Unlimited options seem to exist in almost every category of healthcare. Plus, every field is growing each day! Since medical treatments are a sensitive issue, you will need to earn peoples’ trust in order for them to put their health in your hands.
On one hand, the healthcare field can be viewed as shrouded with secrets. That includes (but is certainly not limited to) patient rights or ongoing studies not yet available to the public. On the other hand, businesses have more options than ever to share valuable information with the public.
Steady work output from a knowledgeable staff is the best way to make an impression on your patients. However, it is not always the first impression that people have. People are using the internet to find and research providers before stepping foot in an office.
There are ways to promote your office on social media platforms. If done correctly, it is a great opportunity to create transparency and formulate an educational voice for your business.
71% of people using the internet (which is almost everybody now) are also using social media. The importance of including a social media marketing campaign in healthcare businesses is no longer recommended- it is required!
Now that we know that business need to establish a social media marketing campaign, it now needs to be implemented. Soon you will you see the benefits associated with your campaign in the form of new customer acquisition and existing patient retention.
There are a few things to remember when developing your strategies. First, social media marketing in healthcare must take privacy (i.e., HIPAA) into consideration. Because of this, it can be a bit trickier to pinpoint the exact approach to take. You definitely want to stay in the legal bounds when it comes to healthcare social media marketing!
Here we will look at the most useful methods for building trust with your clientele.
1. Explore Different Social Media Platforms
Each social media network has a different base of customers. Strategies to reach the people you want will also need to vary based on the platform. Each platform requires a different focus and feel when it comes to communicating.
The largest networking programs that reach the average consumer are Facebook and Twitter. Posts from these networks are often commonly shared on other platforms as well.
Don’t worry- we’ll explore all of the most popular social media marketing options for you! We will also explain how healthcare can create the appropriate tone of each to best promote themselves.
Do not simply cross posts from all social media sites with the exact same message. Know the difference between what is needed for Facebook vs. Instagram vs. LinkedIn, etc.
Facebook has the largest user base of the social networking platforms, but it is a very personal, family-based network. Keeping this in mind, your business’ Facebook posts can exude a friendlier tone to them.
The number of users cannot be understated, so Facebook is usually a given in the beginning stages of healthcare social media marketing.
Twitter is known for punchy one-liners, this is mainly due to the site’s 140 character limit to posts. This means you will only have a narrow window to both hook a consumer and direct them where to go next. Alluding to an interesting story or photograph often leads to a more interactive Twitter page.
Always remember- there is such a thing as over-posting!
To use this platform with healthcare social media marketing, try to link blogs together with the heading. A short quote can bring it all together and attract more viewers.
All written text should be bold and to the point. The viewers can decide from there whether to expand upon the brief summary.
Instagram has the potential to be the most popular social media channel. It depends on your specialty, your audience and geographic location.
Since Instagram is centered around photographs, posts are typically in the form of an infographic, a quote, or another form of graphic.
Creating compliant messages that resonate with your audience can be difficult. Creating healthcare social media marketing messages can take a lot of time and energy. Plus, there is heavy competition. Some marketing companies will even reuse their posts to various clients. We’ve even seen this with neighboring offices!
If you have a marketing company that helps with your social media marketing messages, make sure you take a look at a few competitors. You will want to make sure you aren’t getting the exact same messages or blogs as other offices!
Instagram is not as intimidating as it sounds. In fact, if your company has plenty of photographs that adheres to HIPAA, Instagram can be the best option for your business. The most common way to reach others is through combining taglines, hashtags and any keywords that others could be searching for. Just make sure they are relevant to the post.
LinkedIn is a great resource to find a base of professionals. For example, many businesses use LinkedIn as a starting point in finding and hiring new staff.
While it is perhaps the best place to find clear professional resumes and people with relevant job experience in a simple search, patients are less likely to be found on this social media site. Depending on your healthcare business, LinkedIn can be a platform to grow ideas and healthcare social media marketing strategies!
Reddit is known as the “front page of the internet;” it can give you a variety of real-life advice on all sides of the professional spectrum. It is harder to attract positive opinions on the site, and if your posts are lacking originality, substance, or consistency, someone will surely call it out.
This can be great for polling mass amounts of users with honest (or even harshly honest) outlooks. Always believe in the patient’s opinions while being wary of the internet ‘trolls that can lurk business pages to unrightfully instigate arguments.
Stay calm, and don’t be afraid to delete any harsh comments as “no-action” can sometimes be the best course of action.
What is the basis of the platform and what is its overall purpose? That is the main question you ask before joining any network to jump-start your healthcare social media marketing campaign.
If you are unsure how to approach one of these social media sites, don’t worry! You do not need a profile on every one of the options.
A better approach is deciding which market space fits the particular healthcare sector your business is in. Use the time you have, and use social media in healthcare resources to make the small amount of profiles really shine.
2. Actively Post Content
The amount a company posts is reliant on the amount of viable content they have available. In a perfect scenario, the more valid postings you have, the more presence you will have in your audience’s newsfeed.
Repeated posts have their place. However, new and original posts will be required to keep a consumer’s attention over time.
It helps to be active in conversations related to your field. Your posts can be more interactive to generate interest. The ability for a customer to know their opinion is being heard or valid is essential in healthcare social media marketing.
Hire a Manager
Sustaining a successful healthcare social media marketing campaign is not easy.
