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The ultimate guide to medical practice social media in 2024

Wondering where to start with medical practice social media? Here’s how to choose a platform, create great content, and find your audience.

Physician takes a break from exercising to read about medical practice social media

At a Glance

  • Medical practices can use social media as a tool to connect with prospective patients and share their expertise — along with images of the practice, positive reviews, and more.
  • To create an effective presence on social media, it’s crucial to identify the platforms where your practice’s patient population spends their time.
  • Practices also need to ensure their social media protects patient privacy and is compliant with HIPAA guidelines.

Social media has changed the way we market just about everything — including healthcare. Word of mouth is still a popular way to find a provider, but patients also turn beyond family and friends to social media.

Most US consumers are on social media and usage continues to grow. In 2022, the number of people who use social media increased by 4.2%, and the average user spent nearly 2.5 hours each day scrolling or messaging on social networks. 

Tebra’s 4th annual Patient Perspectives report confirms that these trends extend to healthcare. The report found that 77% of patients search online for doctors either often or sometimes. This behavior spans generations: 86% of Millennials and 81% of Gen Z search for healthcare providers online at least some of the time. Gen X (75%), Baby Boomers (68%), and the Silent Generation (64%) are not far behind. 

Medical practice social media is a golden opportunity to connect with prospects where they already spend time each day. While the report found that only 18% of respondents currently follow their provider on social media, 45% said they would if their doctor posted regularly. 

Your social media profiles and posts give prospects a glimpse of the patient experience at your practice. By sharing your expertise, posting photos of your office and team, and featuring positive reviews, you can build a relationship with patients before they even book an appointment.

Ready to get started? Below, you’ll learn:

  • The advantages of different social media platforms
  • Ways to create high-quality content
  • Why a content calendar can make it easier to manage your presence and develop campaigns
  • Important tips for HIPAA compliance
  • Good responses to negative comments
  • How to get new patients with sponsored content
  • Examples of successful medical practice social media 
Patient Perspectives Report

Step 1: Choose a platform

The first step is to determine on which social media platforms to focus. When making this decision it’s important to keep a few things in mind. 

First, remember that quality and consistency is the key to a successful medical practice social media strategy — not to mention your overall practice marketing strategy. A strong, consistent presence on a single platform is better than a weak presence on many. 

Quality and consistency is the key to a successful medical practice social media strategy. ”

Next, determine where your target patient population spends their online hours — and where it makes sense to focus your efforts.

Here’s a quick overview of several of the most common social media platforms.


Screenshot of a medical practice on Facebook
Screenshot of The Healthy Human Direct Primary Care Facebook page:

According to Pew Research, nearly 70% of adults in the US still use Facebook to connect with friends and family. The Facebook audience skews slightly more male (57%), and 58% of its users are aged 25 to 54. Facebook also supports high-quality video streaming and has a messaging platform that makes it easy to interact with prospective patients.

Given both its demographics and features, Facebook is a great choice for just about any medical specialty. It is particularly well-suited for practices that serve multiple generations, such as family medicine, sports medicine, or OB/GYN. 


Screenshot of a medical practice on Instagram
Screenshot of Bakersfield Pediatrics' Instagram profile:

A photo- and video-sharing platform, Instagram accounted for 17% of the time US adults spent on social media in 2022 and over 60% of its users are between ages 18 and 35. The platform supports live videos, but is geared more to visually compelling posts and creative short videos. Since Facebook and Instagram are both owned by the parent company Meta, it’s relatively simple to link your accounts and post the same content to both platforms simultaneously.

Single and carousel photo posts, reels, videos, and stories are some of the different formats you can use to share content on Instagram.


Screenshot of a medical practice on Threads
Screenshot of Dr. Dagny Zhu's Threads profile:

Threads is a social media platform that the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp launched in July 2023. It crossed the 100 million user mark within the first week of its launch, presenting a vast potential audience for healthcare practices.


  • Offers a 500-character limit per post, almost twice that of X (formerly Twitter)
  • Allows effortless sharing between Instagram
  • Provides automatic verification if a provider is already verified on Instagram
  • Doesn't currently have any ads

Ways to promote your practice on Threads:

  • Post educational content: Share health tips, explain medical procedures, or debunk common health myths.
  • Share office updates: Announce new services, office hours, staff changes, or other news related to your practice.
  • Patient testimonials: With patient consent, share their testimonials and positive experiences at your practice.
  • Crossposting: Share your content across both Instagram and Threads. This will increase your visibility and ensure your messages reach a larger audience.
  • Partner with other health professionals: Participate in Thread conversations with other health professionals to provide a holistic view on health topics.
  • Interactive Q&A sessions: Initiate conversations where you answer common health questions. It's a great way to engage with your audience while providing valuable information.


