Explore the pros and cons of social media in healthcare

There are lots of good reasons for a healthcare practice to add a social media presence. Almost 4 billion people worldwide use social media and, chances are, at least a few of them are your patients. Or potential patients.

Here's a shortlist of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly sides of social media for healthcare. And a few helpful tips on how to do it right.

Your patients are on social media. About 80 percent of adults used the internet to make a healthcare-related search last year. Over 60 percent of patients chose one provider over another because of a more substantial social media presence.

Here's your chance to build relationships with patients. Over 40 percent of adults say they would like to follow their healthcare provider on social media.

Social media can be a cost-effective tool for marketing and communication. A steady social media presence keeps your practice front of mind.

You can showcase accomplishments and activities that promote and personalize you and your office staff. Plus, it enables you to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Social media is a great way to educate your patients on the latest in healthcare and promote health and wellness.

Reach new audiences (and patients!) with your social media feed. The internet is an excellent place for people unfamiliar with your practice to get to meet you.


Lack of control. While you control your feed, you can't control people's responses.

Privacy is a big deal, especially where personal medical information is concerned. Make sure the employees using the official social media feed are trained in compliance, including HIPAA. Establish written policies to protect yourself. (We can help with that.)

Social Media can be a Time Suck. In your already busy day, it's one more demand on your time. And to be effective, consistency is critical. (We can help with that, too.)

The Ugly: Trolls. The internet is full of them. Here's how you shut ‘em down.