Social Media opens up the healthcare industry to a new world of professional and patient connection. It allows for professional networking and education for you and your staff through groups and forums dedicated to best practices in medicine. If social media is new to you, or if you need a quick refresher, we’ve put together our some smart social media practices to help guide you.

Social Media Policy

Have a dedicated social media policy that spells out exactly which activities it covers. It should instruct employees on professionalism, observing privacy, friend request policies, etc. It should be 500 words or less, as anything more complicated will get lost in the shuffle. If it’s impossible to put your organizational policy in one document, consider breaking it up into two or three smaller documents.

Also, make sure you have branding options for social media. You want your organization’s posts to be consistent with branding. Having a document that shows you how to use the logos, which fonts to use, which colors, etc. is key to ease of access.

Start a Campaign

Instead of posting random pictures of cats and doctor jokes, consider launching a social media campaign. Here are some examples:

Organizational Promotion

Start a campaign where you share information about different aspects of your organization. Show your values and mission statement. Make sure the content reflects the fact that you care about your patients. Include your organizational branding in every post.

Patient Education

This is a wonderful way to connect with your audience. Do you have a new way of checking in at the pharmacy? Are you noticing a negative health trend in your patients that a little extra education can help overcome? Take the time to develop campaigns that cover each aspect you want to address. Be careful that you don’t come off as condescending. One ProTip: Create each education campaign as though you are targeting a patient who has never been to your organization before. That way, you write the content for everyone without treating the audience as though they should already know what you’re talking about.

Social Interaction

From parenting advice questions to relatable family stories, getting people to share their favorites is a great way to interact. You can also ask your patients to post a positive comment about their recent visit to your organization. This works as great word-of-mouth advertising, as well.

Advertise

Advertising is a much more interesting world now that social media ads have proven to be extremely influential. When you use ads, make sure you narrow down your target audience by relevant data like location or interests. You can create ads that go back to your site or social media page, but another option is to get them signed up for your healthcare email list. Then, you’ll have a dedicated audience who gets your content in the format most Americans still prefer.

Implementing a social media strategy as part of your marketing and patient outreach initiatives allows you to connect in a stronger way. It’s important to make sure the information you share is accurate, reliable, and maintains the standards of your professional reputation.

Patient privacy is paramount. You are governed by HIPAA at all times, even on social media. If a case is mentioned online, it must have all personal identifying information and revealing references removed. In addition, make sure that your organization and its medical staff aren’t diagnosing patients through social media. The information we receive over social media is filtered, and therefore inaccurate.

You want to leave a lasting impression with your audience, and make sure that it’s a positive one.

The benefits of social media are limitless, and by using these smart social media practices, you can ensure you build a strong brand reputation online.

What will you do to connect with your audience?