Healthcare provider using a tablet

Social Media for Healthcare: How to Keep Patients Engaged

Jim Neumann
Healthcare Industry Lead
Mar 26, 2024

Social media has become a vital tool for businesses to engage with their audience and establish their brand, and the healthcare industry is no exception to this trend. Today, patients use social media to find answers to medical questions, get the latest information from government health agencies, and build communities. It’s no wonder that more than 90% of healthcare marketers are active on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

In this article, we will discuss the significance of social media in healthcare and offer guidance on how to effectively engage patients using different social media platforms.

Why is Social Media Important for Healthcare?

infographic on the impact of social media on healthcare

Building a Digital Brand

In the past, healthcare providers used traditional marketing methods like print ads and billboards to connect with their audience. However, as technology and social media have become more prevalent, digital branding has become essential for healthcare organizations and their marketing strategies.

By establishing a robust digital brand, they can effectively connect with patients and create a more personal connection. This, in turn, fosters trust and credibility, resulting in higher patient loyalty and retention rates.

Connecting with Patients

Social media enables healthcare providers to directly communicate with patients, fostering real-time engagement and addressing any concerns or questions they may have. During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare institutions leveraged social media to dispel misinformation, encourage proper precautions, and eventually support vaccination efforts. 

By actively engaging with patients on social media, healthcare providers can cultivate stronger relationships and foster a sense of community. This can ultimately result in higher patient satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Educating Patients

Using social media as a platform, healthcare providers can effectively educate patients on various health topics and encourage healthy habits. This is especially important as misinformation continues to become more prevalent across digital channels.

By sharing informative and educational content, providers can establish themselves as trusted sources of information and industry thought leaders.

Tips for Keeping Patients Engaged on Social Media

Now that we have a grasp on the significance of social media in healthcare, let us delve into some strategies for maintaining patient engagement on different social media platforms.


Facebook boasts an impressive 3.96 billion monthly active users, solidifying its position as the leading social media platform worldwide. This immense reach presents healthcare providers with a golden opportunity to establish meaningful connections with their audience and maintain patient engagement. To make the most of Facebook for healthcare, consider the following tips:

  • Share informative and educational content. Utilize Facebook as a platform to distribute articles, infographics, and videos that provide patients with valuable knowledge on a range of health topics and encourage the adoption of healthy habits.
  • Consider using Facebook Live to connect with your audience in real time and offer valuable information. Engage with patients by hosting Q&A sessions, virtual events, or live demonstrations.
  • Create Communities Using Groups and Pages: Groups and pages dedicated to specific medical conditions offer patients a place to go for information and support. They can also provide insights into common questions and concerns that you can address with patients online and in person,
  • Promote patient reviews. The online reputation of a healthcare provider can be significantly influenced by positive patient reviews. Encourage patients to share their experiences on your Facebook page to highlight the excellence of your services.


More than 1 billion people use Instagram regularly, making it a highly sought-after platform for sharing captivating visual content. Instagram can also help you reach younger audiences, as Gen Z and Gen Alpha users tend to prefer Instagram to Facebook and Twitter. To maximize the impact of your Instagram account, try out these strategies: 

  • Share behind-the-scenes content. Instagram can be a great platform to show patients what goes on in your practice and introduce them to the people behind it. This can humanize your brand, increasing trust and personal connections.
  • Utilize Instagram Stories. Take advantage of Instagram Stories to engage with patients in real time. Use this feature to share updates, promotions, and behind-the-scenes content that can keep them interested and connected.
  • Collaborate with influencers. Partnering with influencers across healthcare and health & wellness can help you expand your reach and attract new patients. Look for influencers who share your brand values, are credible in their field, and have a strong following among your target audience.

