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Digital Marketing 9 min read
Written by Sarah Harris
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed
Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter
Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed
Published 29 Nov 2022
You might not think of social media as a major marketing tool for healthcare organizations, but a surprising 75% of Americans rely on social media to research their medical systems. 90% use social media to learn about healthcare topics. This means that there’s a great opportunity for healthcare brands to use social media to connect with consumers. However, the sensitive nature of healthcare requires a strong, thoughtful healthcare social media strategy.
If you’re interested in building a social media presence for your healthcare company, start with these seven healthcare social media strategy tips.
As you create your healthcare social media strategy, remember that your audience includes people with significant worries and concerns. So while they need accurate information, they’ll also benefit from positive, uplifting messages.
Your online presence shouldn’t be dry and boring, even if it is informative. That’s not beneficial to your audience, and people won’t follow an account that only shares depressing statistics and news.
It’s important to balance the factual information you share with uplifting content that inspires people. Publish patient success stories and articles about positive medical advancements, and show how your products improve quality of life.
Hashtags are an important part of any social media strategy. Brands can use them to make content easy to discover, engage followers, and unite people around a common expression.
Start by creating branded hashtags to include in your social media strategy for healthcare. These are hashtags specific to your organization and often include your company name. Use these in your posts (when relevant) to maximize your digital footprint and increase brand awareness.
You can also adopt widely used healthcare hashtags to take part in the larger discussion. These broader hashtags are useful for connecting with specific communities or healthcare initiatives. For example, brands can use #alzheimersawareness to tag posts that educate people about Alzheimer’s.
Don’t be afraid to explore options outside of healthcare when selecting hashtags. Depending on your content, you can use hashtags relating to holidays, community events, etc. Make sure to double-check any hashtag you create or adopt to make sure it’s appropriate for your brand and use case.
Every social media strategy for healthcare should include a plan to implement user-generated content. After all, new patients are more likely to take the recommendation of an independent, satisfied customer over the word of the provider.
Start by repurposing published reviews and testimonials. You can also reach out to your audience to ask them to share stories and videos.
Use your platform to reach beyond your patients as well. For example, an organization in your community might be raising funds or awareness for an important healthcare issue. Give them and their efforts a boost on your social media pages.
Your healthcare social media strategy should have objectives beyond increasing revenue. It’s also important to provide vital information to your audience. Because social media also contributes to a significant amount of misinformation, people need reliable sources of helpful healthcare education.
Provide value to your audience by using your social media presence to help users and provide accurate healthcare information that people can easily understand. Be aware of common misconceptions about your specialty, and counter them with the truth.
However, your social media strategy for healthcare must take into consideration the unique nature of social media. That is, the information and education you provide won’t have a significant audience if it isn’t also engaging. Use polls and quizzes, share “myth-busting” videos, and present key information as interesting trivia points.
Your healthcare social media strategy may involve sharing information that is complex and difficult for the average person to fully understand. To help make things clearer for the layperson, infographics are one of the best tools available to healthcare companies.
These visual content formats allow you to explain difficult concepts in a way that is engaging and easy to digest. For example, a journal article on antibiotic resistance would likely confuse many people, and it wouldn’t achieve your mission of convincing people to stop overusing that medicine. However, an infographic delivers that information easily.
Remember that social media users don’t spend much time on any given post, and many users have short attention spans. But you can use infographics to communicate information quickly.
One of the key points of a social media strategy for healthcare is to humanize your brand. Customer relationships are crucial in healthcare, and patients must view you and your team as caring people, not cold clinicians. To do this, you can:
People feel more comfortable trusting their healthcare to organizations that make themselves relatable. Additionally, your patients may be more empathetic to the challenges you face delivering them the products and services they need.
Ideally, your social media strategy will lead to a popular online presence and an engaged audience. However, once you have created a community, you have an obligation to protect it. This means being diligent about customer privacy and ensuring that the information you share is accurate. It’s a responsibility that every brand should take seriously, but healthcare marketers should feel an even greater sense of obligation.
Here are some things you can do to maintain a safe space for your audience to engage:
Users feel betrayed when any social media page proves to be an unsafe place for them to learn and engage in conversations. Unfortunately, when people have negative experiences involving healthcare brands, those impacts often go much deeper. It’s much better to be proactive about protecting your reputation and your followers than to have to enact damage control protocols.
When you protect your audience, you also protect your brand reputation, which is imperative in the healthcare industry. Make sure you have full control over everything posted, and implement an approval process to ensure that only vetted content appears on your social media pages. You might also encourage your team to submit content but give only one person access to publish approved items.
As you create your social media strategy, try to avoid these common mistakes:
Your company may benefit from using a content calendar to plan posts well in advance. This ensures that your followers always have a reason to keep up with your social media pages.
You can avoid many of these mistakes with a written social media strategy that outlines clear policies, procedures, and goals. Each goal can be broken down into measurable KPIs, and then tracked with analytics tools.
People often use social media platforms to find providers, gather information about their own symptoms, and learn more about health issues in the news. Chances are that your competitors are already using social media to connect with prospective customers and create brand awareness.
And so, if you want to maintain a competitive presence in your niche, a social media strategy for healthcare providers isn’t optional. Unfortunately, it’s also difficult to create and manage your company’s social media strategy alone.
Galactic Fed can help with your healthcare social media strategy. To learn more, take a look at some of our case studies where we’ve provided comprehensive marketing services to wellness and healthcare brands. Then, contact us for a consultation.
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed
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