As an Internet Marketing Manager, I've helped many clients in the healthcare industry gain the online exposure that they deserve, particularly through social media. The purpose of my efforts is not only to use the power of social media for connecting healthcare professionals with the potential patients, but also to nurture existing connections. In my opinion, using social media for healthcare builds a holistic and transparent approach to understanding the needs of the consumers when it comes to their health.
Let's dive into the main elements of social media engagement that will help you, as a health care provider, to better connect with your audience!
Educate patients by sharing your expert knowledge, so they can make informed decisions about their health care. While the opinions of friends and family on social media are definitely valuable, they aren't always accurate, so your patients may be tempted to self-diagnose. When you share your expertise on social media, they have access to valuable, accurate information on a platform they're comfortable using.
Engage with the younger crowd. According to Mediabistro, the majority of social media users are between 18 and 24 year old. Millennials move quickly among a variety of topics, so if you move too slow, you may lose their attention. Today, younger audiences are interested in pop culture, movies, active lifestyles, and fashion, so think about what you can do to connect with them through their interests.
Know your networks to connect with your target audience. According to Mashable, parents are more likely to seek medical answers online; 22% use Facebook and 20% use YouTube. Of non-parents, 14% use Facebook and 12% use YouTube to search for healthcare-related topics.
Connect with other healthcare professionals. According to MedTechMedia, 31% of health care professionals use social media platforms for professional networking, making them great opportunities for healthcare professionals to connect. Are you a dentist who is actively involved in continuing education and who shares your expertise with others in your field? Let your expert knowledge shine through on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and connect with other interested professionals!
Be proactive about sharing the value that your practice brings to your ideal patients. Another study suggests that 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility. Few other marketing opportunities come close to giving a health care provider such a powerful tool to attract and retain patients.