Social Media and Healthcare

There are a lot of opportunities for healthcare marketing on social media. Are you taking advantage of it?

These days patients, like the rest of society, want timely information. Social media can help communicate time-sensitive info about services, test results, and links to helpful information about a condition or treatment.

Instead of booking an appointment, calling a practitioner’s office, or searching online without guidance, social media has become a valuable tool in healthcare. Therefore, It’s part of a healthcare marketing strategy that should not be overlooked or underestimated.

For example, social media is a rapid-fire way for patients to get information – according to Pew Research Center, about 72% of internet users go online for healthcare information, often on social channels.

How Social Media is Changing Healthcare Marketing

Retail companies have been on social media for years, and now we’re seeing members of the medical industry finding their place on social platforms. It’s a good thing because it’s become another communication and connection medium to help provide patients with necessary information and resources. Social media also helps build consumer trust, whether a healthcare company offers a service, device, or other solution. Medical and pharmaceutical companies and professionals now use social media to benefit patients, the general public, and other members of the healthcare field. Social channels offer a platform to point to solutions, engage patient-centred audiences, or start conversations.

When Healthcare Companies Participate on Social Channels:

There are many positive effects of healthcare companies using social media as their overall healthcare marketing strategy. For example:

  • Patients are better informed and more likely to be active participants in their own health decisions
  • More education, information, and health resources are shared
  • The industry is more transparent about treatment outcomes, cost, and value
  • It builds patient trust
  • It connects healthcare practitioners to consumers, no matter the distance

Though there are some compliance regulations healthcare marketers and providers must follow when using social media, these channels can help connect patients and providers with the industry professionals they need.

Avoiding Self-Serving Social Media in Healthcare

Healthcare marketing works on social media, but creating media with a self-serving approach may not be the content your consumers care to consume. In fact, it may be off-putting to your current and future clients. Businesses in the healthcare industry that create self-serving content are less likely to catch the attention of potential followers. A strong social media presence can advance your brand and help clients find you. But first and foremost, social media channels for healthcare companies need to help patients and potential patients. The information they distribute should provide the knowledge or resources patients need for their health. Examples of helpful social media content include:
  • The practice manager posting an update on clinic hours
  • Videos of doctors sharing information about flu vaccinations
  • A reel with facts about mental illness

HIPAA Compliance in Social Media for Healthcare

Here are some quick tips for crafting a social media strategy that falls in line with HIPAA compliance:
  • You need expressed consent to share posts and ads that feature PHI.
  • Use stock photography to ensure your team members aren’t accidentally posting practice photos that share PHI.
  • Build a media strategy document that the entire team can access. Outline specific dos and don’ts for posting.
  • Host team training sessions to keep everybody well-versed on HIPAA compliance (try to make it fun and engaging!).
  • Set up controls to flag any keywords or phrases that might indicate a HIPAA compliance breach before posting.

Ready to Set Up Your Social Accounts?

HIPAA compliance sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You just need to know the rules about what you can and can’t post on your social channels. This is LD can help you build a social and healthcare marketing strategy. Book a coffee to see how we can help you reach your goals today.


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