Social media has long kept people connected and entertained. But, from a marketing perspective, it’s capable of much more than that. Social media is a powerful marketing tool that businesses use to spread awareness about their brands, find new clientele, build their reputations, help their communities, and more.
If your healthcare organization isn’t using social media, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to promote your brand, connect with your patients, and share important information. But, how exactly can you use social media as a successful part of your healthcare marketing strategy? And, how will it help your healthcare organization scale?
Top 5 Ways You Can Use Social Media in Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy
1. Keep Your Community Informed
Healthcare organizations can use social media to connect with their communities by sharing general health information, such as facts about the flu shot and tips to stay healthy this winter. Keeping people informed with the latest health news and information is important to establishing the authority of your healthcare organization within your community. Social media is also an effective tool to provide important updates, such as:
- How your healthcare organization is protecting patients from COVID-19
- Updates to hours of operation
- Opening of new office locations, or closing of locations
- Introducing new physicians and medical staff
- Answers to frequently asked questions (how to make an appointment, office directions, what insurances are accepted)
2. Scale Your Research Goals
Clinical research is a vital part of evolving healthcare. Is your healthcare organization involved in research, such as a study or clinical trial? Through the use of targeted ad campaigns, social media gives you the opportunity to connect and engage with potential participants, helping you scale your clinical research goals.
3. Analyze and Improve
With the power and popularity of social media, chances are some of your biggest competitors are using one or more social media platforms. Fortunately, most of what your competitors are up to on social media can be viewed publicly, which helps your organization identify opportunities to compare and improve your own social media strategy.
But, you should be paying attention to more than just what your competitors are doing. Take time to analyze your own social media metrics and contemplate the following questions to gain a deeper insight into the effectiveness of your social media strategy:
- Positive, negative, neutral — How are people responding to your content?
- Does the data suggest people find your social media content useful?
- What do your top-performing social media posts have in common?
- How attentive is your healthcare organization to direct messages and comments?
- Are your social media profiles optimized with a prominent call-to-action?
- How actively is your healthcare organization posting and engaging with users?
- Are you promoting your social media pages on your website?
4. Communicating During Times of Crisis
Communicating during a time of crisis requires special care and consideration, especially on social media. During a healthcare crisis, the community needs to know what you’re doing to keep your patients protected.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in 2020, many healthcare organizations had to adjust their social media strategy accordingly to acknowledge the crisis and combat misinformation. Being cognizant of the latest information during a crisis ensures you’re communicating accurate information while handling every social media action with the care and sensitivity required. But, what does putting that into practice look like?
Top 7 Crisis Communication Tips for Social Media
- If you don’t already have one, form a crisis communications team.
- Ensure you have a social media policy in place.
- Review upcoming posts in your social media calendar. Reschedule posts accordingly.
- Make sure your team is aware of your healthcare organization’s position.
- Use a social listening tool to monitor the crisis and stay informed.
- Don’t go off the grid — stay active and engaged with your audience.
- Do your part to minimize the spread of misinformation by only citing credible sources
5. Paid Social Media Marketing Campaigns
While the previous points are indeed marketing efforts at their core, the traditional marketing of your healthcare organization through paid social media advertising is an important component of all successful healthcare marketing strategies. Paid social media campaigns increase awareness, boost engagement, and help your organization scale. Prior to launching a paid social media campaign, you’ll need to determine your healthcare organization’s campaign goals and available budget. This part can be pretty intimidating, but working with a healthcare communications firm ensures your paid social media marketing strategy is data-driven and effective.