Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

Social Media in Healthcare | 7 Tips to Promote Your Clinic

social media

Social media has become an inseparable part of practically every aspect of life so it wasn’t long before businesses in all industries started leveraging it to reach potential or existing customers.

In healthcare, too, social media has proven to be a cost-effective way to increase patient trust, boost revenue, and improve patient care as a whole.

That said, to get the most out of our social media, you’ll need to know how to use it within the healthcare industry.

Learn how to simplify your practice workflow and free up more time for patients with Medesk.

Open the detailed description >>

In this article, we’re here to teach you everything there is to know about leveraging social media in healthcare, including:

  • What’s the Role of Social Media in Healthcare?
  • How to Use Social Media in Healthcare
  • Benefits and Drawbacks of Social Media in Healthcare
  • Best Social Media Platforms for Healthcare Clinics

And more!

What is the Role of Social Media in Healthcare?

Social media is practically the most relevant communication tool today, with 3.78 billion people currently using it worldwide. As such, social media is also a great way to effectively market any business, product, or service.

The healthcare industry is no exception to this. Using social media for your medical clinic can help you:

  • Address and interact with your patients directly
  • Offer your patients information on health-related issues
  • Provide a more “personal” view of your clinic and staff
  • Improve your business based on real-time feedback

Not to mention, social media in healthcare also offers a modern, cost-effective way to broadcast your services, expertise, promotions, and any other business-related information meant for large audiences.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Medical Clinic

Simply having social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is just a start - there’s a lot more to “doing social media right.”

Below, we’ll teach you how you can best take advantage of social media marketing for healthcare, as well as how to define your own strategy:

#1. Raise Awareness

If you want your patients to trust you - and recommend your clinic to their friends and family - you should make sure they don’t just see you as a business out to take their money.

One way to achieve this is to use social media to raise awareness for different important health-related issues, including:

  • Diseases and treatments
  • Medical events
  • Health-related news
  • Promotions and discounts

To achieve a balance, you can alternate between self-promotional posts (e.g. events you may be hosting or a seasonal service discount) and more general-interest posts, such as news about ground-breaking discoveries in the field or timely health-related research.

This way, you’ll keep your social media content interesting, improve patient trust, and increase the reach of information about your clinic and services.

Now, if you can raise awareness by posting original content on your social media, you can rest assured that it’s going to resonate with your audience even more.

Let’s say you’re a physical therapy clinic that holds information sessions in your city’s high schools. You can use social media to amplify your message and let your customer base know more about your clinic’s activities and values.

Here’s an example of The London Clinic raising awareness about nutrition and hydration on Twitter:

Raise Awareness - social media healthcare

#2. Educate Your Patients

Patients expect their doctors and healthcare practitioners to educate them on relevant, health-related issues and keep them in the loop about any medical news that can be of interest.

Medesk helps automate scheduling and record-keeping, allowing you to recreate an individual approach to each patient, providing them with maximum attention.

Learn more >>

For that reason, your social media content should include its fair share of educational material, whether it’s coming from your own clinic or other healthcare sources.

Now, the trick here is to make sure that whatever you’re sharing is fact-checked.

The last thing you want is for your healthcare clinic or medical facility to be associated with fake news and untrustworthy news sources, as that could harm your reputation, expertise, revenue, and patient retention.

Examples of educational content you can share on your social media channels include:

  • Medical posts and infographics
  • Peer-reviewed studies
  • Doctor’s advice
  • Health-related blog posts

Here’s an example of an educational post by London’s Women Clinic:

Educate Your Patients - social media healthcare

#3. Showcase Your Brand

Using social media gives you an excellent opportunity to promote your brand and make a lasting impact on anyone who follows your channels.

While it is true that healthcare clinics and hospitals are mostly led by the same values, such as providing quality care or offering the best possible patient experience, social media channels allow you to highlight everything that makes you unique through the posts you share and the way you interact with your existing and potential patients.

For example, if you’re running, say, a nutrition clinic, your posts can promote healthy lifestyle tips, exercise regimes, mental agility advice, and anything else nutrition-related that your brand stands for.

This is both going to help showcase your brand, and at the same time, help your patients remember your clinic.

Want to learn more about medical practice marketing strategies? Check out this guide to podiatry marketing and chiropractic marketing!

