Social media can be a great way for your healthcare business to provide a social hub for your patients and give potential patients an idea of what to expect when they visit your office. But, what exactly are the best types of posts for your healthcare business on social media? Here are a few suggestions and best practices for social posts you can share from your healthcare business.
Share Fun Facts or Trivia
Sharing fun facts and trivia can get fans and followers more involved with your page. For example, if you’re a dentist, you can post interesting facts about teeth or ask trivia questions about the best foods for your teeth. You can also share fun facts about yourself and your employees. I know as a patient, I enjoy seeing information about my healthcare providers and those I’ll be encountering when I visit the office. It helps personalize you and your office to patients.
Post Relevant Articles
Sharing industry articles can provide patients and potential patients with helpful information and can position you as an expert. For example, if you’re a cardiologist and you see an article about the best exercises for heart health, you can share that to your social media profiles and add a note or commentary sharing your thoughts. Sharing relevant and interesting information will help fans and followers see your social media sites as a helpful healthcare resource.
Create Specials or Offers
Your social media sites are a great place to share information about specials or promotions you’re offering in your office. Plus, this is one of the top types of content that consumers love to see from brands on social media. You can even create special offers specifically for your social media fans and followers to encourage them to interact with your page and refer friends to your business. For example, say your dentist office is running a teeth whitening special for the season. You can post that information on your social sites and even include a special code so you can see how many people are redeeming your offer after seeing it on social media.
Images are great to see on social media sites. As a healthcare business, you don’t have as much freedom as other businesses when it comes to sharing pictures or information due to HIPAA, but here are some examples of pictures you can share:
- Employee Fun: If your office does fun things like celebrating birthdays or in-office contests, share that information on your social media pages. Your social sites are a great way for you to humanize your practice. For example, if your office regularly celebrates employees’ birthdays, take a picture of the festivities, whether it’s just the employee with a balloon or cake, or the whole office singing Happy Birthday. Make sure you have consent from your employees before posting, though!
- Inside the Office: You can share pictures from inside your office (without patients) – like your waiting room, an exam room, and employees – to give potential patients an idea of what to expect when they visit. If you do post pictures from inside your office with patients or employees, make sure you have written consent.
- Events: Do you speak at healthcare-focused events, hold special events or attend educational seminars? Do you support community events or a local sports team with regular games? You can share pictures from these events on your social media pages. These pictures and information about the events you’re attending can help patients get a better idea about your experience and expertise and build a sense of community.
- Happy Patients (with written consent): Sometimes you will have patients who would love to have their picture taken and posted on your social media sites, but you have to tread carefully. Before posting a picture of a patient, you will need written and signed consent, and you don’t want to share information about their procedures or medical history, so photos outside of the examination room are best. For example, if you’re a dentist and you have a patient who is very happy with her teeth after braces, you can take a picture of her smiling next to you. Before posting the picture, she’ll need to sign a statement saying she consents to having her name, picture, and the fact that she had braces published on your social sites, and then list the social sites you’ll be posting to. This way you are communicating expectations with your patients and making sure you’re protecting their patient rights under HIPAA.
A Note About HIPAA*
As a healthcare provider or as someone who works for a healthcare provider, your patients are your priority, and your responsibility is to keep them safe from harm. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, puts some restrictions in place when it comes to what you can and can’t post. For example: You can’t post information about your patients’ medical histories or diagnoses, and you can’t post pictures of your patients without their consent. It’s important to remember HIPAA and the rules that apply when you craft updates for your social media pages, so keep that in mind as you follow these best practices, and always consult with an attorney if you have specific questions or concerns regarding your legal requirements under HIPAA.
What are some other best practices you follow for your healthcare business on social media? Let us know in the comments!
*Note: These comments do not represent legal advice. These are general guidelines for medical practices to keep in mind. If you need specific legal guidance regarding HIPAA or your practice’s use of social media or digital marketing, please consult with an attorney.