How to Respond to Patient Reviews in Compliance with HIPAA Guidelines
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Amber Turner On Dec 14, 2022
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When implementing a successful social media marketing strategy for your practice, you must first understand the different social media platforms, and which are the best fit for your medical practice.
Many assume all social media channels are equal – but they’re not.
By knowing the differences between each platform, you will know which ones you need to prioritize when crafting your social media marketing strategy, saving you time, effort, and money.
With more social media platforms than ever before to choose from, healthcare professionals are faced with a tough question: which ones are right for my practice?
Today, we’re going to answer that exact question. We’re going to share the top 6 social media platforms for medical practices, cover their advantages and disadvantages, and give our final verdict on whether or not they’re good for your business.
First, let’s get clear on what social media marketing is and why it’s such a valuable tool.
There are many reasons why you’d want to use social media for business. The benefits of social media in healthcare include:
Sharing informative, educational posts on social media connects you with current and potential patients.
For example, as flu season approaches, you could post a reminder for individuals to get their flu shots or share flu statistics.
This improves the chances that people will not only use the information but also share it with others, which leads people to become more familiar with your practice through your social media presence.
Most of your patients are already using social media. Take a look at these numbers:
In a survey of U.S. consumers by PatientsLikeMe, 11% said they turn to social media to find reliable health information, 9% said they use it to research treatment options, and 7% said they use it to find information about medication side effects.
With these known statistics, social media marketing for doctors is essential. Simply put, if your practice wants to produce outstanding results, it needs to be active on the major platforms that best fit your business.
Factors such as specialty type, target demographic, and content you create play a significant role in deciding which social media platforms are worth the time and effort to reach your existing and potential patients.
Using the right platform can amplify your visibility and sales and take your practice to the next level.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Facebook is number one on our list of the top 6 social media platforms for medical practice.
With roughly 2.96 billion monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2022, Facebook is the most used online social network worldwide.
This social media site stands out as the top digital platform and businesses can’t afford to ignore it in their digital healthcare marketing strategy.
Facebook is designed to increase brand awareness and patient engagement, additionally having a strong impact on local SEO for a practice.
Typically when you search for a practice, Facebook is one of the top search results returned. This means Facebook is one of the most important search engine optimization listings for local search.
For medical practices looking to increase their reach and grow their business, there’s a good chance their next patient is on Facebook. Paid social ads reach those patients more than a quarter of all digital ad spending goes toward Facebook.
Facebook’s advertising platform is by far the most developed of all the social media platforms.
Through Facebook ads, you can target by:
There are a few disadvantages that come with having a Facebook business profile.
While there are some disadvantages to embracing Facebook for your social media marketing, there are a plethora of advantages that we believe outweigh those disadvantages.
All medical practices and specialties are a great fit for Facebook and should utilize Facebook in its marketing strategy.
Instagram is one of the most widely used platforms among US adults, with over 159 million users.
Instagram started as a platform for sharing photos and still keeps that as its core use. However, it has expanded to the sharing of videos in posts and in a feature called “stories.”
Using Instagram for medical practices means creating a business account separate from your personal account.
Why? Business accounts:
Instagram for physicians is designed to engage with patients and share images and videos of procedures, patient outcomes, inside the practice, and the physicians who work there.
Instagram can also be used to target local potential patients and promote any conferences or events your practice may be holding.
Alongside opportunities for organic content marketing and engagement, you can also pay to advertise on Instagram. As with most social media advertising, you can select specific targeted audiences for your ads.
Disadvantages of Instagram for medical marketing:
Despite the disadvantages, this social platform has become an excellent way for healthcare businesses to show (rather than tell) their services, values, and voice.
To overcome the challenges of this platform, a digital marketing agency like Koda Digital can help with a full-scale setup of your business account and ongoing monthly management, or we can step in as consultants to help you get started.
Linkedin is a social media networking platform designed for business professionals and encourages content sharing and networking connections.
This platform presents many opportunities to connect with other like-minded medical professionals and potential patients seeking information about health care, while also allowing your practice to market its services to the right audiences.
Physicians can also use the platform to search for new hires and quickly review resumes, experience, credibility, and recommendations.
Much like other social media platforms, LinkedIn offers advertising to generate leads, drive traffic to your website or landing page, and build brand awareness through several different ad formats, including sponsored content and sponsored messaging.
It is important to note that LinkedIn is one of the more expensive social platforms for paid advertising. It can be easy to burn through your advertising budget quickly, with little to show for it.
Healthcare marketing on LinkedIn has the potential to be a great compliment to your social media marketing strategy, but you need to have a well-thought-out strategy in place.
Cons of Linkedin:
The upsides and downsides of LinkedIn for Business show that it can be an exceptionally advantageous development and outreach process.
Used the right way, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your social media marketing strategy and an effective way to brand your practice with a targeted, engaged audience.
With over 368 million monthly active users worldwide and over 500 million tweets sent per day, Twitter plays an integral part in daily life and most businesses’ marketing strategies.
You can post photos and videos along with a limited copy of 280 characters, but Twitter is most known for its feed of real-time updates.
Twitter can help you stay in touch with existing patients, and attract new patients to your practice while enhancing your online reputation. Building a strong Twitter following takes time and a lot of work posting engaging content but is well worth it to create brand evangelists who are the voice of your healthcare practice.
It is free of charge to set up a Twitter account. While paid ads are available, many businesses see benefits from organic posts and interactions.
It’s important to be aware of the downsides of Twitter for businesses:
Twitter can be a great tool to grow your practice, connect with existing and potential patients, and establish yourself as an authority in your field. If you tweet relevant, useful information consistently, you can increase your online reach greatly, and enhance your professional reputation.
YouTube has 2.6 billion monthly active users.
Similar to Instagram, YouTube has the benefit of visual content.
A Youtube marketing strategy can serve as a significant outlet for providing medical information directly from the physician and allows the website to have a multitude of videos without the burden of hosting video directly on the website and weighing it down (from a speed standpoint).
Unlike the other social media platforms for medical practices that we’ve listed so far, it has the unique stance of being owned by Google. Therefore, YouTube has access to Google’s advertising platform, and you can use this to your advantage when running YouTube ads.
Be aware of Youtube’s disadvantages for your medical social marketing strategy:
As more people turn to online video for bite-sized, easily consumable content, traffic will only continue to grow and Youtube will be a must for marketing your medical practice.
TikTok is a newer social media platform that has become extremely popular in recent years with the app quickly achieving more than one billion monthly active users in 2022.
TikTok allows users to create short-form, five- to 60-second, mobile videos using a range of filters, effects, and music.
Although TikTok was once seen as “only for young people,” many healthcare professionals don’t realize that TikTok is used by all ages, which means it can also be used for medical marketing purposes.
In November 2020, Cleveland Clinic announced that it launched a TikTok channel. The healthcare leader said it joined forces with the social platform to “motivate the public to wear face masks” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within 24 hours of launching its channel, Cleveland Clinic’s #MaskUp video had more than one million views.
This shows that healthcare marketing has a place on TikTok.
So how is this different from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube? TikTok offers a few various video creation and sharing tools that boost engagement fast that are not options through other social channels.
The app encourages more engagement with multiple response options and sharing features, such as stitching, dueting, video response, direct share links, comments, re-posting options, and favorite folders.
Since TikTok is a newer social media platform, best practices are not necessarily established as of yet. This gives your medical practice a chance to be creative, do something different and express your unique brand voice.
Additionally, TikTok marketing can also come in the form of paid ads. There are three categories of healthcare marketers that aren’t allowed to advertise on TikTok:
View the entire list of medical marketing guidelines for TikTok ads.
There are some downsides to consider when marketing your practice on TikTok. They include:
All in all, it can be beneficial to start a TikTok account for your healthcare organization and play around. You never know — you may go viral.
As you can see, no two social media platforms are the same and now you know that each platform has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
To gain the most from your social media campaign, you must be mindful when selecting a social platform for your marketing needs.
Yes, the decision when choosing a social media platform for your marketing strategy can be based on targeted marketing goals (ie increase patients, increase new patients, etc.)
However, the biggest reason you need to choose wisely for social media is that you want to do it well. You do not want to have suboptimal social media accounts floating around for your practice.
Additionally, you are making a commitment because it takes consistency to build a social media presence and you must spend your time wisely since social media is time-consuming.
Once you have identified the ideal social media channel that is the best fit, the next step is to hone in on a consistent social content marketing strategy and growth tactics to drive engagement and website traffic from the platforms.
Looking for help with social media content? Our team of experts specializes in creating custom healthcare content for most social media channels.
For more social media knowledge, check out our other blogs:
If you’re ready to diagnose your practice and make sure it’s in top-notch health, contact us today to get started.
Helping our clients achieve social media success is only a fraction of what the professionals at Koda Digital do. For more insights into growing your practice through digital marketing, contact Koda Digital and get more patients through your door in 2023.
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