Should Doctors Use Social Media?

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Mar312022

In an age where 82% of the American population has at least one social networking profile, you’ve likely wondered, “Should my practice be on social media? What should this look like – a basic listing or active advertisements?”

The short answer to the first question is “yes”.

Platforms, such as Facebook, are a great way to reach an audience in your area, whether organically, or by paying for ads (which will target those in your area who may be looking for your service).

Why Should I Have a Business Social Media Page?

In plenty of community groups, there are frequent posts from members asking “is there a doctor of this type in the area?” and asking for others’ recommendations, as well as their experiences with that doctor. Commenters can even tag a doctor’s business page to send users directly to it.

A business page can serve as a one-stop shop to get to know more about your professionals and your practice. These pages allow you to post:

  • Your location
  • Your contact information
  • Your website URL
  • Pictures of your offices
  • Your practice’s achievements
  • Content, like blogs and news articles
  • Events, such as speaking engagements and fundraisers

A page also allows people to review your practice and leave messages for your office. A page can help prospective patients learn more about your offices and assess if you are a good fit before making a call.

There are other social media platforms that you can use to expand your reach, like Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook. Each one has its own benefits, but they have some downsides to them as well.

Social Media Platforms To Consider

Twitter

Twitter is a tool if you have more to say and often. You are limited in characters, and not many people are looking to Twitter for recommendations. Twitter is mainly used by users who are looking for people’s thoughts and comments on a timely subject of interest. It is a great platform to share achievements, impactful articles, and mention events, but there isn’t a place for users to leave reviews and share their experiences.

Youtube

Youtube is another wonderful social media tool —if you have the resources to use it. The popular video platform allows you to share instructional videos with signs or symptoms for a certain condition, or detail a treatment regimen. However, if you do not have the resources to create and edit videos, Youtube might not be the best fit for your practice.

Facebook

Many adults spend considerable time on Facebook catching up with friends, sharing photos or life updates, or browsing through groups. With Americans spending, on average, 58 minutes a day on the app, it is a good platform for increasing your practice’s visibility and fostering a space where patients can share reviews.
Facebook also allows you to show a more personal side of your practice, where you can post things that typically wouldn’t be posted to your websites, or at least be able to share them to be seen immediately. This could include celebrating an employee’s birthday or a patient’s progress, announcing a sponsorship with a local sports team or a fundraiser you are taking part in. You can also share blogs or studies, that you reviewed and recommend, which may be informative to your target audience.

Should I Pay for Social Media?

You could, but you don’t have to. Paying for ads is a great way to increase who sees you in the community. Paid ads allow you to target specific audiences in your community.

However, word of mouth (or typing in this instance) is just as strong. As stated earlier, others can refer you by tagging your page, so patients can then go to that page and get a better idea of the doctor that is being recommended to them.

Building an Online Presence Helps Build Your Brand

You don’t have to post multiple times a day to every platform just to be seen; posting even once or twice a week helps show that you are engaging in the social conversation of your specialty or local healthcare community.

Giving yourself a space on your page to share information about your specialty is very important as well. Especially with all the trending medical news stories that can be misleading. An article shared by one’s own doctor will often hold more weight than one that is shared by a news outlet. While you don’t need to be on social media, it is another opportunity to expand your practice’s reach in your community.

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