It takes a lot of time. There is considerable amount of work involved. The person handling your social media marketing efforts should most certainly have an expert knowledge on your industry.
Social Media Managers can take control of all the online marketing efforts. They can complete social media responses either daily or weekly. They can generate posts, and much more.
In general, they should be knowledgeable on the healthcare social media policy you have in place. We encourage people in these positions to truly understand why rules are different. Healthcare or medical focused businesses are different from every other industry. A marketing professional that has no experience may not understand that.
In addition to having someone truly understand your industry, it will save you a lot of time hiring someone who already understands the platforms.
Your Social Media Manager should help generate your entire marketing plan, if they are not creating it entirely. Regardless of your approach, start with a weekly or monthly plan to discuss what is working and what is not.
Set expectations. Decide what you are trying to accomplish. With these expectations in place, you will what is needed to succeed an advantage over your competition.
The healthcare entity can feel confident that the posts are all in their voice and will reach who they want. This partnership will evolve and improve. Over time, many people begin developing the same voice!
It will also be important that this person is someone who will represent the business online in a manner that is appropriate for their industry.
For example, a fun or even cheeky personality can create a more positive vibe in an otherwise “buttoned-up” industry. Be cautious and aware of your audience; this can be detrimental for some healthcare specialties. You can always default to a more familial approach or a serious tone if you are unsure.
Bottom line: make sure you and the manager are on the same page. Begin with weekly meetings. Over time they can spread out to monthly meetings but it’s best to slowly build your way there.
3. Find Your Target Audience
With your healthcare manifest, there are patient patterns and ways to use this information to understand which demographics are more likely to use your healthcare. By focusing the healthcare social media marketing on one group, you will be able to more effectively gauge their interests and have in-depth content produced.
There is even paid advertising on most social media platforms. Typically you will want to focus on a specific demographic (i.e., your target audience). This is easily done by your social media marketing person, but it is always best to work together with clear objectives in mind.
Do you have a preferred procedure you’d like to promote? Or are you just trying to get more regular visitors? You want your advertising to reach your target audience so they find the ad relevant or interesting. Be as specific as possible with your goals. They should be SMART.
While creating and cultivating personal connections is crucial in all areas of business, it is perhaps the most important factor in building trust in patient-provider communication.
If your healthcare social media marketing campaign begins to feel like it is straying from the overall message of the company and the people it serves, it’s time to change directions. Implement a plan for your business to focus on its patients and their satisfaction. Your social media marketing strategy should reflect accordingly.
4. Know The HIPAA Rules
Privacy rules are beyond important. Patients have rights to partnering with a secured healthcare practice. A healthcare social media policy is in place for a reason. The more protected information is kept, the more new patients will be willing to trust you.
Sometimes it can be mistakenly disobeyed. For example, when taking photographs of areas in the office or of a smiling employee- there must be no patient information visible.
Your camera likely has a high-capability focus. Even if you see no problem looking at a picture, your naked eye doesn’t always see what the camera sees and records. You don’t want to zoom-in and be able to decipher something private.
While this responsibility is shared, your Social Media Manager should keep information secured at all times. When sharing information, it should be done through in the most secure and legal route available.
Your Social Media Manager should be double- checking all information that goes onto the site to ensure this is done correctly.
5. Post Honest, Effective Content
The role of social media in healthcare marketing will depend on the actual content that is being put out to the masses. People will always like the convenience of written content. Always try to have your posts full of knowledge and actual substance.
That being said- mix it up! Sticking to the overall “decided-upon” tone of the healthcare industry is a safe route but don’t be afraid to try something new.
Don’t feel limited to offering your content in blogs. Consider looking through photos, videos and relevant memes. Listen to podcasts.
Ideas should be original. They should catch peoples’ attention. Regardless of the direction you decide on, all posts should contain information relevant to the business to keep eyes on what matters.
Know Your Voice
How you want you sound on the social media platform should be a reflection the specific type of healthcare you are in and the type of people you attract. This goes back to considering what is appropriate for your particular market and social network.
Honestly will always drive a healthcare provider and patient relationship into a long-lasting partnership. Offering patient expectations of their future experience out in the open gives the transparency that people will love. By combining and maintaining privacy with transparency, your healthcare social media strategy will be built on a solid foundation.
6. Profile Consistency
What’s the easiest way to create the branding your company desires? Use a logo or a consistent image across all social media marketing platforms!
Since most people have several different social media accounts, they are more likely to notice your company on Facebook or on Instagram if your are using the same profile picture and description. It doesn’t need to be exact, but it should at least b similar.
It is also good time keep in mind that your audience may not use more than one social media network. Do not withhold valuable information you are offering your customers by providing information to one audience and leaving others out! While your approach may vary- all users should be getting the useful information you are sharing.
Post to all accounts. You may be surprised that some of your audience doesn’t use Facebook or uses Twitter. You may find that Instagram is where 90% of your posts are being seen. Post to all of them, over time you can adjust accordingly.
Use critical thinking to find the best social networks for your healthcare business. Understand your tone. Dedicate posts to storytelling. Dedicate others to an overall picture.
Healthcare in most forms can be related to almost everybody. Everyone gets sick and everybody should be visiting the dentist. Engage with similar content and keep your audiences’ interest in mind.
Know your healthcare social media strategy and begin to implement and understand the role of social media in healthcare.