We all know how significantly social media has affected the marketing world. Almost every business, small or big, B2B or B2C, are using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. for their business growth, lead generation, and advertising. Organizations from different industries are present across the major social media platforms, and they are actively planning strategic campaigns for their development. But, several healthcare service providers, hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, etc. are lagging when it comes to using social media marketing. What is the major reason for this? The answer is the lack of knowledge.
Healthcare institutions are largely unaware of the correct ways to use these channels for communicating with their patients, providing information, and generating leads. Social media marketing is not only meant for casual and glamorous business sectors such as fashion and lifestyle but also for a relatively serious industry like healthcare as well. With emotional, engaging, and educational content and campaigns, even hospitals, clinics, healthcare product companies, individual experts and other healthcare businesses can win the market through social media. All it needs is a thorough understanding of the market, their industry, and the target audience.
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If you own or work in any of the healthcare service providing company, or hospital, then follow these social media marketing tips.
Complete Your Profile
The major rule while creating any profile on social media websites is to complete the entire profile. Start by filling all the information about your healthcare clinic or institution. Right from adding the contact details to the operating hours, fill in each and every detail that your audiences must know. Next, describe your healthcare institution in the best and simple way so that your audiences can easily understand about your services. Mention all the services you provide in a detailed manner. Choose a good and professional image as your profile picture. A professional picture is important, especially for someone in the medical field. Lastly, add all the necessary links to your business profile such as the links to other social media profiles and the website URL.
Use Social Media Marketing
Did you know that social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are not only meant for posting updates but can also be an effective advertising tool? Yes, these social media platforms or channels can be used to advertise and market your healthcare services, products, and other important things. Social media channels provide advertising options such as display ads, sponsored posts, etc. that you can use to target potential prospects on these channels. Although advertising and promoting healthcare products and services can be a little tricky as you cannot openly sell your products or services, you can still promote them in a subtle manner. Connect with the emotions of the audiences and make the most of the social media marketing. However, there are some areas of specialization such as heart or kidney transplant procedures which cannot be advertized. If you have such a specialization, you can continue sharing information and make people aware of your services.
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Provide Unique Information
No matter what kind of healthcare industry you belong to, whether it is a B2B or directly providing services to patients, you surely have something unique to offer your audience. For example, if you provide some rare services or treatments, you can provide in-depth knowledge about the same to your audiences. You can build an entire social media strategy around the unique product, service, treatment, or procedure you provide. Simply advertise your products and services or provide information about the same. Take a look at how others promote the same kinds of features and evaluate what information they failed to provide. Take advantage and provide that information to your people. For instance, if your hospital provides the latest chemotherapy treatment for Cancer, you can provide information and educate your audience with every tidbit of it.
To provide unique and fresh information, you can conduct market research and studies to find more facts and figures related to your healthcare niche. When you become a source of first-hand and fresh information, more and more people tend to turn to your social media profiles for seeking more knowledge. This won’t get you immediate profits but can help in scaling your operations in the future.
Use Correct Language
To best engage with your connections and followers, you must use the right kind of language. Understand your business and the services you provide and also your target audience. Accordingly, use the right tone and language to communicate with them. For instance, if you are a pediatric care clinic, you can use a little casual tone in your social media posts. But, if you are a cancer specialist hospital, you must avoid using jargons and focus on a relatively serious tone and language. You should also use the language which your audiences can easily understand. What might be a common language to you and your colleagues may seem difficult to your audience. The medical jargons are easily understood by people who belong to your field, and very few common people would know the context. Consider all these points while creating your social media posts.
Engage with Your Audiences
We understand that making use of social media for healthcare clinics or institutions can be a little difficult. But, you don’t have to be serious. You can create your social media posts in a fun way. For instance, if you want to communicate ‘home remedies to solve constipation’ or want to share fun health facts, you can create a fun infographic or a GIF and make it a little more engaging than a textual post. You can also run polls or contests and offer prizes like discounts in the products or services you provide. This will not only increase the engagement on your social media profiles but also help in attracting more connections and followers on your profiles.
