Social Media vs. Digital Marketing for Doctors

social media vs digital marketing for doctors

A Guide to Understanding Why Doctors Need Both Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Social media is a part of our everyday lives. The prevalence and number of sites and platforms has made social media an important part of healthcare digital marketing strategies. This may be why many people do not understand the differences between the two terms. While the terms are related, they have distinct differences in how they are used.

Keep reading to learn more about social media and digital marketing as they pertain to healthcare marketing strategies.

Social Media

Social media is a tool for communication, sharing ideas, and general interaction.

social media marketing for doctors

What Is Social Media?

Social media refers to the interactive technologies that allow users to communicate and exchange ideas. They utilize web-based applications and content is user-generated. Users become part of certain social networks based on their profiles, groups, or affiliations. Popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

While it started as a way to help people connect and stay in touch, social media has vastly expanded. 

Why Physicians Need Social Media Marketing

With the growth of social media, businesses started using social media tools to connect with customers, advertise, and generate sales. It is an invaluable tool in helping to facilitate communication with clients, collect market research, and distribute content and information.

While these facts apply to general business owners, they are especially true for doctors and healthcare practices.

The use of social sites isn’t limited to younger generations. In a study, nearly 90% of baby boomers and older adults noted using social media to find and share health information. Many patients also search social networks for physician recommendations.

Be aware of a common misconception that having a lot of likes or followers equals success and a lot of patients.

Unless you are a social media influencer or running social media ads, your number of likes or followers is not definitive of your practice’s success. It means you posted something likable or shareable; your post must have been engaging.

Social media is meant to be a stepping stone. It is a way to not only gain likes but also to encourage patients to click your links, go to your website, or search for you on Google. Social media is meant to be social, so be prepared to “socialize” and interact with potential patients as you move them through the marketing funnel and turn them into actual patients.

Social Media Marketing Strategies for Doctors

Physicians have a unique role in social media because they are marketing a necessity (good health) rather than a product.

There are a number of benefits to utilizing social media strategies for your healthcare practice.

  • Share valuable content – Doctors are the experts that people often turn to for advice. On social media, you need to consistently provide valuable content to educate and inform the public.How the content is delivered is up to you. You can inject your personality into it to make it fun and engaging. The main point is to be consistent and informative.
  • Follow relevant conversations – See what topics or concerns are trending. Follow hashtags or develop hashtags for your practice. Use your social media platforms to stay in the loop and keep your content relevant to your patients.
  • Answer common questions – Healthcare professionals are a wealth of information about health concerns. Share information and answer questions about common patient concerns, treatments, or conditions.
  • Raise awareness – Social media is a prime way to raise public awareness about health concerns or conditions. 53% of adults have admitted to getting their news at least sometimes from social media.
  • Combat misinformation – By nature and design, social media is about spreading and sharing information. While that is great when the information is helpful and fact-based, some shared information is untrue. Healthcare professionals can debunk false information by sharing credible sources and data.

Social media usage is not without rules. Remember to adhere to regulations, particularly HIPAA and FDA regulations on advertising. This not only applies to your posts but also to patients’ comments.

Healthcare Digital Marketing

healthcare digital marketing

What Is Healthcare Digital Marketing?

With the increased use of computers, tablets, phones, and digital devices, businesses have had to revamp their marketing campaigns. Digital marketing is a form of marketing that uses the internet and online technologies to promote products and services. Healthcare digital marketing is specialized to medical professionals such as doctorsdentistspharmacists, and more.

Healthcare digital marketing services include search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, website design, and more.

Why Doctors Need Healthcare Digital Marketing

Every business is trying to attract and reach its target audience. Doctors are trying to reach patients. More and more people use online networks to gather information, resources, and recommendations. Healthcare digital marketing strategies are a necessary part of a physician’s marketing plan.

Digital marketing is a cost-effective, measurable way to reach a large audience. Your patients are online. Your competitors are online. You should be online too!

Your presence makes you accessible to patients and allows you to get to know your target audience better. It is imperative for doctors to have an online presence and to boost their visibility as much as possible.

Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategies

Healthcare digital marketing encompasses numerous techniques and strategies to boost your online presence. While creating your digital marketing campaign, consider the following:

  • Stay flexible.
  • Get to know your patient base.
  • Focus on the end result.
  • Use valuable content for lead generation.
  • Incorporate mobile marketing strategies.
  • Review and refine your plan.

An effective marketing plan should be customized based on your practice’s needs and budget. The same campaign may not work for every business. The type of marketing is not as important as making sure your voice is consistent and matches your brand and message.

Social Media and Digital Marketing for Doctors: How They Differ

Marketing in general is a way to promote your practice and get to know your audience. Digital marketing uses the internet and online technologies. Social media is a type of digital channel. It is just one of the pieces of a larger internet marketing plan for your practice.

Social media alone is not enough for your healthcare digital marketing campaign. You need the other forms of digital marketing. A well-developed internet marketing plan includes a combination of the strategies listed above.

social media marketing as part of a healthcare digital marketing campaign

How the Two Work Together for Healthcare Marketing

Digital marketing and social media can work together as you establish a voice for your brand and create your online presence. 

Perhaps you have mainly been using one method of marketing. You can only reach so many people through one channel. Breaking out of your mold and working across digital channels and toolsets allows you to reach new potential patients.

If you haven’t added in social media, do it. Consider other online technologies too such as paid advertisinglocal SEOGoogle My Business, email marketing, and content marketing.

Contact the Healthcare Digital Marketing Experts at Med Rank Interactive

Meet with the experts at Med Rank Interactive to determine which marketing channels are best for your healthcare practice. Find out how we can utilize the best healthcare digital marketing strategies to boost your practice’s online presence.

Book your FREE consultation today!