Social media platforms help physicians to communicate and share information quickly and to reach millions of people. Today, more and more healthcare professionals are utilizing social sites to get information as well as to share valuable medical information with patients. With the widespread popularity of social sharing and the exciting new opportunities it offers, physicians must also take care to protect patient confidentiality. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, social media benefits physicians in the following ways
- Keep abreast with new information needed to provide quality care
- Explore or contribute health information that may affect their patients or generate questions from them
- Improve professional networking
- Blogs on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and video sites such as Youtube provide a platform where physicians can express their views on health care-related topics, share general clinical or practice information, and educate their patients as well as their community.
The PewResearch Center’s Social Media Update 2013 revealed that Facebook is the most popular social network among U.S. adults, with 71 percent active users. Healthcare practices that want to stay relevant and competitive can benefit by investing time in developing a proper Facebook marketing strategy.
Tips to Create Facebook Posts that Work
Here are some tips that experts recommend to help physicians create powerful Facebook posts:
- Be Careful about Word Count – Studies have found that posts with a word count of 80-89 have double the engagement doubled when compared to those with only 70-79 words. Using a word processing document with a word count tool while composing a post before publishing also offers a greater chance of catching grammatical and spelling errors.
- Post Visual Content – Photo posts get more interactions. Pictures are a great way to give patients a glimpse of the office and changes made. You can even put multiple images in a Facebook album.
- Publish in the Evening – Rather than publishing during working hours, experts say it’s better to publish posts between 5 pm and 1 am. This has been found to create 11 percent more interactions. Use a Facebook scheduling tool to pre-schedule posts at less popular hours when there is better chance for followers to see it.
- Post Towards the End of the Week – According to the analysis conducted by DanZarella engagement is higher on weekends and posting on weekend’s increases the percentage of like and share than in weekdays.
- Question Posts Get More Comments – Questions get 23 percent more engagement, say surveys. Just try posting a random question to your Facebook followers. For example, you can ask followers questions about which cosmetic surgical procedure that they think would benefit them most. You can even ask them for suggestions on something such as ‘the best baby sleep tips’. Such queries will increase engagement by arousing their interest. Posts that support interaction and generate excitement can lead to more shares.
- Create Infographics – Infographics continue to be one of the most effective ways to share information for gaining responses. Eye catching infographics are extremely useful for conveying complex information. Infographic marketing is a great source for getting more followers and brand advertisement. For example, the following infographic provides a bird’s eye of a popular cosmetic surgical procedure – the upper arm lift:
While social media engagement makes it easier for patients and physicians to connect outside the exam room, for doctors with busy schedules managing a social profile can be a tedious job. Here is where a medical SEO company can help. Such companies offer customized social media and marketing services that follow HIPAA regulations and guidelines on patient confidentiality and professional ethics. They supervises the social media account, post engaging content and videos on a regular basis that will ensure that followers keep coming back.