Along with all these, you can be available to answer your audiences. Make sure you enter correct contact details so that people can reach out to you. If you get questions, queries, or doubts, try to respond to them immediately. This will not only help your audiences within a short span but also help you in building a strong followers base on your social media profiles. Answering the queries and doubts of your followers will also position you as a credible source of information and an expert in the healthcare industry.
Communicate During Crisis
The use of social media has increased to provide minute-by-minute information to people, especially in the times of crisis. If you own or work in a hospital, you cannot overlook the benefits of social media during rare crisis situations. During this emergency time, your patients and staff can turn to your social media channels for any updates and information. At this time, people look for more and more information about the causes of a disease or epidemic outbreak, ways to prevent and avoid it, treatment available for it. Although most of this information is available on various websites on the Internet, your patients, staff, and people connected to your business will turn to you first. You can issue public health notices about the crisis providing information on its symptoms, transmission, and prevention techniques on your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Not only this, you can deliver real-time updates on hospital or clinic patient capacity, operation status, availability of essentials such as blood, and emergency room access. One of the biggest examples of the use of social media during healthcare crisis situations is how the Center for Disease Control (CDC) used social media to address the 2016 Zika outbreak.
Keep an Eye on Competitors’ Tactics
On a timely basis, take a look at what your competitors are doing. See what your competitors are doing on their social media profiles. Take a look at various social media strategies and ideas that your competitors have to excel. Also, check which social media strategies have the best results. You can take a look at the number of shares, likes, comments, retweets, and other actions on different kinds of social posts. Accordingly, you can take ideas from there and inculcate them in your social media strategies to perform better. Unless you don’t exactly copy the ideas of your competitors, it won’t be called plagiarism. For example, imagine you are a gynecologist, and one of your competitive gynecologists started a campaign of posting pregnancy week-wise care and precautionary tips on Facebook and Instagram. If you see this particular campaign is gaining a lot of popularity, you can take ideas from them and do something slightly similar. You can start tips post pregnancy diet tips for the mother and the child. Your competitors’ social media handles will give you numerous ideas for your social media strategies. Just combine the ideas with your creativity and the sky will be your limit for great marketing tactics.
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Personalize your Business
When it comes to describing a disease or sickness, being too sterile or simply giving information works well. But when you want to educate people on the ways of avoiding that disease or sickness, you need to be a little more personal and empathize with your audience. If you’re looking for a way to relate to your audience on a more personal level, you must humanize your business and be more personal while communicating. Humanize every post you put up so that your patients and staff feel that there is a person behind every social media post on your profiles.
You can also talk about your success stories, remarkable procedures, and other achievements in a storytelling way. The habit of storytelling helps you in humanizing your healthcare business. Storytelling lets the readers visualize and connect in a better way with your message.
Share Expert Updates
People always tend to look for what the experts have to say. Experts have become the credible source of information and assistance that people tend to consider when they have any questions or concerns. Apart from finding and sharing first-hand knowledge with your audiences, you can also share the views of the industry experts. Irrespective of which healthcare industry you work in, there will always be some experts with years of knowledge and experience. You can ask them to write blogs for your social media profiles or even ask for their interview. However, this can be expensive and will only help experts to make bigger profits. The best way to use their expertise for yourself is by sharing their views on your social media channels. Check their social media profiles and see what all they’ve been saying or writing. See what resonates with your business objective and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram accounts. If you specialize in psychological services, look for the renowned experts in your city or country. Take a look at their social media profiles. For example, if you find a quality post on “ways to deal with depression”, then share it on your social media profiles. This will help you in easily sharing the best kind of knowledge with your patients and staff.
To make the most of your social media marketing efforts, do not forget to analyze and track the performance of each and every post you update and campaigns you run on your social media platforms. You must find results of every social media post or update you have so that you can identify which kind of content or social media post is doing well for you and which one needs modifications. For any kind of tracking, analyzing, or social media marketing for healthcare services, you can get in touch with our experienced digital marketers. Right from creating your complete business profiles on various channels to designing effective social media strategies, our experts will help you in everything.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.