Twitter (X)

Twitter is widely used for sharing real-time news and updates, making it an invaluable tool for healthcare providers to communicate important information and connect with patients. Here are a few suggestions for utilizing Twitter in the healthcare industry:

  • Share timely updates. Utilize Twitter to share important updates regarding your practice or current health news. This can help establish your brand as a trustworthy source of information.
  • Utilize hashtags. Incorporate hashtags to increase the visibility of your tweets and attract new followers. Include relevant hashtags in your tweets to reach a wider audience. 
  • Engage with patients. Twitter provides an excellent platform for engaging with patients in real time. Respond promptly to patient inquiries and concerns to demonstrate that you value their feedback.


Since 2018, Tiktok has quickly risen to become one of the most popular social media apps ever. Healthcare providers have been steadily gaining traction on the app, with more than 3.8 million HCP’s active on Tiktok in 2021. Here are a few tips for Tiktok success:

  • Get Personal: In addition to a brand profile, personalized provider profiles can help create larger followings, especially if your institution works across a range of specialties. One of TikTok's biggest physician influencers, Dr. Mike, uses his platform to react to fictitious medical TV shows, share interesting patient stories, and educate viewers.
  • Stitch to Dispel Myths: There is plenty of health misinformation on TikTok. “Stitching” a response video to address misinformation directly can help provide valuable context and education, build credibility, and reach new users.
  • Focus on Your Strengths: TikTok trends come and go quickly. Instead of trying to keep up with the latest TikTok dances, try out a few different video styles and figure out which videos are connecting with your audience the most. Then, lean into your expertise, and sprinkle in some fun videos along the way to make your channel feel as human as possible.

Tools for Managing Social Media for Healthcare

Managing social media for healthcare can be quite time-consuming. Luckily, there are several tools that can streamline  the process and help you maintain a consistent online presence. 

  • Hootsuite is a social media management tool that enables you to schedule posts, keep track of mentions, and analyze data from various social media platforms.
  • Canva, on the other hand, is a graphic design platform that provides templates and tools for creating visually appealing social media posts. This can be particularly beneficial for healthcare providers who may not have a dedicated graphic designer on their team.
  • CapCut makes it easy to edit videos for Facebook and Instagram Reels, as well as Tiktok, with helpful templates, effects, and caption tools.

Real-World Examples of Successful Social Media for Healthcare

Mayo Clinic

May Clinic Logo

Mayo Clinic is widely recognized for its exceptional healthcare services and has effectively leveraged social media to establish connections with patients and encourage healthy behaviors. They maintain a robust presence on popular social media platforms, with more than 1.3 million followers on Facebook alone. 

Through social media, the Mayo Clinic disseminates valuable and educational information, raises awareness about its services, and actively interacts with patients. Additionally, they utilize Facebook Live to conduct question-and-answer sessions with healthcare experts and provide exclusive glimpses into their operations on Instagram.

Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic Logo

Cleveland Clinic is a healthcare organization that has successfully utilized social media to connect with patients and raise awareness about their services. They have established a solid presence on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus more niche platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest. 

One reason Cleveland Clinic has been so successful is its diversification of content types across platforms. On Facebook, the clinic hosts interactive chats for question-and-answer sessions. On Twitter, clinic marketers send out tweets with concise answers to common medical queries. Meanwhile, on Pinterest and Instagram, Cleveland Clinic shares health-related infographics to engage with users.


Today, social media plays a crucial role in helping healthcare providers connect with their audience and establish their brand. Through the use of social media, healthcare providers can create a strong digital presence, engage with patients, and provide educational content. By implementing effective tools and strategies, social media can greatly contribute to patient engagement and the overall success of healthcare organizations.

Ready to elevate your healthcare social media strategy? Contact Further to learn more about our healthcare marketing solutions

Jim Neumann
Healthcare Industry Lead

After starting his career in IT, Jim Neumann found his passion working with clients at the intersection of marketing, data, and technology. For over 30 years, Jim has helped companies leverage data, technology, and analytics to drive marketing impact for leading healthcare brands. Jim currently leads the Healthcare Industry Vertical for Further, working with both Healthcare providers and Pharmaceutical and Biotech clients. Outside of work, Jim enjoys spending time playing golf and driving his 1966 Mustang convertible.


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