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Whether you are a small healthcare practice or a large hospital, chances are, you’ve noticed the power of social media.

And social media has the ability to transform your medical or dental practice in ways you can never imagine.

Healthcare social media can help create and execute a successful marketing campaign that can create a lasting relationship between you and your patients. Let’s look at some numbers…

  • About 27% of Facebook users will openly talk to friends and family about their healthcare experiences.
  • About 60% of internet users are more likely to trust social media content if it comes from a doctor; about 56% if it comes from a nurse, and about 55% if it comes from a hospital.
  • About 57% of consumers’ decisions to receive treatment at a healthcare facility are strongly influenced by that healthcare provider’s social media presence and connections.

Now that we have discussed more about the popularity of social media surrounding healthcare marketing, let’s look at some specifics. In this article, we’ll look at the top 7 ways in which social media has transformed healthcare marketing…

  1. Know to where your patients are: With communication shifting to more open forums, social media marketing means less money spent on mailings and other marketing initiatives. With certain characteristics of social media, such as user-generated content, community, rapid distribution, and two-way dialogue, healthcare providers are using these to reach out to their patients and potential patients even before the latter reach out to them. Healthcare providers are connecting with patients even before the latter need them.
  2. Patients are taking a more active role in their healthcare: Social media as part of the mix in healthcare marketing has meant that individuals are better managing their own health. This may include everything from researching an illness, to joining a support group, to choosing the right healthcare provider. In addition, patients and prospective patients are educating themselves about health conditions and healthcare providers through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  3. Patients are demanding more transparency: Increased access to information means more transparency for patients. Social networks will result in transparency in all aspects of the health system and drive transparency on cost, value, and outcomes. Also, with increased transparency, the patient will have increased access to the right information, allowing the average patient to evaluate and improve his or her condition, as well as the system’s performance.
  4. More instant feedback: Patient are increasingly taking to social media to express opinions, grievances and experiences. Also, about 49% of patients expect to hear from their doctor when requesting an appointment or follow-up via social media within a few hours.
  5. Information on social media influences how and when patients select treatment and healthcare providers: Patients are increasingly turning to social media to make healthcare-related decisions, like what physician to see, and when to seek a second opinion. Also, a large percentage of people report that the information found in social media would affect the way they coped with a chronic condition, their approach to diet and exercise, and their selection of a specific doctor.
  6. Social media is evolving from a marketing tool into a business strategy: Although 82% of healthcare providers say that their social media efforts are being managed by their marketing department, this is changing. Increasingly, social media use is extending into customer service, innovation, and service and product development. With patients changing over time, their healthcare needs change too. Social media can and should keep up with these changes.
  7. Support for preventive health initiatives: Preventive health is increasingly becoming more and more popular with prospective patients of all ages. Patient are taking to social media in huge numbers to access preventive health-related information. If doctors and other healthcare providers use social media to provide preventive health information, they can soon be seen as a trusted and expert healthcare provider.

So, now you know some of the ways in which social media is rapidly transforming healthcare practices of all shapes and sizes. Factor in a social media strategy for your healthcare practice, if you haven’t already, and leverage the power of social media to achieve the goals of your healthcare practice. This can educate your patients and help new ones find you!

For more information on how you can hire a digital marketing agency to leverage social media for your healthcare practice, contact Kristine Grace DDS, MS, MBA at kristineg@intellahealth.net.

by Kristine Grace, May-10-2017

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