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In a recent study, 90% of adult internet users said they use social media to find or share health information. Undoubtedly, social media is a significant part of people’s lives. If you’re in the healthcare business, social media may help you to increase your brand loyalty and boost your credibility.

You may not need help setting up and maintaining your practice social media account. There are many teething issues that crop up, and this guide will help you understand the process.

Social Media: Is It Really Worth It?

This is the hard truth: organic reach is dead. Businesses that are hoping to reach potential patients by merely posting on Facebook are notably unlikely to see a return. Because of changing algorithms on social media, your followers are unlikely to see organic posts from your account than from their friends and family. 

That said, it is worth setting up your social media profiles. Updating your social media profiles can also boost your search engine optimization and generate patient referrals. If you’re expecting to gain patients from your efforts, we recommend not spending a substantial portion of time on organic social media.

Paid promotion is another story. Targeted campaigns reach patients throughout your target location (not just followers) based on several factors, including age, gender, and other attributes. For this, we recommend hiring an agency like Avily.

You’ll want to get your account up and running as soon as possible and set some guidelines for posting and sharing. Here’s what you need to know

1. Create a new page

Facebook

The first step with any new social media platform is creating your business page. For Facebook, you’ll go to facebook.com/business and follow the instructions on the screen.

Sometimes, a Facebook page exists for a business thanks to patients checking in at your location and tagging themselves. In this case, you can claim the business page.

Instagram

To create an Instagram account for your practice, create an account from the Instagram application on your phone. Then, find the settings (the gear icon) and click “Switch to Business Account.” You can then follow the instructions to convert the page to a business profile and link it with your Facebook Business page.

Twitter

Twitter’s page creation is amazingly simple. Twitter uses the same profiles for business and personal pages so you won’t need to switch it actively. Go to Twitter.com to set up your new profile.

2. Learn your social media platform

Once you’ve updated your required information, you’ll want to get to know that particular platform. Each platform is unique with different things that work and don’t. If you need some help with your social media account, give us a call.

3. Get to know your audience

Other practitioners may be interested in the latest research studies or stats on the newest tools out there. But patients don’t want to read through a complex 50-page article. Patients are interested in your expertise. They would prefer a quick, professional assessment of a study.

Find out what types of content your audience prefers and try to offer something they will appreciate and share. 

4. Use images on your profile and posts

A text post may do well with your friends and family, but if you’re trying to attract attention from prospective patients, images and video are vital. Especially with paid social media advertising.

5. Remain compliant with HPCSA and other regulations

Of course, you take HPCSA seriously, but it helps to remind your staff members who are the most active on your social media platforms. We recommend consulting a lawyer if you are uncertain of any compliance issues. 

Social media can help develop your brand and enhance morale around the office—but it won’t do well with lead generation. That is, unless, you work with a specialist agency, like Avily, to target local patients in your demographic.