I’m hoping you’ll stick around for the rest of the article, because it’s important to know why healthcare professionals should be using social media! Otherwise, you may go ahead without an understanding of how you should use social media in order to best benefit your business. It certainly isn’t by using social media the way your typical young adult would use it. (No-one wants to know that the surgeon whose knife they’re soon to be under was partying hard a couple of nights ago.)
So let’s take a look at the specific reasons why healthcare professionals should use social media.
Patients are talking about you on it
People love to complain about a bad service, and they’ll often do it on social media. Of course, people also tend to believe they’ve been wronged even when they’re the ones who are at fault, or even when they received exactly what they paid for. You’d better believe that people take to Facebook and Twitter to complain about medical practices and even specific doctors. If you’re not on social media, then you’ll have a lot less control over the image that people get of you over those platforms.
It’s essential for marketing
It’s often forgotten – at least, by people who don’t actually own their own healthcare practice – that healthcare is something that needs to be marketed. After all, it’s a competitive business (in the U.S., at least.) So if you’re not using social media, then you’re definitely missing out on big opportunities to expand awareness of your business and, thus, opportunities to gain more patients. Using social media along with a blog is essential for SEO, after all. Of course, the specific work you do will affect how you should go about it. A dermatologist, for example, would need to look into SEO for dermatologist practices.
It helps improve health literacy
People are always looking to the Internet to find answers to their various medical problems and concerns. Of course, while this can be useful in some cases, most of the time these patients aren’t reading anything particularly helpful! They’ll often end up on some clickbaity page that seems to be telling them they have some rare and awful brain disease that may not even exist. Articles that have been authored by medical professionals? They’re often not even on the first page of Google’s search results. Not only can you help spread really good resources, but you can also be a really good resource of accurate medical information if you’re using social media!
It’s great for charity and awareness
Many people in the healthcare field care passionately about the problems that are the target of their specific medical branch. A dermatologist may care greatly about skin conditions; an oncologist will care deeply about those affected by cancer. Many are involved in some way with charity and growing awareness of these conditions. Well, as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge proved, social media can be an amazing way to help increase awareness to an issue – and, yes, perhaps even an absurd amount of money, too.