Social Media Best Practices
Social Media Best Practices
Simple strategies for effective social marketing
Using social media is an important way to reach your current patients and new ones – if you know how to use it! The following guidelines are intended to help you craft messages that resonate with your patients and motivate them to take actions that promote their well-being:
- Think like a patient – Remember that patients are often ashamed of their symptoms, confused by the information they find online and afraid of having to visit the doctor’s office. Speak in language that’s reassuring and relatable, without medical jargon or difficult vocabulary. As a good rule of thumb, shoot for a 6th grade level – you’ll have much better success communicating in simple terms than complicated ones.
- Be consistent – You can’t just post every now and then and hope that people will pay attention to what you have to say. Regular, ongoing posting makes you more visible, more relatable and more welcome than if you’re a digital stranger who just pops in from time to time. Make a weekly or bi-weekly schedule and stick to it.
- Use compelling images – Social media is a visual means of communication, so make the most of it with images that catch people’s attention. This doesn’t mean your shots have to be worthy of the cover of Vogue, but they should be clear, in focus and well composed. Another reason to use your own images? They’re authentic in a way that stock photography can never be, reflecting who you are an what your practice is about.
- Remember HIPAA – Using your own images is a great way to personalize your postings, but keep HIPAA in mind when using social media. Images that show any patient-identifying features (portions of the face, tattoos, etc.) would be violations. If you have a particularly important reason to use patient images in any of your marketing, you should always have the patient sign a release form, and the same goes for staff members – it’s good practice to have the express consent of anyone who appears in your posts. More information about releases and HIPAA, including example forms, can be found by clicking here.
- Don’t forget your hashtags – An often underappreciated element of effective social media is the use of relevant hashtags. When selected properly, these can be powerful ways to amplify your message, getting it seen well beyond the people who are already aware of you. Here are some suggestions, but feel free to use others that are specific to the particular posts you create – and no matter what you choose, try putting in anywhere from 7 to 12 of them per post:
#bladderhealth #bladdercontrol #bladderleakage #bladderleaks #leakage #oab #overactivebladder #incontinence #womenshealth #menshealth #urology #gynecology
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