Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies for a Healthcare Practice

by | Published on May 6, 2021 | Social Media Optimization

The healthcare industry on the whole is looking out for effective ways to reach out to new patients, and using social media platforms is one important way to build stronger relationships with patients. In fact, social media and healthcare go hand in hand these days. In simple terms, medical social media marketing refers to the use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other platforms to promote healthcare services online. Even though these social media sites were originally intended for personal use, they are now employed by most healthcare organizations to communicate with the target audience group and also to promote their business. Incorporating effective healthcare social media marketing strategies allows hospitals and healthcare facilities to connect with potential patients one-on-one, while also providing valuable information to help them make the best decision concerning their health.

Why Social Media Matters to Healthcare

When it comes to social media, healthcare providers are in a unique position as they are responsible for marketing a human necessity, not a traditional product or impulse buy. Social media has significantly changed the way people interact and communicate with each other. Today, many patients use social media to find their physicians online and it has become crucial for physicians and other medical entities to create an online presence and make a lasting impression on their prospective consumers. There are many social media tools available that can be used to reach target audience groups. A reliable provider of medical SEO services can research, identify, analyze and implement relevant strategies and techniques to optimize healthcare website pages for social media. Digital marketing for healthcare involves a good deal of social networking. There is a lot of potential in social media marketing for hospitals, physician practices and specialized healthcare centers. Incorporating a simple yet systematic digital marketing strategy can help build reputation and bring in quality traffic to a healthcare website. Here discussed are some important tips for building an effective healthcare social media marketing plan –

  • Analyze the Target Audience – There are many social media platforms and each specific platform has a unique user base. For instance, the demographics and interests of people on Twitter and Facebook may be quite different from that on LinkedIn. To gain maximum benefits from these social platforms, it is important to plan unique and innovative digital marketing campaigns for each platform instead of going with one for all social media platforms.
  • Share Preventive Healthcare Crises – Generally, time-sensitive posts work well for not only engaging the target audience but also educating them. These types of content include articles about recent health epidemics, routine procedures (like a flu shot), and hot topics in the industry. This point is particularly relevant in the wake of COVID-19 crisis. Social media platforms have become a hub for discussions and real-time news concerning COVID-19, since the huge spread of the virus. Healthcare providers can use these platforms to not only help guide the public through an actual crisis but also fact-check users. For instance, the social media share shown below highlights recent updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Building a habit of sharing this kind of content can help create a relationship with the target audience. The audiences trust your preferred social media platform to cover the latest news in the healthcare sector, which makes them more likely to check your posts. Highlighting current healthcare topics that people are mostly talking about can build more engagement with your healthcare facility.

    preventive healthcare crises
    Source link – https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-in-healthcare/

  • Engage and Educate Patients – Healthcare facilities need to fully educate and engage audiences. For instance, with COVID -19, healthcare providers need to fully provide people with timely and factual information about the pandemic. This includes – recommendations for those people experiencing symptoms, links to new studies and treatment options, self-help strategies and other helpful resources. Healthcare social media marketing strategy must rightly focus on sharing educational materials ranging from blog posts to articles and research materials or reports. Always try to share accurate and factual content. Sharing posts that are no longer relevant could hurt the trust that patients have put in a specific healthcare facility.
  • Provide Health Information – It is important to provide physician tips and health quotes, and share details about live medical procedures through social media platforms. This can be done by sharing images, YouTube videos, and Infographics via different platforms. Answer health-related queries through platforms like Quora and Yahoo as they help connect your facility to an active community and also improve search engine rankings in the long run.
  • Showcase Brand in Every Aspect – Even though many healthcare facilities share similar values – like providing top quality care – each specific facility maintains a unique brand reputation and voice. By utilizing social media platforms, it is possible to highlight the brand in the content shared and via the interactions made with the followers. Healthcare brands can utilize social media platforms as a way to interact and engage with their patients or customers, respond to all reviews and patient inquiries, and showcase their true personality by choosing a specific tone and humanizing the organization by showing the faces behind the organization. In short, by showcasing the brand in unique ways, healthcare facilities can stand apart from competitors.
  • Publish Educational Content – The need for healthcare practices to educate the general public is crucial with the growing phenomenon of self-diagnosis. Any piece of information, whether it’s a blog post, article, video or general health tips – anything shared will be an added advantage. In fact, offering health tips in a typical question format like – “Did You Know” style is popular for encouraging interactions and debate among followers. In addition, educating potential patients about a healthcare practice is an important part of social customer care. If someone has a question about treatment options or what a healthcare practice offers, make sure to respond to their queries as early as possible.

    social media healthcare
    Source link – https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-in-healthcare/

  • Embrace User-Generated Content – Content created by users is an excellent healthcare social media marketing strategy. Be it friends or family, people in most cases trust the recommendations of other people. Therefore, having user-generated content that promotes a healthcare facility is a positive aspect. For instance, people who search for brand mentions on social media platforms may often find user-generated content. In certain cases, a healthcare practice may even partner with a patient to create user-generated content to inform users and serve as a testimonial, like for a new treatment. With user-generated content, it is essential to receive patient permission for re-sharing their content. While some social media networks like Twitter support re-sharing content, others like Instagram don’t support that. Therefore, it is extremely important to message the patients and ask for their permissions.
  • Take Patients Behind-the-Scenes – Highlighting the human side of a healthcare practice helps to make social presence more personal. Social networking platforms like Instagram Stories are highly useful for sharing the behind-the-scenes content. A brief glimpse of a healthcare practice’s day-to-day life can help make a connection with followers. For instance, below given is a post from Johns Hopkins – which serves as both wholesome content and a positive spin on working in healthcare during health crisis times.

    social media
    Source link – https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-in-healthcare/

Healthcare marketers face a distinct set of challenges when it comes to social media marketing. At the same time, they have tons of opportunities to make a meaningful and positive impact on their followers. Right from educating the public to creating a sense of community, analyze how healthcare social media marketing can make a real difference when it is done correctly. Setting realistic goals and making effective social media choices on the basis of business objectives and the main messages that a healthcare practice wants to put across is crucial. This can be best done with the support of a reliable healthcare digital marketing agency. Such professional agencies can help build better social media accounts, update them regularly, and attract new patients to a healthcare website.

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