Social media has become a popular way for people to communicate, but establishing your medical practice on social media isn’t as simple as creating a profile and putting up a few new posts! There are numerous questions your medical practice needs to ask itself before considering the creation of a profile on these new platforms to determine whether social media is right for you.

While it is true that medical practices need to be cautious of their presence on social media, it does not mean that your practice should dismiss it from your marketing plan altogether.

Social Media is a fantastic way to grow your medical business, generate credibility, and gain loyal clientele when used correctly. This necessitates that you take a step back from your practice and assess what social media presence your practice should have. Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram, where does your medical practice fit in?

You need not have a profile on each of these social networking websites, but you should have a profile on those that are relevant to your industry. Out of the list of social networks listed above – those are only the most popular platforms as of 2015 – Icon Medical Marketing would recommend your practice prioritise activity on Facebook and Google+.

Facebook

As of September 2014, Facebook reported that 1.35 billion people were active on their platform each month. That number alone is indicative of why we recommend your medical practice maintains an active Facebook page. For many, checking Facebook has become an hourly activity, with 18-44 year olds found to be checking Facebook up to 14 times a day according to the International Data Corporation. That is 14 different opportunities for your practice to be seen each day.

You have heard of the saying “if you’re not on Google, you don’t exist”, right? Nowadays, you can extend that to Facebook, too. However, like many other social media platforms, creation of the page alone is not enough. A successful medical practice will run a well-maintained and active page, and reap the benefits of heightened client loyalty and an influx of new patients over time.

Google+

People often reference Google+ as a “ghost town”, but any medical practice that wants to grow will find themselves with one of these pages. Google+ is part of the Google bundle, and simply put, you cannot ignore it as a platform for engagement and interaction. The creation of a Google+ page that is properly linked to your website, as well as well-maintained, will allow you to take control of more of that valuable search engine results page real estate, driving a higher click-through rate.

Many medical businesses will stop at filling out the additional information fields on their Google+ page, just enough so that they have a listing that will help searchers find their location. This is great, but it is not enough. Any social media update that you make to any other platform – especially those photo or video updates – should be pushed out to Google+ too. Because Google+ is integrated with Google’s search engine results, those updates will also be seen by searchers. By consistently having a stream of new, up-to-date social media postings to your Google+, searchers will see that you are an active and credible medical practice, which can potentially grow your client base.

In an increasingly digital world, social media is not just a fad: it is a shift in the way we communicate, and that means that the medical profession cannot ignore it. It is not easy, either. You need to understand which social media platforms are right for you, and ensure that you are updating them consistently whilst still operating within the medical guidelines.

Icon’s Medical Marketing Division works with medical businesses to development a digital marketing plan that will grow your business. For more information on integrating the digital space with your medical practice’s marketing strategy, contact Icon’s Medical Marketing Division today and grow your medical business online.