Whether you are participating in social media related to your practice or not, your patients are. The average person spends about 145 minutes on social media every day. 90% of users follow at least one brand on social media.

  • Facebook, with 2.9 billion monthly active users across the world
  • TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users across the globe.
  • Instagram has nearly 1.4 billion monthly active users.

If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on opportunities to reach a larger audience, grow your patient base, solicit customer reviews, and build credibility for your practice.

What does it contribute ?

Actively managing your social media presence can:

  • Build social proof:
    Patients expect to see info about your practice on social media. They may not even consider the business trustworthy until they’ve encountered it on social media.
  • Boost new patient acquisition:
    Marketing can only go so far, and prospective patients want to know what to expect in terms of customer experience, and they are actively scanning customer reviews for clues.
  • Understand customer sentiment
    Just because you have bad reviews doesn’t mean you have failed. You can’t win over patients every time, but you can better understand how patients feel about your practice and that can help you know which aspects of customer service to work on.
  • Boost online reputation
    Reviews can boost your online reputation and you can encourage happy patients to become promoters for you by posting online reviews.
  • Provide a competitive advantage
    Positive reviews can differentiate your practice from others, especially in a saturated market where patients have numerous options. They can sometimes be the deciding factor for potential patients comparing different practices.
  • Allow patients to see your practice’s personality
    Posting information about your practice and your staff as well as interesting events that occur in your practice can allow potential patients to get a feel for the culture and personality of your practice and help see if it is a good fit for them.
  • Influence decisions
    Positive reviews can sway their decisions. When a potential patient sees a review from patients with similar issues, which you treated, it makes them feel your practice has the right solution for them as well.
  • Improved SEO
    Positive reviews increase traffic to your website traffic and improve you search ranking.

How might it hurt?

Ignoring social media can cause you to miss negative (and positive) comments that are being made about your business, and can give the public the impression that your practice does not care. You will also be missing opportunities to address concerns about your business.

Additionally, you can run into legal trouble if you fail to follow HIPAA guidelines when responding to posts or communicating with patients (more on that in the next article in this series).

Why you should take the time

Your patients are on social media, and they are discussing your practice on social media. You can either ignore it and let the public shape your image and online reputation or you can actively manage your presence to build a positive reputation, address negative feedback, and leverage your promoters.