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Importance of Social Media for Healthcare Professionals

April 18, 2014

Healthcare providers used to be skeptical that social media could help their business. However, many of them are finally starting to recognize that it is a powerful marketing tool to reach new patients. As a doctor or other healthcare professional, you should be aware of the benefits social media provides and incorporate it into your marketing plan.

Proof that Social Media is Benefiting the Healthcare Industry

There are ample studies showing that social media offers a high ROI for companies in the healthcare industry. Here are some facts that you will want to be aware of.

Reach Patients Looking for Healthcare Solutions Online

Mobile communication and social media conceptMany people use the Internet to look for solutions to their healthcare problems. A study from Pew Research Center found that nearly 80% of customers use the Internet to look up their symptoms when they get sick. A study from PwC shows that about a third of people use social media sites for immediate answers to their healthcare questions.

Shrewd medical professionals are taking advantage of this trend. They have used social media to reach new patients.

Build Trust With Patients 

Word-of-mouth has always been an essential component of any marketing strategy. One study found that about 74% of customers rely on testimonials to choose a doctor. More people are sharing their feedback about doctors online today. The best doctors understand this trend and use social media to generate positive reviews for their practice.

Keep in Touch With Other Doctors

Reaching new patients isn’t the only reason healthcare professionals should be using social media. You can also use these sites to build relationships with your colleagues. There are a couple of benefits to this:

  • You can share tips with doctors to provide higher quality care to your patients. A study from MedTechMedia found that nearly a third of doctors are already using social media to share information with their colleagues so they can offer higher quality services to their patients.
  • You can share referrals with other professionals that you have build relationships with via social media.

Every healthcare professional should have accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to connect with their peers.

Stay in Touch With Patients

Maintaining relationships with patients should always be a priority for any business. Unfortunately, cultivating those relationships isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be. Shortages of healthcare providers and burdensome regulations mean that doctors are strained for time. As much as they wish that they could give every patient the attention they need, they find that they need to run appointments as efficiently as possible.

Fortunately, social media makes it a lot easier for these professionals to keep in touch with them.

Healthcare Experts Benefiting from Offering Social Media Services

Many healthcare professionals have found that social media has helped their business in a number of ways. Jennifer Balanky of Sharp Healthcare told the San Diego Union Tribune that social media has helped her office reach patients around the clock. This has improved patient satisfaction for many patients.

Dr. Steven Steinhubl has also found that social media has made it much easier to keep in touch with patients. He said that being an educator is one of the most important roles of any healthcare provider. Social media has made it much easier for his office to share important information with patients.

Are You Using Social Media?

Social media is becoming an essential way for healthcare providers to connect with patients and colleagues. If you are not already using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media sites, then you should start doing so in the near future. You are missing out on one of the most powerful marketing tools available to modern medical professionals.

Kalen Smith

About Author

Kalen Smith received a B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Clark University. He has been an Internet marketing consultant for the past five years with a focus in search engine optimization and content marketing. Kalen has worked with some of the largest SEO and content marketing agencies in the world.

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