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Digital Marketing 9 min read

Healthcare Social Media Strategy: 7 Ways to Connect with Healthcare Consumers

Sarah Harris photo

Written by Sarah Harris

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

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.

1. Create a Positive Inspirational Presence

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.

2. Use Hashtags for Greater Reach

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.

3. Share User-Generated Content

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.

4. Be a Source of Information and Education

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.

5. Use Graphics to Communicate

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.

6. Give a Behind-the-Scenes Look

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:

  • Share profile videos of your team
  • Post content about your community initiatives
  • Offer stories about your company’s values
  • Give first-hand accounts relating to challenges your industry faces

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.

7. Protect Your Community and Your Brand

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:

  • Check the veracity of any sources you share
  • Follow FTC and other guidelines for sponsored or promotional content
  • Moderate comments vigilantly for spam and phishing
  • Go above and beyond to protect user privacy
  • Engage in fact-checking

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.

Social Media Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

As you create your social media strategy, try to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Failing to adjust content and messaging for different platforms
  • Not being thorough enough when fact-checking items
  • Lack of responsiveness to questions and comments
  • Inaccurate profile information, especially practice hours and contact info
  • Too much focus on promotional content
  • Not publishing frequently enough
  • Lack of focus and goals

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.

Curating Your Healthcare Brand’s Online Presence

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.

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Sarah Harris photo

Sarah Harris

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed