Social Media

Social Media Etiquette: Top Medical Facebook Dos and Donts You Need To Know

By Amber Turner On Aug 10, 2020 . 0 Comments

When you get involved with social media, you don’t want it to seem like more administrative work that you’re required to do.

So, how can you better ensure your social media efforts will help you accomplish your medical practice’s objectives now? 

You might be rolling your eyes at the idea of memes becoming the new source of medical advice, but don’t give up on social media, especially not Facebook. 

Whether you are looking to expand your social media efforts or just keep up with the competition, there are some rules you must follow.

If you do social media right and avoid some common missteps, you can build a healthier community and a stronger healthcare practice to boot.

DO: Use Compelling Imagery – Photos Are Worth a Million Likes

Posting photos on Facebook is the best way to get more attention from your fans because images are easier to consume than text. This makes compelling imagery more important than ever and the perfect companion for any post.

Not only do photo posts get more engagement than links, videos, or text-based updates, they account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook.

Not only must you share high-quality photos, but you must also share photos that interest the potential patients you want to target. Personal photos taken at your practice or of your staff will always be more welcomed by your Facebook fans rather than impersonal stock photography.

Refer to our pro-tips on how to make the most out of your imagery on Facebook: 6 Visual Tips You Must Know For Your Medical Practice Facebook

DO: Engage With Your Patients/Audience – Keep The Social In Social Media

“A well curated Facebook or Instagram page is a really valuable way to communicate with the community and show what your practice is all about.”  -Klara Morgan, Marketing Director at Koda Digital

Between asking questions, responding to comments, and engaging with other posts, you’re not only growing your digital footprint but also making your audience feel as if they are heard and appreciated.

Social media is all about interaction—when someone comments on one of your posts or asks a question, or even lodges a public complaint, don’t just ignore it.

Ignoring your audience is the fast track to creating hard feelings, missing opportunities, and damaging your brand. Keep tabs on activity on your social media accounts and respond promptly to your followers.

Interact in a professional, well-thought-out way, and when appropriate, throw in some humor! Don’t shy away from sprinkling in an emoji or two either. 😉

DO: Post Regularly – Stay Relevant On Your Patient’s Feed

You should be posting quality, consistent content on a level that identifies well with your practice’s brand and attracts potential patients. Post infrequently – your patients will forget you. Post too much – you’ll overcrowd your patient’s feed.

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to posting on Facebook. Starting off slow can help you build repertoire while also providing the necessary time to review data and create a more robust content calendar. 

Consider posting 3-5 times a week or creating anywhere from 20-30 posts a month. Make sure you post a variety of different content so your patients can get excited and look forward to your posts.

DO: Think Before You Post – Separate Personal and Professional

What you post on your Facebook account will affect how people view your medical practice. 

Sharing health-related news and articles is a great way to educate your followers. 

Unless an article is clearly from a well-known legitimate news outlet, verify its accuracy so you don’t spread misinformation. 

Think carefully about how posts that issue commentary on hot-button topics like religion, politics, or gender issues might impact your relationships with your Facebook fans. Avoiding these topics altogether may be the best course of action for your practice.  

While everyone has the right to personal convictions, promoting them on professional Facebook accounts may be foolhardy. Save controversial topics for personal accounts – and set the appropriate privacy controls.

DO: Get Social Media Help If You Need It

Sometimes we need a bit more help than looking through tips. Outsourcing to a professional will save you time and can help you leapfrog over the competition.

If your medical practice is finding it challenging to know how to start with social media, how to set social media goals, or how to manage the entire process, Koda Digital can help. 

Working with a digital marketing company like ours allows you to still have ownership over your practice’s social media accounts but lets you relax while someone else creates appropriate and relevant content to drive up engagements. 

It’s not unheard of for one of our clients to see a 400% increase in lifetime engaged users in just one month after Koda Digital took over their Facebook account.

The more engagements and engaged users, the more potential patients come through your doors. 

DON’T: Post Without Proofreading – Double-Check Grammar and Spelling

“If u need help 4 improvin ur health plz click on this post 4 info on improvin ur health”

Okay, that  might be exaggerating a bit with this hyperbole. But whether your post has 10 grammatical errors or 1, the reaction your patients have is the same across the board – ugh.

Social media posts that contain errors and typos harm your practice’s reputation. Damage is highest when a potential patient views your practice’s Facebook profile for the first time.

Before making posts live, review what you wrote, and fix mistakes.  Review the content again after you publish it because sometimes sneaky errors can slip by, despite initial proofreading efforts.

A free, easily accessible tool you can use is Grammarly. Grammarly’s product offers grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection service, along with suggestions about writing clarity, concision, vocabulary, delivery style, and tone.

DON’T: Violate HIPAA Regulations

It’s a good idea to continually remind/train your staff members about HIPAA rules regarding online medical information. 

Any time you or your staff are engaging with patients on social media, HIPAA regulations must be strictly observed. 

Healthcare providers may be in the business of helping others maintain good health, but social media is not the place for diagnosis and treatment. 

Some patients may post a medical question on one of your social media pages or send a direct message listing their symptoms. In these cases, ask them to follow up with an in-person appointment.

Your organization’s website and contact information should always be visible on your social media profiles.

DON’T: Just Talk About Yourself/Your Practice

Everything you share on social media should be relevant to your practice and your patients, but that doesn’t mean it all has to be about you—in fact, most of it shouldn’t be.

Social media is part of a larger conversation, not a platform for just posting your own material.

Engaging with other organization accounts can help you expand your reach to a relevant audience. Interacting with the pages of local school and community centers will highlight your presence on Facebook. 

Share any community updates, such as city awards and local events, or spread the word of your own fundraising activities and clinic events on Facebook. Make sure you tag other pages so you can increase their interaction. 

Final Thoughts – Time For You To Get Started

We know that was a lot to take in but we hope that you now have a better understanding of some of the important do’s and don’ts of social media marketing. 

Having well-run social media pages comes down to making thoughtful decisions to benefit and align with your practice’s marketing strategy.

Keep these tips in mind, and your medical practice will be well on its way to social media success! 

For more insights into growing your practice through digital marketing, contact Koda Digital and get more patients in your door.

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