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Growing a medical practice or facility has changed drastically over the years. Consumers understand they have a choice when it comes to medical and dental providers and insist on seeing the best. Consumers no longer trust claims made by providers that they are the best or use the latest technology. They need other evidence before making a decision. This is where Internet marketing and social media come in.

Consumers are using the Internet when they have health concerns. According to Pew Internet, one in three adults are going online to research health conditions and concerns with 72% stating they looked for health information online within the past year. With so much inaccurate data online, especially when it comes to healthcare, physicians have a duty to provide correct information relevant to their specialty.

Sharing information to consumers online can happen in a variety of ways. Blogs provide an excellent outlet for this. With a blog, providers can highlight specific patient concerns, FAQ’s, technology advancements, procedures offered and more. The information can not only be hosted on the providers website, but also on social pages and article sites such as Ezine Articles. This allows the blog to have greater reach

Information can also be shared on social media pages such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. These sites provide the practice with an opportunity to not only showcase their own content relevant to their audience, but also the content of others in the world. This aids in the building of trust between provider and patient.

Howard Luks, MD, an Orthopedic physician in New York, shares first hand how by effectively using social media and his website his practice has grown by 12-15%.   He shares that by providing information in a transparent, meaningful and evidence based (when possible) manner, patients come to the medical practice better prepared and more comfortable. He also states that patient satisfaction scores are improved by sharing meaningful information.

If you are on the fence about social media and blogging or if you have started these endeavors but are in a rut, have faith. This form of marketing takes time but it does work. You will find that when properly executed, your pages and blogs perform well on search engines, which over time leads to inquiries and then patients. It is most certainly a process worth committing to.