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Small Practice Series Pt 1: How To Leverage Social Media

Image of Jessica Shaw
Jessica Shaw

A strong digital marketing strategy sets you up for success as it allows you to attract new patients, maintain clinical satisfaction and stay on top of current healthcare trends such as new patient standards or upcoming technologies.  In fact, 68% of U.S. healthcare marketers are placing an emphasis on social media marketing as more patients are eager for the convenience of online engagement and accessibility. From regularly maintaining your website or improving your SEO (search engine optimization), following these social media best practices and keeping a fresh perspective will help you gain more exposure as well as effectively grow your small business.

Why Should Your Small Practice Use Social Media?

Many people log onto social media to connect with friends or family, receive updates on the news and keep in touch with their topics of interest, all of which makes platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook great places to strike a positive first impression. Through social media, you can encourage routine visits, share life and wellbeing tips as well as engage in conversation about important topics that are relevant to your practice. As an added benefit, social media allows you to track trending posts which will help you understand evolving patient behaviors and tailor campaigns aimed towards your target audiences.  

Additionally, many people only consider companies that keep their social media accounts updated and maintain a consistent posting schedule. Often, people will look to social media pages for customer reviews in order to get an idea of a company's values before even engaging with them. They may also look for recommendations and testimonials before visiting a new healthcare provider. Check out these five business benefits of social media.

How To Get Started 

Posting on social media is simple, but if you really want to succeed, you need to start with a plan. You want to determine how frequently you will be sharing content, identify your target market and clarify expected outcomes for each of your posts. Creating posts that generate engagement is important because social media sites often put the most popular posts at the top of people's newsfeeds. 

Once you have determined a posting schedule, you will want to develop a creative content strategy that will help you figure out what types of posts will 1. attract your viewers' attention, 2. retain their interest and 3. capture new followers. For example, you could focus on educating your audience with up to date healthcare articles and the latest news or you may choose to create "offers" such as infographics, case studies and promotional videos pertaining to your practice - we suggest a balance of both! 

As you consistently share content with your audience, you begin to build relationships with them. Soon, they will start to view you as the go-to source and may even start searching for your posts. Here are some proven social media marketing ideas to help you get started. 

Create Educational and Engaging Posts

As a healthcare provider, startup or enterprise, you should strive to inform your audience by sharing educational materials such as recent studies, academic articles and other blog posts from trusted industry sources. It's also important to be sure that everything you share is factual because if you are promoting inaccurate information, your reputation will suffer and trust in your brand will be lost. However, while informative content is essential, you also want to attract attention and create buzz as well. You can achieve this by asking questions, telling stories or proposing conversations that motivate people to comment, like and share your posts.

Promote Brand Values 

Medical practices and facilities often share the common goal of better health, but they always have unique features or qualities that set them apart. Within the competitive world of healthcare, it is important to highlight your brand's persona and purpose as well as emphasize what makes you different from other competitors in order to resonate a connection with your audience.

Highlight Your Staff

While technology helps us stay connected, it can sometimes feel impersonal or convoluted. That's why fostering relationships with your patients can help you deliver healthcare that is both engaging and efficient! By featuring your staff on social media, your audience can get to know who you are and how your practice operates, in addition to associating with real people - instead of an impersonalized brand. You can also highlight employee accomplishments or share biographies, so that it's easier to build a connection, welcome new team members, celebrate success and even spotlight charitable events happening in your community. 

Share User-Generated Content

Whether it be someone simply promoting your post or a patient boasting about their own improved outcomes, people love to share their experiences as well as talk about positive interactions they've had with healthcare providers, which means they are more than likely to make recommendations or give feedback. You should leverage these types of user-generated content (UGC) and search for mentions of your practice on social media platforms. If you uncover endorsements from current patients, those posts are definitely share-worthy, but be sure to also consider any other observations, even if they are critical, so that you are kept aware of any fluctuations in satisfaction. 

Another idea is to create a hashtag that is specific to your practice, so that your viewers know how to get your attention and properly engage your profile or page. Also, consider campaigns that not only interest your followers but socially network with other small practices in your area, so that you can encourage a sense of community and be on top of current market trends. 

Here at Raintree, we recognize the importance of engaging with your patients on a personal level, so that's why we deliver Software-as-a-Relationship in an effort to humanize healthcare experiences as well as bridge the connection between people and technology. If you are interested in learning more about our patient engagement or practice management tools, click here to explore how our Connect platform can accelerate your digital marketing strategy with social media analytics, automated engagement campaigns and other marketing tools built to optimize your small practice's online presence. 


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