Social media for medical practices: 8 tips to get you started

It’s one thing to build and manage your online presence when you’re a sole physician but when you have to think about what kind of image you want for your medical practice as a whole, that’s a slightly different story. There are interests and perspectives other than your own to consider. Your partners (if you have any), your staff, they comprise your brand, too. It’s a good idea to invoke a team effort in your social media strategy from the get-go. That way everyone’s on board and you won’t feel overwhelmed taking it all on by yourself.

Are you currently utilizing social media for your medical practice? The etiquette pretty much stays the same as if you were developing your individual online presence: be professional, be respectful of patient privacy and steer clear of posting inappropriate content. That’s all clear-cut, solid advice. (In fact if you want to learn more about social media tips pertaining to your own personal brand then check out: “How to create a positive social media presence as a locum tenens doctor: the do’s and don’ts.“)

Simply put social media really is all about what you share. The words you use, the images you post and the overall content you deliver all have a unique bearing on how people will perceive you. The difference between having a friendly, fun presence versus a more professional, authoritative one is all in what you share and how you share it, whether it’s your own content or you’re sharing someone else’s be clear in your personality. Want to know more about cultivating social media for medical practices? Here are eight tips to get you started.

1) Be genuine in your online presence.

The reason we put this first is because this is the most important advice. It doesn’t matter if it’s a post, a pin or a tweet. The point is to be genuine and true to your medical practice’s personality within any online communication.

2) Utilize more than just one networking site.

Speaking of pins and tweets, find the audience you want to attract then go where they are. In other words don’t be afraid to create a social media presence for your medical practice across all the major networking sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram (to name a few).

3) Inspire your community.

Again, the way you’re perceived is directly related to the content you share. An easy way to cultivate a positive online presence is to share inspiring pictures and posts, things like healthy recipes and exercise tips are a good start. Or you could even create a video series where you share medical knowledge in a meaningful way.

4) Listen.

Don’t just post, post, post. Be sure to listen, too. The feedback you get doesn’t even have to be as explicit as someone commenting on your blog. It can be found within the likes and shares you receive on any given post. If the post performs well then keep up with similar content.

5) Create a blog.

You can re-post other brands’ articles to your heart’s content. At some point though you’ll want to start creating unique content for your medical practice. In other words start a blog. The benefit here will be two-fold: You’ll begin cultivating thought leadership plus you’ll drive traffic directly to your website.

6) Hire a social media manager.

Or you can promote someone from within. What matters here is if it gets to the point where social media for your medical practice is growing like crazy then it’s probably time to dedicate a full-time person to the job.

7) Have a monthly meeting to discuss social media growth.

Now that you’ve hired a social media manager you can start analyzing growth more effectively. Find out what has been working and perhaps more importantly what hasn’t.

8) Advertise your medical practice.

You’re advertising your medical practice already by simply having a social media presence. But in between all the blogs and inspirational posts you make be sure you take time to advertise your medical services. This can generate better awareness for what your medical practice specializes in.