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Social Media Best Practices For Community Health Centers

By ||Published On: February 3rd, 2022||Categories: FQHC, Healthcare Marketing||

Let’s be Social!

Show some personality (within HIPAA and Federal Guidelines, of course)

Raise awareness and engage with the community by maintaining an active social media presence for your Federally Qualified Health Center! When used consistently, social media offers an effective channel to communicate with patients and the public. 

With a variety of platforms available, usage varies among demographics, so a presence on multiple platforms ensures greater outreach and engagement.

In 2021, Pew Research recorded that about 72% of the U.S. population uses social media for both personal and business use, up to 84% of all adults aged 18 to 29. Unlike traditional media outlets, social media allows for users to engage with one another, creating relationships while boosting your brand identity. With more and more patients going online to find healthcare services, presence on social media that links back to more detailed information on your website helps to further engage your audience.

Why Use Social Media?

  • Connect with your patients, both existing and potential

  • Increase outreach to foster relationships with peers, advocates, state and local representatives, and members of the community

  • Promote your FQHCs brand and image

  • Communicate the value of your presence in the community

Best Practices for Social Media Health Marketing

  • Know your audience…and your competition
    Choose a platform that makes sense for your area. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter have among the highest user engagement statistics. Knowing who your audience is, what channels they are browsing, and what times they are active help to create a strategy that results in heightened engagement. We’ve talked about that in more detail here.
  • Create message consistency
    Your posts are an extension of your brand. Whether managed in-house or by an agency, post tone and style should remain consistent to increase the effectiveness of your social media strategy. Using images, GIFs, or videos as opposed to strictly text will encourage scrollers to stop and engage with your posts.
  • Abide by HIPAA and Federal guidelines
    Safeguard your patient information and never, ever post without permission. Testimonies and patient reviews are a great way to reinforce the value of your FQHC…just get permission before posting. As a recipient of Federal funding, your posts should also be nonpartisan.
  • Engage and educate patients
    Post topics should highlight issues that people are talking about, preventative news and strategies as well as local public health events, establishing your Center as a source for relevant information for both patients and the public. 
  • Connect with partner organizations and vendors
    Showcasing relationships with community leaders and local companies can help to boost your brand image, as well as locate potential sponsors for community health events and other activities relevant to your mission.
  • Promote Advocacy
    An essential contributor to community health, FQHCs rely on continued funding for programs and services to be offered. Posting about Advocacy efforts increases public awareness and support for your Center.
  • Highlight staff accomplishments
    Keep the Community in your Community Health Center. Highlight awards and accolades among your staff members to maintain camaraderie and further establish your FQHC as an integral part of the local area.


As integral to social media posts as SEO is to website content, hashtags are words or phrases used across social media platforms to categorize posts and help users to find content pertaining to specific topics.This optimizes the experience for your users. For instance, the NACHC (National Association of Community Health Centers) uses #FQHC, #ValueCHCs and #CHCsInnovate. 

By using hashtags that pertain to your Location, Brand, or Industry, you can create content continuity that helps to reinforce your brand. In addition to following accounts of interest, social media users are able to follow hashtags. Effective use in your social media posts creates an additional avenue to reach out to potential patients and others in the community, especially when creating a customized hashtag for issues or events specific to your area.

Don’t Forget

Remember, your posts speak on behalf of your organization, so it is important to post accurate information. Focus on quality over quantity. Keep your audience engaged with meaningful posts rather than generic content, even if it means posting less frequently. Posts that link back to your website with additional information expand your reach and create engagement with your audience, going beyond the “snackable content” generated for social media.

A comprehensive marketing strategy combines several key aspects that attract patients to your center. By focusing on high-quality content that responds to your community, your FQHC can become an integral contributor to the health of your community. 

Strategy Meeting

Looking for additional help?

At Firefly Marketing, we offer social media management to connect you to a greater audience! Contact us today to reach and engage your community.

About the Author: Lauren Tumminello

Account Manager – Like a glass of champagne, Lauren’s bubbly personality quickly brightens any conversation. As an account manager, Lauren is skilled at breaking down the big picture into a frame-by-frame solution tailored to each client’s goals and dreams. Eternally optimistic, her approach to problem-solving centers on prioritizing wants and needs on a human scale, making her a strong marketing partner.

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