If you’re a doctor, Facebook isn’t just for connecting with friends, and Twitter isn’t just about finding funny hashtags.  These days, it may seem like physicians have to adapt to all kinds of new technology, but in this case, it’s well worth it!

Why?

Because it can connect you with your patients in so many ways!

First, it’s an easy way to get noticed.  According to a February 2015 study by Referral MD, 41% of people said that social media affected their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility.  So, taking some time to set up a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page gives you an easy way for potential patients to find you.  And, if you take the time to respond to questions that pop up on these pages, you’ll prove just how knowledgeable and compassionate you are — and that’s something that EVERY patient is looking for!

Furthermore, social media gives you an easy way to share new developments with your patients.  For example, if you’re a neurologist, you can share that article you found about a potential new migraine treatment right on your social media pages.  Or, if you’re a pediatrician, you can share the results of a new study about infant vaccines.  That way, your patients are getting information they need to live healthier lives, without having to actually come into your office.

Finally, social media gives you an easy, powerful way to update your patients on developments within your practice.  For example, if you’ve just set up a stroke support group, posting the meeting times on your social media pages is much easier than trying to call or email all of your patients to let them know about it, and it’s certainly easier than trying to remember to tell all of your patients when you happen to see them during an office visit.

Bottom line — social media will never replace a traditional doctor’s appointment, but it can definitely help your practice better serve its patients.