What Will Social Media For Healthcare Be Like In 5 Years?
Predicting the future in precise detail isn’t something that we are able to do; however, we can look at current data and trends to hypothesize how social media could impact healthcare moving forward.
Considered one of the most disruptive forces in marketing, social media can make or break the success of a business. Private practices are no exception.
By truly understanding the evolution of social media and staying abreast of the trending platforms used by consumers, businesses will be more equipped to evolve alongside this rapidly changing medium.
Over 40% of consumers admit that social media posts alter the way they think about their health. Patients now turn to social media for other’s opinions about local healthcare practices and physicians as well as advice about their health concerns.
Patient-produced content, related to medical topics and health advice, is often false or misleading. Despite good intentions, inaccuracies online propel the spread of poor information. As a medical expert in your given field, you have the opportunity to promote accurate and easily digestible material through social media.
Younger Patients Are More Impressionable
Consumers between 18 and 24 are more likely to trust information that they see online, especially highly-shared, popular content. More than any other generation, Millennials turn to the Internet and social media for answers. Now is the time to build trust and credibility among younger consumers; get in front of them now and build a pipeline of potential patients for the future.
Diversify Your Social Media Communication Strategy
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and ZocDoc are exciting platforms for physicians to use to communicate with potential patients. By sharing your expertise and offering useful advice, you will quickly become a valuable resource online.
Mobile-Friendly Websites Are The New Norm
Generally, social media accounts consist of a profile image, a profile biography section and a link to your website. To complement your social media presence, make sure your medical website is mobile-friendly so people can easily read and access information about your practice right from their Smartphones.
As you expand your reach and relevance on social media, more consumers will click on your social media profile link to glean additional information about you and your practice. A mobile-friendly, medical website serves as a resource for interested consumers and should be used to convert them into new appointments for your practice.
Patients Seek Instant Gratification
People have immediate needs that are not life-threatening, and consumers believe that some of their medical
issues do not require a visit to the doctor’s office. Instead, consumers open their phone or computer and type their question into Google. What if your blog post or social media post popped up in the search results page with an answer to their question? Consumer’s love quick and easily digestible information. If they view you as a resource, they are more likely to turn to you when an in-office visit is necessary.
You Are Trustworthy
60% of social media users stated that they trust a post made by a doctor over any other kind of post. As a certified healthcare professional, your online clout and credibility is already higher than the average user. Leverage your expertise to drive more potential patients to your waiting room. Shareable content will bring new visitors to your website, increasing your online traffic and, ultimately, positively impacting your appointment calendar.
In Five Years
Social media will continue to disrupt traditional communication methods, and online conversations between patients and physicians will continue to evolve. In five years, you could be diagnosing patients in a virtual doctor’s office.
Today, the takeaway message for healthcare practitioners is simple: join the online community so that you can reach more patients where they are–online. Because more consumers turn to social media and the Internet for health information, it’s critical that you use social media to capture the attention of potential patients.
To learn more about social media for healthcare and how you can successfully grow your medical practice, download our eBook to learn how to optimize your marketing campaigns!