Trust is crucial in healthcare. Without it, you’ll have trouble connecting with your audience and gaining new patients. These proven social media content ideas can help your healthcare organization build trust with your patients.
Social media platforms are a great way to reach an audience. Facebook — the most-used social media site — has more than 2.7 billion monthly active users. About two-thirds of those users log on to the site daily. Other platforms like Instagram and Twitter are close behind. Healthcare marketers and providers need to understand how to use them to:
- Promote positive health behaviors.
- Establish your organization as a trusted source.
- Engage patients in their care.
- Highlight your successes.
These social media content ideas perform best online and can help you build your audience.
Preventive care news
In Dr. Raina M. Merchant’s recent study, “Evaluating the Potential Role of Social Media in Preventive Health Care,” she looks at the way information is created and shared on social media among every age and demographic group. However, social media is also a place where misinformation spreads quickly. You can combat this by publishing good information from sources like the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
This is especially important when preventive care recommendations change. For example, the USPSTF recently recommended adults age 50 to 80 who currently smoke or have smoked within the past 15 years to get an annual lung cancer screening using a CT scan. Publish this information on social media and make it easy to share online. This helps patients sort through confusing (and sometimes incorrect) information.
People go online to find information about symptoms, diseases, and treatment options. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE found that about 20% of online searches were health-related.
That presents many opportunities for healthcare organizations, but it also has some pitfalls for patients. Remember, not all information online is accurate, and sometimes it’s hard to sort through what’s good and bad.
You can make this easier for patients by sharing educational content on social media. Create this content from scratch, or republish information from reputable sources. The best are government sites, educational sites, and non-profit scientific or medical research societies.
Raise awareness for events and new treatments
The internet is a great place to promote what’s happening in your organization. Some social media content ideas for events and information to post include:
- New and innovative treatments.
- New service lines, new specialty areas of treatment, and new physicians.
- Events to promote health, such as health fairs and screenings.
- Fundraising events.
- Job fairs to hire new staff.
- Classes to help patients live healthy lives, manage disease, or understand treatment options.
Staff highlights and accomplishments
When your staff is dedicated to your mission, they make patients feel comfortable about coming in for care. Highlight the great things your staff does by creating social media spotlights of them.
These can be as simple as a “get to know you” post with a picture of a friendly face from your clinic. You can also use video to your advantage here, letting the staff member introduce themselves and talk about why they love the work they do. It doesn’t require advanced video editing skills, just a smartphone and a room with good lighting.
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media content is that you have to create everything you post. Many successful organizations encourage users to create content they can post online. For example, CaringBridge is a non-profit that helps people create websites to update family and friends about their healthcare journey. They frequently ask followers to share information and ideas on their Facebook page about various topics related to healthcare and overcoming illness.
However, there is one important caveat to sharing consumer content in the healthcare industry.
Patient privacy laws (HIPAA) protect patients from having medical information shared without permission. Sharing protected health information without the patient’s written consent can get you in legal trouble and cost you a lot in fines. Anyone can comment or share information on your social media sites on their own without you worrying about HIPAA violations, but if you plan to share something about a patient, make sure you have their written permission to do so.
The bottom line
You should be using social media as a tool to share healthcare information. These social media content ideas are a great place to start. When used well, it can build trust with your audience and bring in new patients. Find out how Tempesta Media can help you outline a strategy to improve your social media presence and create effective content to post online.
While you’re at it, take a look at our e-book on 100 mistakes companies make when implementing their content marketing programs to discover a few strategies for social media and content marketing success.