Social Media for Healthcare Professionals

Doctors and healthcare providers are already being talked about on social media…so, be proactive and join the conversation – or start one! Patients and consumers use social media to comment about their health experiences, to post reviews on doctors, medical procedures, medications, and more.

Get started – the top social media channels used by healthcare professionals are: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google +, and Twitter. And, don’t forget, the news blog on your website is equally important. Review sites like Yelp are gaining traction. On Yelp you can write and respond to those reviews.

Improving patient and customer satisfaction is key, and using social media can help healthcare professionals and doctors increase their website’s search engine rankings:
• Active social media shows search engines that you are valuable and relevant. Google takes this into account when ranking your website.
• Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, and Google+ pages are indexed and appear on search engine results, especially Bing. It recently started indexing Facebook comments, as well.
• Shares and likes on social media sites increase the number of back links to your website.
• If someone “likes” something on Facebook, Bing promotes that content in his/her friends’ Bing search results.
• Active social media, linked to your website, also increases the rankings of your Google maps listing. And many times your Google maps listing may outrank your website.

While some healthcare professionals are still reluctant to become active with social media, some of the very well-known institutions have embraced it.  Look at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media (socialmedia.mayoclinic.org) and Cleveland Clinic’s popular Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ClevelandClinic).  Mayo Clinic also has created multiple Facebook pages dedicated to different medical specialties. They have both jumped in and made social media an integral part of their marketing strategies.

There’s no question that social media is growing in importance in the healthcare field and it is no longer an optional marketing strategy. So, go ahead, join the social revolution and get your rankings up at the same time.

Mary Fisher is the CEO of Mary Fisher Design, an advertising, marketing and web development agency that specializes in healthcare in Jacksonville, FL. Alexandra Ayala and Sonja Dyess are the social media experts on her team.