Screenshot of a medical practice on YouTube
Screenshot of Nova Vita Wellness Centers' YouTube channel:

In the US, 62% of users visit YouTube each day, spending an average of 19 minutes per day searching this long-form video-sharing platform for information on almost every topic under the sun. YouTube is a great place for healthcare practices to educate and connect with prospective patients. However, high-quality videos take more effort to create than other types of content.


Screenshot of a medical practice on TikTok
Screenshot of happytoothslc's TikTok profile:

Launched in 2016, this viral video app is a go-to social media platform for Gen Z, who turn to it as a search engine over Google. TikTok rewards more casual short-video-based content, and being successful requires less polish than similar content on Instagram or YouTube.

TikTok has experienced some controversy over its use of the same surveillance capitalism approach to user data that nearly every other social media platform, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, uses, and there is debate over whether or not US lawmakers might ban it as a result.

X and LinkedIn

X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn can let you connect with other providers and stay informed about trends, conferences, and continuing education and opportunities. But they are rarely the first choice for patients looking for a provider. 

Keep your handle, logo, bio, and any other basic information about your practice consistent, if not identical, across profiles. ”

Once you determine which platforms to focus on, sign up for an account, making sure to designate it as a “business” account. Keep your handle, logo, bio, and any other basic information about your practice consistent, if not identical, across profiles.

Step 2: Create high-quality content for medical practice social media 

It’s time to start creating and posting content. If you’re already thinking, “I went to medical school, not art school,” here’s a little secret: content creators rely heavily on apps.

There are many free and low-cost apps available to help you create high-quality content. For instance, Canva is a graphic design tool that’s easy to use without a lot of visual acumen. Hootsuite helps you schedule and plan posts in advance.

InShot is a video editing tool. Rev autogenerates captions and transcripts for video content — important for both accessibility and SEO. Read reviews, ask friends (or teenagers), and choose the apps that fit your needs. 

While aesthetically pleasing and interesting photos and videos are important, they aren’t the only component of a successful social media strategy. An image might capture attention, but the message behind it will help you retain and engage people. 

Focus on storytelling and breaking down complex topics in ways that make them accessible and relevant. Remember: patients follow healthcare practices on social media for a variety of reasons. They want medical insights and practical information, and also to peek into the inner workings of your office and get to know your team. Aim to incorporate a mix of different types of posts into your strategy. 

It's important to showcase diversity in visual content and use inclusive language. ”

It's also important to showcase diversity in visual content and use inclusive language. This promotes equality, and can increase patient loyalty, and enhance your practice's reputation.

Medical professionals should also consider social media as an extension of their practice and not just a marketing platform. Find what you genuinely care about about as a practice and share that with your audience. This authenticity can help drive engagement.

Optimize Operations

Step 3: Plan campaigns and schedule posts 

One of the best ways to stay consistent is to create a posting schedule. Then build time into your daily routine to create and schedule content. 

To build a content calendar, first list any relevant holidays or events you want to feature. For instance, if colorectal cancer screening is important to your patients, plan to create content during Colorectal Cancer Month (March) that highlights statistics and testing. 

Add in local and regional events, such 5K races, fundraisers, or municipal activities in which you or your staff participate. These types of posts are a great way to connect with other organizations and engage in your community. 

Consider establishing a day a week on which to post repeating themed content as another way to create consistency. ”

Then, add practice milestones or events, like the anniversary of your opening, or a week you plan to offer a discount on a particular service. (Avoid team birthdays, as publicizing them can create privacy issues.)

Consider establishing a day a week on which to post repeating themed content as another way to create consistency. Your theme should be simple, fun, and easy to create content around indefinitely. For example: 

  • Test results Tuesday: Break down a different diagnostic tool or procedure from your specialty and explain what it is, how it’s used, and why it matters.
  • What’s for dinner Wednesday: Share a recipe that applies to your patient population. 
  • Get to know your [position]: Post a short “person on the street”-style video interviewing a team member about one thing they want patients to know.

