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Social proof. It is defined as informational social influence and is taking the way we do business by storm. Social proof is a psychological shift in one’s thinking based upon the actions of others. A perfect example of social proof is the fact that many businesses have added Facebook pages simply because everyone else seems to be doing it. They don’t want their business to suffer because they don’t have a social presence established. That’s social proof! In healthcare it can be seen as consumers choosing one provider or procedure over another based upon the recommendations of others.

Social proof is important to any business because it can help them grow. Think about it. According to ODM Group, 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchasing decisions. This is where social media enters the picture. Social media provides a way for people to share information on their likes and dislikes. It is a forum for soliciting feedback from others on their brand experience.

Social proof is taking social media marketing to a new level. With social proof businesses are using the influence of fans to broaden their reach. Let’s face it, consumers don’t trust ads anymore. They rely on the recommendations of others to shape their purchasing decisions. In fact, according to Nielsen, 77% of consumers are leaning on the advice of their family and friends before making a purchase. But social proof doesn’t end there. It can be effectively used on websites, landing pages,  and more.

What does this mean for you? It means that unless you have patients backing up your claims, it is going to be challenging to grow. In order to make the most of your social media marketing strategy, you need to capitalize on your fans. Get them excited about your brand and the information you share. Use social media as a way to build trust and credibility. When done correctly it will result in shares, reviews and recommendations.

Feature social proof on your website by way of patient reviews and testimonials. Patients are more likely to leave a review while they are still in the facility, so try to accomplish this then. Create video testimonials whenever you have a willing patient. Incorporate patient pictures (with their approval) beside testimonials to make them more real to the viewer.

In social media it is important to craft posts that are fun and shareable. Solicit your fans’ feedback by asking questions that are relevant to your specialty. Respond to comments that are made within 24 hours. And offer contests and giveaways. People love freebies!

We all feel more comfortable purchasing something with a lot of social proof. The same goes for your patients. Help them see your credibility by incorporating social proof into every part of your medical marketing strategy starting today.