fertile ground for emotional engagement. Instead of being primarily focusing on the fact you’re a healthcare provider on social media, which is a strength all your competitors have as well, let your employees shine through they are unique to your institution. Share their stories; why do they enjoy what they do, what inspires them, what’s their history? By empowering your employees and letting patients and potential patients, see the individuals that are caring for others and may be caring for them, your healthcare organizations social media presence can expose large numbers of people to the human side of your practice or organization. Helping them form a deeper connection and positive sentiment than you would otherwise have been able to, while also setting you apart from competitors.
Social Media Advertising For Healthcare
Social Media advertising and healthcare can be an extremely powerful combination. Through the powerful demographic data Facebook and other social platforms retain, healthcare providers can reach highly targeted groups that are most in need of the services they provide. For instance a clinic that specializes in birthing services and pediatrics may want to use the following combination of targeting: women 18-40, expecting and new parents (0-12 months), and parents with children from 1-12 years old in addition to using location targeting to reach people within the clinics service area. Facebook is not only a powerful tool for reaching the young, research shows that 63% of the 50-64 age group use Facebook, and 56% the 65+ category use it. We have also found that these can be some of healthcare social media’s most engaged users. This powerful level of segmentation and the accuracy of targeting can make Facebook a powerful healthcare marketing tool for all ages and demographics.
By implementing an integrated social media strategy that leverages your strengths and expertise in the healthcare industry and works to engage your patients and users with content they find interesting and useful you can build a powerful healthcare marketing platform. This in combination with the granular targeting of social media advertising, which has greater accuracy than mailings and allows you to track the return on investment for each ad dollar with powerful analytics platforms, makes Social Media an important part of a successful healthcare web and marketing presence.
We hope the expertise we shared in social media management for healthcare will allow you to more effectively share your own healthcare expertise and successfully grow your visits and patients. If you would like more information or to leverage our expertise in healthcare social media management please Contact Us Now or Request A Quote Today.
By Benjamin Henniges
Faster Solutions Web-marketing Coordinator