Finally, fill in the gaps with positive testimonials from patients, new staff introductions, or topical content.

Once you outline your content plan for each month, the next step is to think about hashtags. These descriptive, clickable keyword tags help viewers not only learn what your message is about, but also find your posts.

If you post a story featuring a nurse, using #nurses will help make your post searchable for anyone looking for content about a nurse. You can also create your own hashtags as a part of your brand or look for and use the hashtag associated with trending news stories. Just be sure to be judicious, since more than 5 hashtags per post can make you look like spam.

Also, remember to craft compelling calls to action so that readers don't leave your platform. Encourage users to use reaction buttons, ask questions, or post user-generated content.

Step 4: Protect patients’ privacy

It goes without saying that no matter what kinds of posts you choose to create, they absolutely must comply with HIPAA

Anyone creating or posting content on behalf of your medical practice should be familiar with HIPAA as well as with your brand guidelines. Create a policy that includes:

  • Clear expectations about what to post and why
  • Instructions on how to respond to negative posts
  • Platform laws and rules to follow
  • A process to ensure HIPAA compliance 
  • Safety protocols 

Patient privacy isn’t the only thing to consider. It’s equally important to set clear boundaries to protect your own privacy and ensure that what you’re sharing is appropriate.

It goes without saying that no matter what kinds of posts you choose to create, they absolutely must comply with HIPAA. ”

If you wouldn’t share a particular personal detail with the most difficult and untrustworthy person you know, do not share it on social media. Birthdays, any content that could be used to reveal a home address (such as a recipe video that reveals the view out a kitchen window), or pets with their tags visible can all put staff at risk.

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Step 5: Address negative reviews and comments

Unfortunately, receiving a negative comment on social media is pretty much inevitable, but it’s not an occasion to panic. If the comment is threatening, offensive, or inappropriate, it’s okay to delete it and block the user. But if the critical comment comes from a disgruntled patient who had an issue with their experience, it’s better to respond directly.

Tebra’s Patient Perspectives report found that most patients are willing to accept apologies and reasonable explanations before leaving a provider. In fact, 64% of patients say they would go back to a practice if it addressed the negative review.

Data visualization for the statistic: 64% of patients would go back to a practice if they addressed a negative review.

When you contact a patient promptly about a negative post or comment, you demonstrate your willingness to listen and address concerns. This can help you to retain patients — and attract new ones. 

Step 6: Maximize your reach with sponsored content

Once your social media profiles are up and running with a decent amount of content, consider sponsored content.

Sponsored content looks organic but is paid advertising that appears directly in users’ feeds, where they can engage with it like any other post. It is becoming a necessary part of social media marketing and can be highly effective.

With sponsored content, you can reach people beyond your followers. As with other digital advertising, sponsored content allows you to target specific audiences based on a location or interest.

With sponsored content, you can reach people beyond your followers. ”

You can even build look-alike audiences to target people within the geographic location and demographic parameters of your existing followers. This increases the likelihood that prospective patients will see your content. 

Whether you use sponsored content or stick with organic posts, make sure that your posts drive viewers to a medical practice website designed to help your practice grow

Step 7: Follow other providers' content — and improve your own

Finally, follow, interact with, and learn from other providers who are succeeding on social media. Look to other providers for inspiration to learn new tricks and stay on top of current trends. 

Consider analyzing competitors' content and what generates the most engagement, then use that knowledge to incorporate similar themes or styles into your own content.

Remember: at the end of the day, the goal is to connect with patients and prospects. People respond to authenticity, so make sure the person they meet in the profile is the same person they meet in the exam room.

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75% of people look online to find a doctor. Patients take a critical look at web presence, online business profiles, and reviews when they decide to pick a health provider. Learn where your practice should be online in the 2023 Patient Perspectives report.

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Written by

Kate Smith, RN, BSN

Kate Smith is a registered nurse with extensive experience caring for patients in urban emergency departments, private practices, in-home hospice settings, and on cruise ships around the world. She is also a writer who is passionate about the medical field, and endeavors to approach topics in ways that give readers a new perspective.

Reviewed by

Liana Redshaw

Liana Redshaw has over 8 years of experience in social media content creation. Her expertise across Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Threads enables healthcare organizations to foster genuine connections and compelling narratives.

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