3 Surprising Apps that Doctors Can Use to Increase their Online Presence

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Looking to extend your practice’s reach to new digital arenas? These three apps may not be considered traditional medical marketing tools, but they can help you bolster your online brand.

When you think of social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, you probably associate them with selfie-snapping millennials and narcissistic celebrities — not medical professionals. But, perhaps surprisingly, mobile apps can be a great way for doctors to humanize themselves and their practices, and to propel their online brand.

And there’s no better time to capitalize on these trendy apps and cultivate a mobile presence than now: according to PwC, the number of consumers with mobile health apps downloaded on their phones has doubled in the past two years. Meanwhile, 72% of 18-44 year olds are open to communicating with physicians over a digital device in lieu an in-person visit. 

Interestingly, while “doctors remain the most trusted source of medical information, trusted by 95% of consumers,” reports Makovsky, consumers who conduct health-related searches online actually value ease-of-use over perceived trustworthiness. So it would behoove savvy doctors to embrace these mobile apps, which promise inviting interfaces and high functionality, in order to cultivate their online presence and reach a larger swath of potential patients.

Instagram

According to Locowise, not only does Instagram have stronger user growth rates than Facebook or Twitter — its posts see 31% and 80% higher engagement, respectfully. It’s also an outstanding way to showcase your medical practice's personality with a behind-the-scenes peek at your business and staff.

Additionally, Instagram allows you to automatically post images to both Facebook and Twitter, effectively broadening your social media reach with just one click. Once you’ve expanded your influence over multiple platforms, you can zero in on specific target demographics by hashtagging highly searched, relevant health-related terms or phrases.

Snapchat

Snapchat is the ultimate selfie app of the millennial age, and marketers across industries are beginning to pay it heed as a serious marketing tool. On a daily basis, Snapchat’s 100 million users view more than 7 billion videos, en route to overtaking Facebook’s 8 billion videos viewed per day, reports Forbes. And with Nielsen’s recent announcement that it will now track Snapchat ad performance, signs point to the highly trafficked app’s huge potential as a worthwhile marketing investment.

For doctors, Snapchat offers the benefits of both intimacy and urgency to communications: “snaps” disappear from the app after 24 hours, so followers feel the need to tune in frequently so as not to miss important updates. Additionally, you have the option to publish a Snapchat story publicly to all your followers, or to respond individually to snapchats from patients (in either text or picture form).

First Opinion

First Opinion could be described as “the Uber of medical advice.” Patients send medical queries into the app, where they are matched with a doctor who responds within five minutes. For doctors, First Opinion provides incredible public exposure, and, as the New York Times notes,
patients often build long-term relationships with their matched physicians. There is a rigorous application process — reportedly about 1 in 10 physicians are accepted — but for those who are accepted, the public credibility is invaluable.

Whether you adopt Instagram, Snapchat, First Opinion, or all three — consider the virtues of these user-friendly apps to scale your business and give a human face to your practice.

Targeted Medical Marketing, Digital Marketing

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