#4. Promote Staff Accomplishments

One thing that can truly make social media in healthcare successful is connecting with your followers on a personal level. This ensures greater patient trust and an increased likelihood to attract more patients to your clinic.

One great way to do this is by posting more about your staff and, especially, their accomplishments in the healthcare industry. After all, patients are expected to trust you with the one thing that’s more valuable than money - their health.

So, any staff accomplishments, from winning an award and receiving recognition for research to earning praise from colleagues and patients alike are worth putting on your social media channels as a token of accomplishment and merit.

Here’s an example of London’s Cooden Medical Group clinic promoting its staff and their achievements on social media:

Showcase Your Brand - social media healthcare

#5. Utilize User Content

There’s often a no better way to promote your business than letting others do the talking for you.

Well, social media in healthcare lets you do just that, in a truly effective way to drive more patients to your clinic, boost your revenue, and improve your business.

User content - or, content created by users about your clinic, staff, or services - works wonders because people tend to trust other people’s recommendations much more than any business’ self-promotion.

Today, online reviews are pretty much a substitute for word-of-mouth recommendations and 84% of people trust them as much as they do their friends. Well, user-generated content that applauds your clinic or services pretty much serves the same purpose.

So, for example, a patient posting a recovery picture and thanking your clinic for the speedy recovery can do wonders for your clinic’s reputation—and that’s definitely worth sharing on your social media pages!

That said, when it comes to re-sharing user-created content, make sure to first ask for their permission; it might happen that a patient doesn’t want their social media posts to reach more people than their own circle of friends and family.

#6. Share Preventive Information

As we already mentioned, it’s beneficial for healthcare clinics to stay as relevant as possible by adding value to their social media content and helping their patients even virtually.

Sharing preventive health-related news and information is one of the best ways to do that, as it allows you to not only engage with your followers but also educate them on time-sensitive matters that can help them in the long run.

After all, as a healthcare practitioner, people will tend to trust you more than other sources, which will make them more likely to check your page, comment on your posts, and overall interact with your social media channels.

As such, preventive information can include all kinds of content as long as it’s fact-checked and verified, from articles about public health issues and/or epidemics, updates about new research and medical trends, routine patient procedures, and more!

#7. Inspire Your Followers

Last but not least, it’s helpful to remember that some inspiration goes a long way in properly utilizing social media in healthcare.

Typically, people want to see success stories and get inspired by feel-good content and that’s especially true in healthcare. By doing so, you can build patient trust, promote your clinic, boost patient acquisition, and much more!

So, after you’ve taken your patients’ permission, think about the best way to tell their success stories on your social media channels, be it through patient pictures, their own words, creative hashtags, videos, and much more!

Want to learn more about improving your business, attracting more patients, and boosting your revenue? Check out our guide on medical practice marketing!

6 Benefits of Using Social Media in Healthcare

Still not convinced to give social media marketing a go? Here are the top 6 benefits that social media marketing can yield for a medical clinic:

  1. Raising awareness. Hospitals and healthcare clinics should spread important information about new and existing health issues. With the ability to reach many people simultaneously all over the world, social media in healthcare can help do just that.
  2. Combating misinformation. At the same time, practitioners are also responsible for combating misinformation and fake news, which can be extremely detrimental to healthcare. As such, they can use social media to spot misinformation and spread the word about its dangers.
  3. Effectively handling crises. Considering that the majority of people today get their news from social media channels more than they do from actual news sources, social media in healthcare makes for a good place to communicate any crisis-related information, be it from healthcare clinics, hospitals, or even governmental entities.
  4. Spreading new information. Although factual medical information is mostly available through peer-reviewed papers, journals, and conferences, social media in healthcare can help expand its reach by making it easier for people (including healthcare practitioners in different countries) to access it.
  5. Monitoring public health. Social media channels double as virtual diaries today, with people sharing practically everything that happens to them with the world. Well, the healthcare industry can take advantage of this to monitor public health, including disease outbreaks, etc.
  6. Engaging citizens. By leveraging social media trends that people tend to happily follow (e.g. hashtags, social media challenges, etc), the healthcare industry can engage much more effectively with patients on topics that are underrepresented or less talked about.

Discover more about the essential features of Medesk and claim your free access today!

