Boost your social media to grow your healthcare practice
Read time: 5 min
At first glance, social media and healthcare might not feel like a natural fit. With patient confidentiality to protect and the influx of information online to compete with, there are plenty of challenges to consider.
However, if that’s holding you back from promoting your practice on social media, you’re missing out on a serious source of growth. With the right approach and strategy, social media can open significant opportunities to expand your healthcare practice.
Help new patients find you
Looking to attract prospective patients to your practice? Social media is a great place to start. Many searches for new healthcare services and practitioners begin on social media. Potential patients are looking for recommendations, positive reviews and testimonials.
You likely already have these things on your site. Why not share them on social media? If you have the resources and capabilities, you can build new images and formats for this content to garner even more attention. But there’s nothing wrong with just leveraging what you already have available. Grab quotes from testimonials and pair them with a stock photo from your site. Simple posts can still have an impact.
Pro tip: Understanding who your patients are can help you decide which social media platforms will be the best fit. If most of your clients are baby boomers, for instance, Facebook is probably a good place to be. However, if millennials are your main audience, Instagram might be a better choice.
Showcase your expertise
You are an expert in your field. You know that and so do your patients. What about those who are considering your practice?
You probably list your experience and qualifications on your site, but think of all of the steps it can take for a potential patient to find those. First, they have to find your site during their search for a new healthcare service provider. And then they would need to navigate further to find your bio page. That’s leaving a lot to chance.
While it’s no guarantee that everyone searching for a new healthcare provider will find you, it’s a good idea to increase the odds by expanding your presence. Social media is especially effective in better broadcasting your practice's top skills and services. You can share new services, spotlight client successes and share other relevant information quickly in a public-facing format. Keep in mind, when your social media followers interact with your content, there’s a good chance their connections will see it, exposing your practice to people that may not have been looking. (It might just be the reminder they needed to schedule an appointment!)
Pro tip: Consider adding a blog to your site to showcase your expertise and services. It can be a good way to share patient testimonials or discuss more timely health matters in a longer format and makes for great content to share on social media.
Gain patient insight
As you grow your business, finding new patients is only half of the equation. The other piece — retaining your current patients — is just as (if not more) important. Providing excellent care is a great foundation and patient surveys can go a long way, but social media provides a unique opportunity to connect with current patients in a less formal setting.
Take full advantage of this opportunity to gauge what’s working for other practices and look into what new services might garner attention for your business. You could test the waters for new procedures with a quick poll on LinkedIn (or Twitter or Instagram). Ask followers to send their questions via direct message or Instagram Stories. All these methods can maintain patient confidentiality while also giving you a glimpse into what’s working and what’s missing. Make sure you’re putting these findings into practice to keep your customer happy for years to come.
Pro tip: Even if you’re not on social media yet, your patients probably are (and they’re probably talking about you). Are you listening? Keep an eye out on top social media platforms for mentions of your practice. You can highlight the good ones and address any negative comments (preferably offline).
Make the most of word of mouth to build your brand
As a healthcare provider, you know there are few things more powerful in building your business than a strong patient testimonial. You probably already have a few living on your website, showcasing incredible patient successes. The question is: How are you making sure prospective patients find them?
Sharing these powerful stories on social media can give your testimonials another, much broader life. Consider pulling quotes from these stories and sharing them with photos (with patient permission) to put your work directly in front of would-be clients. This can be especially helpful in introducing a new service. Especially since other patients might not even know you provide it. Social media gives you the opportunity to direct their attention in an organic way.
Pro tip: You know how important the reputation of your healthcare practice is to its success, but have you thought about what your brand is? The two are more closely connected than you might think. If you aren’t sure what your “brand” is, a great place to start is looking at how your patients describe you. As you launch your social media presence, answering these questions can help guide what you share and how you share it.
Find your social media plan
Whether a patient is looking for dental, orthopedic or veterinary services, when it comes time to select a practitioner, more are turning to social media. Why? It’s easy, accessible and a good starting point for researching recommendations.
If you’re not there, you’re missing out on all that visibility. Now is the time to jump in. Yes, there will be challenges, but with the right approach for your practice, you can start to grow the audience you reach and your business.
At Ally Lending, we recognize the importance of communicating the value of your practice. We strive to help providers find tools and opportunities to garner attention and boost their business. We leverage thoughtful marketing tactics to drive brand awareness, repeat purchase, and new patient referrals.
It’s no secret that the healthcare landscape is changing. In this increasingly consumer-driven market, providers are not only expected to deliver top-notch care, but also to take on the added responsibility of behaving like a brand.