How Doctors Can Use Social Media for Good
“If you’re reading this and thinking, “This all sounds great, but I don’t have the time to implement these strategies,” Emergence is here to help you with any or all of your social media needs.”
Over the past decade, we’ve seen a significant uptick in the use of social media for private practices. And it makes sense — in today’s world, everyone and everything is online.
Patients are no longer only going by word of mouth when choosing a doctor but rather trusting “word of mouth” on Facebook, Google, Yelp, or LinkedIn.This is why being in control of your own social media presence is of the utmost importance. When patients search your name, it’s imperative that they’re getting the most accurate and up-to-date information about you.
We know that creating a brand for yourself is not what you studied in medical school. In fact, it may feel counter-intuitive. However, when used correctly, social media can help you set the tone for your practice, stay connected with the patients you already have, and help new patients find you. Simply put, social media can help you reach the people who need your help and, thus, grow your practice.
Why do I need social media?
First, social media can be used to create your practice’s overall tone. Think of it as an external reflection of yourself. It is a direct link to patients and can seamlessly demonstrate your style of interaction. Patients connect with authenticity. They are looking for someone who has experience, but just as important, they’re looking for someone approachable. Social media can showcase your specialties, what sets you apart, and what you, specifically, can offer your patients.
Second, think of social media as a tool to connect with current patients. Whether it be through a YouTube channel, or a weekly Instagram post, reaching out to your patients regularly will signal that you’re thinking about them even when they're not in the office. The tone of these messages is also important. These posts should be written in an approachable way – informative yet casual. This way, your patients won’t gloss over important information and will feel that you are talking to them instead of at them.
Third, social media can be used to attract new patients. If you take some time to figure out exactly who you are trying to attract, for example, a specific demographic or age group, you can tailor posts to them. You can even use your posts to establish your authority within a specific field and to gain credibility. In doing so, patients will seek you out as the go-to for your specialty.
Plus, social media raises your profile to help doctors learn about you for the times they need to refer a patient to a specialist.
Connection is the key.
Social media, at its roots, is about connection. Many people are hesitant to make an appointment with a doctor out of fear. And although that includes a fear of diagnosis, for many, it’s the fear that a doctor won’t listen to them or take their concerns seriously. However, if from the onset, your Instagram page or Facebook profile feels welcoming and trustworthy, people will be more likely to contact your office for an appointment. It’s another way for patients looking for help to meet you before they meet you.
So, where should I post?
Every social media medium has its own personality, so make sure your message is tailored to the specific site and user engagement. Facebook is a great place to build a story around you and your practice. It’s a good tool for sharing information with your community. Here, you can disseminate information quickly and speak directly to current and potential patients about your specialties and unique services.
Want to reach your patients where they already spend their time? Instagram is great for creating awareness around your practice. Practices can also use it to build and track engagement. Use Instagram to highlight a member of your team, showcase new equipment, or even a special employee lunch. It can give patients the feeling that they’re getting a peek behind the curtain.
LinkedIn has moved beyond being a place simply used to look for work. It is an ever-growing community in which you can illustrate credibility within your field and highlight accomplishments. You can share insights, publish case studies, and build valuable connections with referring doctors and medical groups. It can also be used to share and stay up to date with industry news.
Even TikTok may have a place in your practice if you’re looking to engage with younger patients. Here, you can show more of your personality and attract patients in doing so. You can highlight that, along with being a doctor, you are a person striving for connection, and surprise, surprise, can pick up the latest TikTok dance routine rather quickly.
We’ve got you covered.
Remember that no matter what, your goal should be to create content that feels authentic to you. After all, your patients are coming to see YOU for your skills, expertise, and care. Social media is just an extension of you and the care you provide.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “This all sounds great, but I don’t have the time to implement these strategies,” Emergence is here to help you with any or all of your social media needs. We are experts in this field, so you can be an expert in yours.