Social media is a long way off from the simple friend-finder that it once was. Now, almost any business, professional group, and practice have one social media page or another.
It’s not just a vanity effort, either. There is real value to cultivating a social media presence and using it to engage your community. We’re going to discuss healthcare social media marketing in this article, helping you move forward with your social media page so that you can start using it to grow.
Guide to Healthcare Social Media Marketing
It may seem a little strange to utilize social media for something as serious as health care. Often times, professionals who work in serious fields have a difficult time embracing the reality of social media.
Our aim is to show you the value that social media and digital marketing can provide to your practice. It’s entirely possible to use social media as a vehicle for your goals while keeping your integrity intact, even gaining respect from your patients and partners.
We’ll discuss a couple of areas of social media marketing. We’ll break down some of the fundamental methods needed to reach your audience and succeed online. We’ll also tackle some of the attitudes and community outreach ideas that other practices have had success with.
Hopefully, you’ll have a well-rounded understanding of how to use your social media to grow after reading this article. Let’s get started:
Understand Your Audience
While it may seem like “social media” is one big beast, the reality is that different social media platforms offer different benefits and appeal to unique audiences. Sure, many individuals use multiple platforms, but specific demographics typically use one more than another or have particular uses for different sites.
For example, some people might use Instagram for entertainment and utilize Facebook for news and communication. Some users might engage more on platforms like SnapChat while staying mostly removed while they scroll through other feeds.
Your goal should be to engage with your audience and provide meaningful content. We’ll get to those tactics later, but let’s first address the idea that a huge following doesn’t necessarily mean an engaged following.
The trick is to know where your target demographic spends time engaging.
Whatever your particular subsection of the healthcare world, you’re privileged when it comes to starting your social media marketing efforts.
This is because your field allows you to meet all of your patients and understand who they are personally. Specifically, you’re aware of their age, location, level of education, gender, and needs.
These are all factors that should be heavily considered when identifying the proper social media platform to spend time on. It’s important that you know who your ideal patient is and isolate their demographic information so that you can target them online.
It all seems particularly complicated. While there are a lot of moving parts, remember that all social media sites collect specific demographic information from their users.
Additionally, most social sites provide an outlet for users to explore their interests, which also allows us to meet users where they’re at and promote ourselves to people who are likely to be interested in what we have to say.
Each practice’s target audience is different, but the point here is to remember that you must have a good idea of who you’re marketing to.
Make Yourself Available
The platforms that you find to hold the most receptive and engaging potential patients and followers will be the ones that you should spend the most time on.
That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s useless to spread yourself around on social media. As your followings grow, you could have substantial success with each platform even though one or two will be more significant.
Your patients are everywhere. There are interested individuals on almost each and every social site, so it’s important to be available. That means creating well-crafted social media profiles on every site that you feel could be relevant.
Continuity and Accuracy
Ensure that your images, descriptions, and business information are equivalent across platforms. Each site has its own nuances, so it’s important to curate your descriptions and information to fit the style of the platform.
That said, your brand should remain consistent across platforms. While the content you use on Instagram might differ from what you use on Facebook, it’s important to keep things in the same lane.
In many cases, the content you promote will be almost the same thing, simply formatted differently to meet the demands of the platform.
Most social media platforms offer a pay-per-click (PPC) option. This is an option to market to a highly-specific audience through advertisements that are placed in a person’s feed.
PPC is different from traditional advertising, though. You may have noticed that your social media feed is pretty coherent throughout, even with the occasional sponsored post rolling by.
Those sponsored posts are the result of PPC marketing. You happened to fit the demographic that the original poster wanted to reach, and their post shouldn’t seem too out of place if they did their research right.
Sure, no one likes to be marketed to and sometimes sponsored posts miss the mark, but this is a far cry from traditional marketing where advertisements are used to pander to large audiences. Creating an expensive advertisement and placing it on television or a billboard is a shot in the dark.
Alternatively, PPC allows you to reach only the group you’re trying to market to. Another great part is that you only have to pay when your post is engaged with.
Platforms allow you to set a strict marketing budget. Let’s say that the budget is $10 per day. Each time your post gets an engagement your daily budget will be charged until your cost reaches your daily limit.
After that, your post will be removed for the day. Of course, you can set your budget to be huge and reach a lot of people. It’s important to note that you are in complete control of your marketing budget and you actually pay for what you get, though.
Create Engaging Content
This point is absolutely the most important factor in your healthcare social media marketing campaign. Beyond the followers you’ll gain simply by name recognition and independent interest, content is the way you’re going to reach people.
You should aim to create and post content on a daily basis without getting stale or repetitive. Your content should also have a purpose. In other words, it does very little to post something that doesn’t have an intended route for users to follow.
That “route” could be a pathway back to your homepage, a way of thinking to take on, or a resource to use. Obviously, whatever your interests are will constitute your ideal user behavior.
In terms of social media for healthcare, though, we can reasonably assume that your content will take one of the following roles:
Content is an excellent way to get the word out about new research, ideas, attitudes, and more in a compact and concise way.
You can give your patients tips and tricks to staying healthy. Preventative and informational health tips can be easily worked into infographics, text posts, or videos.
People really value insights from professionals, and there’s no better way to reach them than slipping that information into their social feeds.
2. Networking and Collaboration
Your social media outreach can put you in touch with other professionals and researchers in your field.
If you have a particular need, job opening, desire for collaboration, or anything else, you can post a request or call to action. Depending on the size of your following, you’re highly likely to receive a response.
This is especially true because your followers can share your content, presenting it to their entire following, and potentially continuing a chain of shares. This process displays your content to an exponentially larger audience than your feed could, meaning that you’re more likely to get in touch with people who you can collaborate with in whatever way you wish.
3. Expand Your Brand
You might just want to post content that spreads awareness about your brand. In a lot of cases, pushing your content through PPC methods is an excellent way to reach new target audiences.
Posting enjoyable, light, and engaging content is a great way to change how you’re perceived and prompt users to spread the good word. Shares, sponsored posts, and engagements are all ways to boost your brand and see results from your social media outreach.
4. Engage the Community
Your community is likely to be your most active following. Reaching out and engaging with your community members is a great way to establish your practice and make a name for yourself locally.
In terms of social media, this often means posting relatable, town-centered content as well as promoting the work of other professionals in your community.
Need a Little Help?
Healthcare social media marketing can seem like a lot to take on, especially when you have your own full-time practice to manage. We’re here to help.
Explore our site to see how working with the professionals can push you forward a great deal.