Friday, August 3, 2018

Is Social Media For Physicians?


Social media for physicians: What's to gain, what's to lose?

Social media is not overrated. Some professionals may think that the power of social media is overvalued or that their industries will not benefit from online platforms, but I think that is far from the truth. Social media is free for all, and its advantages are available to everyone, but only if they know how to use them efficiently.



Health Care And The Internet

The internet has given birth to the proliferation and continuous growth of health care in society. Today, there are over 100,000 health and fitness mobiles apps with millions of daily downloads. According to Greatcall, as of 2017, weight loss mobile health apps account for 50 million downloads, while exercise apps have 26.5 million downloads. 85% of those who’ve downloaded these apps also use social media for health.

In the same way, physicians have also been using the internet to learn more about their field as well as share information with patients and clients. As the same source reveals, 80% of physicians use smartphones and medical apps. 30% of mobile health users are caregivers and 93% of physicians also believe that health apps improve health, while 40% say mobile health services — be it via apps or social media — may reduce the number of visits to doctors.



Physicians have also been using social media for professional research, to share their knowledge and to engage with patients.

According to PM360 Online, the use of social media by physicians is divided into three levels: content production, content commenting and curating, and passive content consumption.

Sadly, of all levels, the one that will benefit the industry the most has the least number of participants. Only 1% of all health care professionals use social media to be content creators — publishing original content via blogs, forums and websites.

What's more, only 9% of physicians engage with patients and other health care providers -- this includes physicians who reply to comments, join group discussions or share helpful information and links on social media platforms.



The biggest chunk of online users is passive content consumers.

Ninety percent of doctors on social media just read relevant information about their patients and their practice without engaging or sharing their knowledge. These statistics are what health care professionals can take advantage of today.

If you’re a physician, you can start building an online presence by using social media platforms.

Moreover, you can join the 1% of physicians who have used the internet as thought leaders. Here are some of the benefits of social media for physicians:



What To Gain

Build online presence: Marketing yourself is a lot like marketing a product — you highlight your best asset so that people will prefer your service over others. Today, people turn to the internet for almost everything, including looking for health care information. Social media is one of the best platforms to help you establish your brand.

Having a presence online will help people learn more about you and your service and what makes you stand out from the rest. When patients want to search for the physician nearest them, your profile should pop up on their searches. If your profile has the right content and positive reviews, clients will choose you over other physicians.



Establish Yourself As A Thought Leader

Patients have spent more time researching health information online than visiting doctors. In a year, the average American visits a doctor three times while spending 52 hours on the internet searching for health information.

Moreover, Health Union (registration required) reports that by 2016, Facebook was the second most used online resource for health information at 65% — a jump from 2009’s 39%. A study by Wego Health also reveals that the site is the top platform used by people who are sharing health information. Eighty-seven percent say they share health information on Facebook via posts.

With social media’s importance in health information dissemination, it would be wise to join the 1% of physicians who provide medical content to users. By publishing in-depth, original content on important and pressing health matters, patients will see you as a source of valuable information. Eventually, they will see as a thought leader and will value the information you publish.



What To Lose

Hard to monitor return on investment: Monitoring the returns of social media campaigns is not as easy. Over the years, there have been new studies and formulas established to monitor the return on investment of social media campaigns. While tools are available on platforms to monitor post reach and likes, its correlation to sales is complicated. Things get even more complex if you will try to record patient referrals.

However, while concrete figures are hard to produce, seeing yourself as a thought leader that people use as a resource is often enough of a return. As more and more people visit your profiles, they’ll see you as an expert in your medical field, which may lead to more clients for you.

Time: Obviously, handling social media isn’t a walk in the park. It requires a lot of time for planning strategies, writing content and analyzing data. Social media marketing isn’t just about posting articles or photos. Each piece of content should be well thought out and will work around your strategy.

Guest Authored By Irfan Jafrey. Irfan is the CEO and Founder of Roosterly, a social media A.I. and marketing platform that’s changing how executives interact online. Follow Irfan on Twitter.





"To reach the most prospect clients, your social media should be carefully calibrated. This will require much of your time. Sadly, for physicians flushed with patients and meetings, this is something you may not have. However, I think when it comes to social media, the good outweighs the bad. -IrfanJafrey


    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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