How Your Patients Use Social Media

How Your Patients Use Social Media

It seems as if healthcare providers have only recently considered using social media to connect with their patients. This might be due to many considerations, not the least of which is protecting patient confidentiality. Social media is a great marketing tool that will help build your practice and help your clients. Learn how your patients are using different social platforms and understand how your practice can reach out.

Growth of Social Media

According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is the most popular site, (as of September 2014). Facebook is no longer experiencing the growth surge that it did just a few years ago, but the user is engaging with it more than they used to. LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest are seeing significant growth and gaining more popularity among adults who use social media.

Who Is Using Which Platform?

Over 52 percent of adults who go online use two or more social media sites. Around 56 percent of adults 65 and older who are online use Facebook. In the younger crowd, ages 18-29, 53 percent of the ones who go online are on Instagram. When it comes to Pinterest, you will reach more women than men. LinkedIn is growing among the college-educated. Around 50% of the internet users who have higher education backgrounds use it.

Facebook is by far the most popular platform, and it seems to be home base for many people. Around 70 percent of individuals who use check in daily at least once. Just a year ago, that figure was only 63 percent. The number of people who use Facebook hasn’t changed, but how much they use it has. About 36 percent of Twitter users check in daily, but this is a 10 percent drop from last year. LinkedIn has more users, but they are not logging on with more frequency.

Using Social Media as a Tool

As a healthcare provider, you do need to be cautious about how you use social media in your practice. However, when used appropriately and with forethought, it is a good marketing tool. You can also increase your patient’s awareness of health issues that they may forget. A quick reminder to come in a get a flu shot during the season benefits the community and keeps your patients healthy.

Develop a social media strategy and risk management plan now to fully utilize the capability of it, while maintaining the legal requirements for your business. This technology has a place in your marketing plan, but you do need to proceed wisely to get the full benefits. Reach out to your patients and build your practice wisely.