As of 2021, 82% of Americans actively use some form of social media, and it is rapidly changing the healthcare industry as we know it by accelerating the shift to consumer-driven care. As a result, easily accessible tools such as websites, blogs, and social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter) can all be used to help increase engagement and improve the patient care experience.
These platforms empower patients by encouraging them to leave doctor reviews, ratings, and make referrals based on their experiences. However, this type of consumer-driven care requires significant responsibility on the part of the doctors and the facilities they work for.
A 2020 peer reviews study found that there is a strong relationship between patient expectations, patient health, and a healthcare provider’s online reputation. This means that providers have an opportunity to improve both their reputation and patient outcomes.
Do Healthcare Providers Need a Powerful Online Presence?
Even if you wanted to, the internet is no longer easy to ignore.
- 52% of Americans engage with Twitter
- There are more than 1 billion views of YouTube per day–on mobile devices alone.
- Facebook has over 2 billion active users.
- Over 3 billion people have downloaded TikTok
In other words, the vast majority of your patients will use social media–whether it’s part of your plan or not. If you aren’t active on these social media tools, patients will still talk about your practice or clinic–you just won’t know anything about it. However, when you have an active and curated social media presence, you can use these platforms to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Create a target audience
- Build trust
- Gain credibility
- Actively engage with potential patients
Your Social Media Presence Also Benefits Patients
Having an online presence is also an advantage for patients because it allows providers to offer additional services such as:
- Easy ways to communicate important community messages, not health related things (HIPAA)
- Access to resources, videos, and more
- Direct messaging about important community messages, not health related things (HIPAA)
Incorporating these additional services helps to boost business, increase engagement, and improve the overall patient experience. It helps providers to strengthen patient-centered care because it expands patients’ options to interact with their provider.
Your social media presence is critical because:
- 72% of patients read reviews before making an appointment with a provider.
- 70% of people use the internet to search for health-related information
- Over 70,000 healthcare searches are performed every minute on Google alone.
Healthcare is Part of the Discourse
While individual symptoms, conditions, and healthcare information is strongly protected by HIPAA, patients are no longer afraid to speak up about their experiences and to leave candid reviews about their healthcare experience, in fact we encourage it! Social media provides patients with yet another venue to have conversations about the care they receive–and to voice their opinions, seek out information, and join discussions.
Therefore, maintaining a presence on social media has become essential to building rapport with your patients–and communicating your brand. Patients that feel better about your brand will, generally, have more realistic expectations about their own experiences, resulting in positive feelings.
Contact Us Today!
Talk to PatientX today about partnering with an experienced healthcare marketing agency–and see how social media can make a difference for you.
Originally published on: October 10th, 2018, updated May 2023
May 11, 2023
By Michael Winkleman | Patient Experience
About the Author:
Michael is the CEO of PatientX, a fast-growing healthcare marketing and branding firm. PatientX strategically develops digital innovations and strategic ideas to encourage patients to view their healthcare providers with a fresh, forward-thinking perspective, and, thus, to nurture better relationships between patient and provider. In his role as CEO, Michael takes great pleasure in helping healthcare providers and healthcare B2B clients with the unique challenges they face. With over 15 years in his field, Michael is no stranger to the challenges one faces in marketing and branding, and he is able to draw from his deep well of experience to deliver optimal strategies and solutions.