COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our lives from how we work, our hobbies and especially our health. As many industries scrambled to stay afloat during the pandemic, this highlighted the need for virtual accessibility especially when it comes to our healthcare systems. This forced many healthcare practices to reevaluate their digital marketing efforts in order to redefine how they connect and care for their patients both in the short term and long-term.
Virtual Health is Here to Stay
As the world shifted towards a virtual way of living between work, events and dr. appointments, we’ve seen more changes in consumer search behavior, along with new competitors and increased market share. These changes have drastically changed how we search and consume information regarding COVID-19, and matter related to our health in general. With increased accessibility, many healthcare practices also saw an increase in their overall ROI by learning how to utilize the web to reach their patients. Keeping up with this rapid changing landscape can be a challenge, which is why social media might have seen the biggest growth during the pandemic.
As more people spend more time online, social media marketing is the fastest and most cost-effective way to reach your target audience. Utilizing social media is not only a great way for healthcare facilities to connect with their patients, but it also can help educate, and enhance your practice’s credibility. As with all great marketing, in order to be effective with your social media platforms, you must put together the proper strategy. We break down 5 easy tips to create the perfect social media campaign to enhance your 2021 digital healthcare marketing.
5 Tips to Raise Your Healthcare Social Media Strategy:
1. Choose the Correct Social Media Platforms
First and foremost, in order to be effective with your healthcare social media marketing you must know which platforms to use and where you’ll be the most successful. This can be Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. While social media use varies by age and interest, you should be using the social platforms where your target audience can be found the most in order to have the best engagement. For healthcare this can vary by type of practice or product, age you serve, and location. This is why it is so important to identify who your target audience is, so you know where you will have the best opportunity to engage with them.
For example, practices that provide services such as: family/internal medicine, urgent care or OB/GYNs may want to put their emphasis on Facebook where there is a larger community-based number of followers. Where as aesthetics, dermatology, plastic surgery, or weight-loss coaching, should consider focusing on marketing their business on Instagram, where they can showcase their brand through images and graphics. YouTube is also a great option, for posting informational and interesting content to attract your customers. Lastly for healthcare professionals such as surgeons, doctors or other specialists, LinkedIn and twitter may be the best channel to communicate with other referring providers and to build brand recognition.
Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, identifying the correct social platform to use to reach your patients, is half the battle when it comes to successful healthcare social media. Get your brand in front of people who care. Don’t waste your time by building your social presence where your target audience isn’t.
2. Use Your Content To Position Yourself as the Expert
The healthcare market is very large and is only continuing to grow. With the advancement of the medical field and the rapid evolution of healthcare information, standing out in this competitive field can be extremely challenging. In order to put your practice above your competition and increase patient volume you must utilize your social media to establish yourself as the healthcare expert; especially when it comes to COVID-19.
Even if your practice does not directly offer COVID-19 testing or vaccinations, as a trusted healthcare provider you must be able to offer basic information when patients look to you for answers. Social media is a great way to show your target audience the value you can provide by generating informing and engaging content that helps establish your brand authority. Here are few tips build trust amongst your patients and showcase your expertise:
- Ensure your posts are informative and relevant by sharing the latest news and updates related to COVID-19 and your practice.
- Use the 75/25 rule. Devote 75% of your content to information about COVID-19 and your specialty and 25% to something specific to your practice.
- Create content around patients’ most frequently asked questions- this helps establish trust by giving them easy access to information they’re looking for
- Go into depth with a 500-600 word blog post and use your social media platform to summarize and direct traffic to your website.
Providing accurate and up to date information that demonstrates your healthcare expertise on your social media accounts is a great way build your brand authority and attract new patients.
3. Create a Consistent Posting Schedule
Half the battle to utilizing your social media for your digital marketing is staying consistent. Many healthcare practices might have hit the gas heavy with posting on their social accounts amidst the pandemic, but quickly tapered off as business started to pick up and the world slowly started to return to normal. However, as previously mentioned this could be a big mistake especially when it comes to marketing as you could potentially be missing out on a huge opportunity to reach your target audience. No matter what social media account you use, it’s important that you post/share content consistently in order to stay front-of mind for your patients and build brand authority. This will reassure your patients of your dedication to giving them the most up-to-date and reliable information.
The hardest part of creating a consistent social media cadence is taking the time to actual plan and being able to generate enough content. In order to properly execute creating consistency on your platforms, this requires a strategic social media schedule that will help you stay organized. Your social calendar should include the date, time and type of content you are looking to post such as: informational, graphics, company updates, etc. It’s important to make sure your content calendar is detailed but also realistic to set your healthcare practice up for success.
4. Post Captivating Content That Will Speak to Your Target Audience
Once you have put together a schedule for your social media posting, you now can begin putting together the content. As we pointed out, it’s important to showcase your expertise by giving your customers up to date information related to your practice and COVID-19, but it’s even more important to generate interesting content that is going to highlight your brand with your online viewers. Knowing and understanding who your target audience is, and what platform(s) you will be using should help you drive your content. In 2021 videos are the easiest way to attract and draw attention to your brand.They can also be a great way to share information and showcase a product. High quality photos of your facility or staff, is a great way to personify your business and connect with your patients. People are more likely to choose physicians whom they can put a face to a name with. Other content ideas that can enhance your healthcare social media include colorful infographics, patient testimonials, and interesting blog posts.
Remember engagement is the key metric used to measure a post’s success in social media. The more times people are engaging with your posts (liking or sharing) the easier it is to build your follower base and your brand authority within your community. It’s also important to note that engagement is a two-way street, so in order to increase engagement on your own posts, be sure to like, comment and share your followers’ content as well. Participation is necessary, and can also help strengthen the patient-provider relationship.
5. Partner With a Trusted Healthcare Marketing Team
Creating a strategic social media campaign is one of the best things you can do for you healthcare brand in 2021. Whether you’re just starting out or need some assistance on how to effectively utilize your social channels, hiring an experienced digital marketing agency can help elevate your social media marketing and get your brand in front of the right audience. Time is money; and in the healthcare industry time is more crucial which is why it only makes sense to find an agency who can assist you with creating a social strategy that actually works.
Utilizing a digital marketing company to run your social media can offer many benefits such as identifying ways to use your social media to enhance and compliment your overall digital marketing efforts. Marketing in the healthcare field can be challenging due to HIPAA rules and compliance regulations, which is why it’s important to partner with an agency like Icovy who has experience in the industry and knows how to set your brand apart while still staying compliant.
Specializing in the healthcare industry we know what it takes to cut through the red tape and build social media strategies that can help your practice connect, engage and drive more patient volume.