Social Media Marketing And Growing A Medical Practice
There are many articles about how medical practices can use social media websites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. While these social networks are large and offer opportunities for physician practices to increase their online visibility, network, build their reputation, grow their audience, and ultimately their medical practice, social media marketing strategies that include publication of health information indexed by search engines may be synergistic.
According to a survey from Pew Internet, 35% of American adults have used the internet for self-diagnosis or to understand someone else's medical condition. Interestingly, 77% of health information seekers started their search on a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo; 13% started at a healthcare information website like WebMD, and a minuscule 1% started their search on social media website such as FaceBook. These internet usage figures are very important because they provide a roadmap for physicians to use to develop their internet and social media marketing strategies.
Time To Dump Conventional Wisdom?
Conventional wisdom suggests that medical practices should have a presence on Facebook and other large social networks. While this strategy is important the time and expense spent on developing elaborate Facebook pages and gathering a following should be weighed against the fact that only 1% of adults are searching for healthcare information, and therefore, a physician's practice or knowledge on Facebook and similar social media websites. If 77% of adults are looking for health information by using search engines is it not wise for medical practices to place more effort on being visible on search engines? If you follow this line of thinking then the next logical conclusion is developing health information that is useful to consumers and indexed by search engines.
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