Explore now >>

5 Drawbacks of Using Social Media in Healthcare

Just like everything else, social media in healthcare also comes with its sets of drawbacks.

You probably want to be completely in the loop about the topic, so here are the most important drawbacks of social media in healthcare to keep in mind:

  1. Security risks. Social media platforms and profiles are typically the most vulnerable to breaches and compromised data records which means that if your employees don’t have the proper training, social media in healthcare can present a greater risk for security violations.
  2. Misinformation. Because it’s extremely difficult to check and control everything that people post on social media, health-related misinformation is also very common and one of the biggest downsides of social media in healthcare - especially considering that people are much more likely to believe and share fake news.
  3. Lack of control. It’s practically impossible to control everything that people write and post online, which means that people can also post negative reviews and comments about your healthcare practice online and that there is little you can do about it.
  4. Self-diagnosis. Because the internet and social media in healthcare have made health-related information much more accessible, people tend to self-diagnose before going to visit a doctor, which in turn leads to more stress or, worse, administering the wrong treatment.
  5. Time-consuming. With healthcare professionals already having limited time, social media in healthcare can often seem like a time-consuming marketing strategy that takes a long time to show results - and that can be especially true if your marketing efforts focus on more than one social media platform.

Best Social Media Platforms for Healthcare Clinics

Interesting fact—as of 2024, there are more than 100 social media platforms out there.

This said, not all social media platforms are created equal, nor do they serve the same target audience. For example, influencers today may choose Instagram over Facebook to advertise their products, whereas seasoned professionals opt for LinkedIn over Twitter to build new business relations.

Similarly, some social media platforms are better–fit for the healthcare industry than others. Namely, those social media platforms are:

  • Facebook. As the social media platform with the largest user base, it’s only normal that you should leverage Facebook to interact with your audience. Specifically, you can use Facebook to communicate with both current and potential patients about upcoming events, health-related and preventive news, or any important messages about your healthcare practice.
  • Twitter. Twitter imposes a character limit on user content, which makes it the perfect place to post breaking news about different topics, including breakthroughs and health-related crises. People typically check Twitter for news, so make sure to keep your page updated with relevant information and reply to your followers comments or questions to build a strong follower base in the long run.
  • YouTube. Humans are highly visual creatures, which means they respond even better to pictures and videos than plain text. As such, you can take advantage of YouTube to engage with your patients in a more fun and creative way! For example, you can post informative videos on your YouTube channel instead of posting a long PDF document on the same topic that people will be highly unlikely to read. Alternatively, you can film daily moments around your clinic and make “behind-the-scenes” videos that will offer your patients a more personal view of your staff and increase patient trust.
  • LinkedIn. With LinkedIn being the official social media site for professionals, you can leverage its widespread use from practically every business to establish your reputation and authority in the field and promote discussion on different healthcare topics.

Want to take advantage of Search Engine Optimization to promote your healthcare clinic but don’t know how? Check out this beginner's guide on everything healthcare SEO-related.

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap with social media in healthcare!

Before you start implementing the tips listed above, let’s go over the main points covered in this article:

  • Social media is a helpful tool that can help healthcare clinics interact with their patients, offer health-related information effectively, improve patient trust, and boost revenue.
  • To make the most of social media in healthcare make sure to raise awareness on health-related issues, share educational and preventive information, take advantage of user-generated content, and share inspiring content.
  • Some benefits of social media in healthcare include heightened collective awareness of healthcare issues, the chance to combat misinformation and monitor public health, and higher citizen engagement.
  • On the other hand, some drawbacks of using social media in healthcare include security risks, misinformation, lack of control about what patients may post or write about you, and people self-diagnosing without visiting a doctor.
Follow us

Should You Charge Your Patient’s a No-Show Fee? Pros & Cons

Wondering whether or not to charge a doctor’s office no-show fee? Here are the pros & cons to help you decide.

6 Top Medical Practice Management Software For Your Practice in 2024

Explore top practice management software for 2024. Enhance efficiency and patient care with leading solutions: Medesk, Jane, WriteUpp, and more.

How to Start a Physical Therapy Clinic in 2024 [10 Easy Steps]

Thinking of starting a physical therapy clinic? With our comprehensive step-by-step guide, opening a physical therapy clinic has never been easier!