As we all know, not a single day passes without us scrolling through the social media feed or checking out social media profiles. Basically social media has taken word of mouth. People have started putting Google reviews about certain products or services – whether they like them or not, rating of the services, and so on.
In this post, we’ll see how digital media is changing the healthcare industry and how doctors can use social media to build long-lasting relationships with their patients.
You must have heard about a famous doctor Dr. Mike who is popular on social media. This is a good example of how doctors can leverage social media – curating content that is engaging enough, spreading knowledge about your specialty, or health in general, or discussing social issues.
One thing you should take care of on social media as a business (a medical practice) is that you don’t sell anything directly. That brings us to 3 Essentials or 3 E’s of social media.
3 E’s of Social Media
Educate your audience. Give them information about whatever you do, why you do it. Tell them about the treatments you provide by answering common queries regarding those treatments. For example, who is the surgery for, the side effects of the medication, the causes, the symptoms of the illness, and so on.
People come on social media to relax. So you don’t want to sell them anything. In fact, you engage with them in line with their mindset – of getting entertained. For example, Dr. Mike created an Instagram reel about the 5-second rule for food. Not only did the reel give the message that it isn’t a good idea to eat food fallen on the floor, but also it was entertaining enough so people shared it with their friends, making the post go viral.
You want to share that kind of material that people will comment on. You can ask your audience some questions in the description of a post and engage with them in the comment section. Acknowledge the messages you get on social media, and respond to them appropriately, because they love to express their opinions and have interactions with brands that listen to them. That is how you’re going to create engagement and build a rapport with your audience.
Differences in various social media platforms
Social media is made up of different personalities of the platforms. So Instagram’s mood is very light, colorful, vibrant because a younger demographic uses Instagram. LinkedIn is completely formal and a platform with a neutral tone.
A piece of content that works on Instagram may not give you the same results on LinkedIn. You need to customize that content according to the audience and their mindset for that particular platform.
For example, you cannot drive traffic to the website via Instagram because you cannot paste links that are clickable on Instagram posts or stories (Exception: Business Accounts having over 10,000 followers can add swipe-up links in Instagram stories). On the other hand, LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to add clickable links in your post caption. So you can drive traffic to your blog or website using LinkedIn and Facebook.
Also, you can put a lot of text-based content on Facebook, whereas Instagram is more of a photo-centric platform.
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to Google. It is extensively used by patients researching treatments, remedies, and so on. Educational content works really well on YouTube. So, now is a good time to start a YouTube channel if you are not camera conscious. When patients receive medical advice directly coming from the doctor, it makes the source of information more credible. And as doctors, your videos need not be overproduced. Using your phone camera should suffice.
Using different formats of content
You can leverage all the different features of these social media platforms. The best strategy to increase engagement on your social accounts is by using a combination of all the content formats available.
Instagram is the one platform with a huge community, multiple features, and everybody wants to use it to get the most out of it. Doctors are no exception to that!
Here are some content ideas that can make your feed more engaging:
- Myth vs Fact
- A day in the life of (post or vlog)
- Behind the scenes of your clinic or hospital
How to maintain consistency in social media content
Frequency of posting:
As a general rule, you should post at least twice or thrice a week on your social media platforms so it keeps your account going and helps to boost the algorithm.
Even with different formats of content, you need to maintain consistency in terms of your brand voice, and visuals like the color theme that you’re using. Your social media account should represent your practice website. So it creates a consistent look throughout the platforms where your prospective patients see you – your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Instagram.
When we talk about consistency, another important point is to have your name, address, and phone number consistent throughout all the digital spaces – be it any directories or your website and your social media bio.
Social media analytics and insights
Monitor your social media analytics. By studying your page insights and post insights you can learn what form of content is performing the best for each of your channels. For example, we’ve studied many accounts and noticed that personal posts perform better than other educational content.
Study the pattern of likes, dislikes, comments, and views on your posts. Look at the best time to post in a day, and in a week to optimize your posting schedules.
Social media tips for doctors
- Follow other doctors on social media so you not only get to see what they are doing but also increase your network also and you can build a community of doctors.
- Join Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups for increasing your network.
- Post native content on your social accounts. Suppose you make a video and post it on YouTube. Don’t just copy the link of that particular video and post it on LinkedIn. Platforms won’t encourage your posts if it’s driving the user out of the platform.
- Keep a check on analytics for all your social platforms.
Social media platforms are ever-evolving. The trick to being successful is experimenting with different formats of content, making use of new features, and staying consistent with your brand identity.