Creating a social media care plan for your medical practice

Social media should be a key part of your practice's marketing strategy.

One of the most crucial parts of providing medical care to patients is the initial development of an individualized care plan. This unique plan creates a framework to assess, diagnose, plan, implement and evaluate.

An effective practice social media marketing plan should be no different. In fact, much like the delivery of quality health care, implementing an effective social media campaign takes time and should follow best prescribed guidelines.

Throughout the marketing industry, there are 5 standard actions that are considered to be key elements for developing the groundwork of a successful social media plan.

First, and most importantly, is to listen. Much like you would listen to your patient, work to better understand what the current need is, what is working best and what the ultimate goal is. Also, it is important to also listen to what is not working well and is not resonating. By doing so, it will be much easier to take the necessary steps to make corrections.

Secondly, stay active. When recommending long-term approaches to health, a common practice is to encourage regular physical activity. The same goes for the health of a social media campaign. Frequent and regular activity will allow your content and posts to live up to their full potential and have the greatest impact.

Next, plan for routine follow-ups. By developing and evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs), medical practices will be able to better track and measure the success of social media efforts against established benchmarks.

Fourth, stay informed on the latest breakthroughs. Do not rest on outdated or stale content. It is important to stay relevant and current on the latest news and timely information. This is important to achieve success with the various social media platform algorithms, as they continually analyze posts to decide what appears highest in newsfeeds.

Finally, remember your bedside manner. Connecting with your social media audience on a person-to-person level is a strong practice for creating trust and ultimately, ongoing engagement.

Whether your practice is focused on primary care, specialty care, or post-acute services, the above strategies are designed to withstand the test of time and deliver optimum results.

Since 2019, New Jersey Brain and Spine, located in Oradell New Jersey, has recognized the importance of a consistent social media plan to increase their brand awareness and assist in patient acquisition.

“We continue to see a high degree of engagement from our patients and referral sources that get to know us on a more personal level through our active social media presence,” said Jonathan Tamir, CEO, New Jersey Brain and Spine. “Our social media activities are designed to show patients and potential patients what we believe in and who we are. Our content plan is designed to showcase the highest levels of expertise, conservative care plans and compassion that is at the core of what we offer.”

As a result of their social media strategy, New Jersey Brain and Spine has received 4.8 million total post impressions since implementation. In addition, the practice has earned a 52% increase in their Facebook page following.

Whether your practice’s social media goal is to help demonstrate a commitment to patients, showcase new services and capabilities, or simply present a more accessible side to your physicians and providers, your efforts do not need to be complicated.

According to the JAMA Network, social media use by physicians continues to grow with younger females having the greatest online presence. However, surgeons and more tenured physicians were found to have an overall greater social media activity and often had a greater social following.

No matter your experience level or practice specialty, by following the plan and principles above, you will be well on your way to becoming a trusted and influential source of content to a healthcare hungry consumer audience. Remember, while having the right tactics is initially important, having the right mindset as you begin this marketing journey is what will best position your practice for success.

Marty Summa is the Director of Digital Media and Social Strategy for Sage Growth Partners.