Call Us! 888-340-6731
Healthcare Marketing

How and Why Medical Practices Should Use Social Media Marketing

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Social media in healthcare goepps digital marketing

Social media has become a dominant force in healthcare marketing. It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago promoting a medical practice on social media was unthinkable. Part of the reason for this hesitation was a sense that appearing on Facebook or Twitter could tarnish a brand. There were also worries about patient privacy and staying compliant with HIPAA regulations.

Social media marketing for medical practices has come a long way in a few short years. Now, many organizations feel like they’re playing catch-up when it comes to social media.

In this article, we’ll review the pros and cons of social media marketing for healthcare practices so you can better understand its value. Plus, we’ll share our top tips to help medical practices effectively market themselves on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Social Media Marketing for Healthcare Practices: The Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons of social media for medical businesses. Use them to understand why it’s essential to be active in it today and what to look out for when running campaigns.


  • A proven way to attract new patients if done right

  • An effective way to expand your professional network

  • Allows you to demonstrate your expertise to new patients

  • Educate patients on better health practices

  • Stay top of mind with current patients and generate repeat visits

  • Connect instantly with followers to share news

  • Opportunity to network with other professionals

  • Additional way to connect with and recruit top talent

  • A cost-effective opportunity to market a practice


  • Compliance concerns

  • Maintaining patient privacy

  • Balancing professionalism while being engaging and approachable

  • Sharing incorrect or incomplete information, or content that can be misused

  • Needing to avoid negative comments

The upsides of healthcare social media marketing prove it’s a valuable opportunity for medical practitioners—however, it must be done carefully and correctly to avoid the downsides. Here are some tips you can use to get your social media marketing and communication right.

Always Put HIPAA First

Complying with HIPAA regulations and medical ethics codes is table stakes. It must be a top priority on social media and in every aspect of your business. Maintaining patient privacy is critical. Never share information about patients or communicate anything that could potentially identify anyone, such as physical characteristics or mannerisms.

Determine the Voice of Your Organization

Healthcare businesses can seem sterile. Sterile is ideal when it comes to the cleanliness of your equipment and location, but it’s not so great when communicating with patients or potential business partners. Here are some ways to create a warm yet professional voice for your social media content.

  • Use a tone that engages your followers and encourages them to interact with you.

  • Identify a tone and voice that’s friendly yet professional.

  • Show personality by using conversational language.

  • Humanize your organization by showing the faces behind it in photos.

  • Respond to all reviews and inquiries in a clear and easy-to-understand way.

These steps will make your practice seem more human and approachable and less cold and clinical.

Educate Your Followers

One of the biggest mistakes healthcare businesses make in social media is actively promoting themselves. Sure, it’s important to share when you win an award or make a medical advancement. Still, social media must be social, not promotional. People turn away from boastful businesses.

One interest most of your followers have in common is health and staying fit. Social media is a great way to educate and inform people about health, including reducing risky behavior, becoming more active, eating well, and preventing or reducing the effects of disease and other health hazards.

Not only is quality educational content more engaging than self-promotion—it also demonstrates expertise, building credibility for your organization and trust with your followers.

Counteract Misinformation

There’s a lot of bad health information on the internet. Your organization could stand out (and earn credibility points) by setting the record straight through your social media feed. Post individual facts and figures countering false internet health claims. Include links to articles that provide more in-depth and well-researched information. These actions will set you apart from other practitioners and turn you into an advocate and hero.

Spread Health-Related News

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that it can be challenging to find trusted sources of health-related news, especially in a crisis. Make it your mission to become the top source of current health information for your patients and followers on social media. Again, just make sure what you post is as accurate as possible. Ensure you keep the health and well-being of the people who depend on you ahead of being first out of the gate.

Promote Your Posts to Reach a Larger Audience

Organic social posts will reach some of your followers. In some cases, smart hashtagging could extend their reach by a little to people who are interested in the hashtag topics.

The only way to reach a significant number of new people and attract additional patients is to promote your posts. Target people in your ideal patient base to share your content with them and interest them in your practice. For instance, if you specialize in geriatric medicine, target seniors and provide them with helpful information about the unique health issues they face, such as arthritis and memory problems. Or, if you primarily work with athletes, share tips about sports medicine with people who participate in sports in your community.

Stay Engaged

It’s not enough to push content and information into the social media universe. You must also engage with your followers and others who reach out to you. Not only do social media algorithms like this interaction—it’s also an excellent way to make your business seem more real and friendly. Plus, many of those interactions could turn into conversations resulting in appointments.

Be Original

Give your audience content they can’t get elsewhere. There’s nothing wrong with sharing material from respected medical and news organizations. However, you must have an original point of view in much of the material you share. What do you do that’s different or makes your practice unique? Reflect this difference in your social feeds. If you’re not a great writer, videographer, or communicator, hire someone who can develop original material for you. Just make sure what they create clearly communicates your point of view.

Share Information Their Way

Medical professionals are big readers. It’s how they became experts in their field. However, not everyone else is. Many prefer receiving information through videos, memes, podcasts, diagrams, and more. Tailor your media to the people you’re trying to attract. Younger patients probably prefer videos. Older ones may be more comfortable reading or listening to a podcast. Providing people with the information they want in their preferred format will earn you more followers on social media.

Social Media for Medical Firms: The Final Word

There are many reasons for healthcare firms to promote themselves on social media. At the same time, the potential pitfalls associated with social media marketing for healthcare practices make it clear that it’s prudent to move forward with caution. Leverage the tips in this article to optimize your use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social channels while protecting the interests of your business and patients.

Check it out: This year’s top medical marketing trends.

We Are the Digital Marketing Pros

Work with a great team of passionate, experienced professionals.