Each day, potential patients are asking their friends, family, and social media contacts for provider recommendations. In that light, will anyone recommend your practice? If they do, will your brand be recognizable?

Effective branding lays the foundation for the first stage of patient acquisition: Making sure prospects know you exist. Of the many tools available for doing that, social media can be one of the most effective. 

According to a Pew Research survey about social media use in 2021, 72% of Americans indicated some type of social media use. Findings also reflect how age impacts this dynamic, with the following age groups saying they use social media:

  • 18 to 29—84%
  • 30-49—81%
  • 50-64—73%
  • 65 and older—45%

Among the many options available, YouTube and Facebook continue to be the most popular, with 81% of survey participants reporting using YouTube at some point and 69% saying the same about Facebook. 

Additional findings revealed the following general use trends among American adults for additional platforms:

  • Instagram—40%
  • Pinterest or LinkedIn—about three in ten
  • Snapchat, Twitter or WhatsApp—about 25%
  • TikTok—21%
  • Reddit—18%
  • NextDoor—13%

With findings like those, it’s clear that social media can be an effective marketing tool for reaching prospects to brand your practice. However, there are certain things healthcare providers must keep in mind regarding best practices to avoid problems and optimize results. The following 7 tips can help. 

1. Adhere to HIPAA.  

Although social media can be a valuable tool for healthcare providers for both marketing and education, it’s critical to adhere to HIPAA regulations to protect patient privacy and avoid trouble for your practice. Be sure you’re aware of social media best practices related to HIPPA via resources such as this one from HIPAA Journal: HIPAA Social Media Rules.

2. Use the platform with the most effective reach.

Whether you’re a primary care or specialty practice, you likely have a specific demographic of patients you typically serve. Since social media platform use varies among age groups and other demographic factors, be sure to know which best aligns with the patients and prospects you’re trying to reach. The Pew Research report provides a detailed look at who’s using which platforms most—which may help to inform your social media strategy.

3. Craft a message that works.

In terms of the messaging itself, it’s helpful to follow a HIPPA-compliant content strategy using a social media content calendar to better focus your efforts instead of posting randomly without a plan. Additionally, be sure to follow platform-specific best practices regarding written content, graphics, and videos. 

4. Time posts for the best results.

Know the best time to post to achieve the most visibility and engagement. Different resources offer various recommendations, but fortunately, Guide2Research compiled data from 27 of them in its recently-published resource, The Best Times to Post on Social Media: 2021 Studies & Statistics.

5. Lighten your load by scheduling ahead.

Busy healthcare professionals usually can’t afford to take time during the day to worry about posting on social media. The good news is you can lighten your load by scheduling posts ahead of time. Although some platforms provide their own scheduling tools, you may want to consider a social media scheduling platform that offers a single dashboard for multiple sites.    

6. Measure results to understand what’s working and what’s not. 

In any initiative, it’s important to measure results so you’ll know what’s working and what’s not. As with scheduling, some social media platforms offer analytics tools, and many scheduling platforms do, too. Once you know how effective your efforts are, you can tweak them accordingly.

7. Find the right partner to support your efforts. 

Since healthcare practices are busy attending to patient care and business needs, it can be overwhelming to try to create effective social media campaigns. The good news is there are social media experts available to help—like AMG Healthcare Marketing.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can give your healthcare marketing strategy a boost.