Social media is a smart and efficient healthcare marketing resource for doctors – whether you’re a solo practitioner or part of a larger physician practice or medical group practice . You can use social media to build brand awareness, drive reputation, grow business and at the same time, improve people’s lives in concrete and measurable ways.
The benefits of social media marketing are numerous. As reported in the 2019 Social Media Marketing report by Social Media Examiner, these benefits include:
– Increased exposure
– Increased traffic
– Generated leads
– Improved sales
– Developed loyal fans
– Provided marketplace insight
– Increased thought leadership
– New business partnerships
Since social media marketing is always evolving, and as Trajectory is often integrating social media into our larger healthcare marketing programs, we can provide doctors with a checklist of tips and techniques to get the most out of their social media marketing efforts.
Social Media Tips and Techniques for Doctors
Define your patient persona and target audience
Through your own market research and market segmentation, you have identified your patient profile. You talk to them. Treat them. Know their histories. Know their concerns and fears. You should put this knowledge to work as a starting point for creating meaningful social interactions with them through your social media efforts.
Create Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts
These are the biggest and most active social media channels for the healthcare industry. As reported in the 2019 Social Media Marketing study by Social Media Examiner:
- Facebook dominance is still strong, as 94% of marketers use Facebook (followed by Instagram at 73%).
- The interest in YouTube is high. Nearly 3 out of 4 marketers (71%) plan on increasing their use of YouTube videos.
- Instagram is hot, with 73% of marketers using the channel, up from 66% in 2018. Instagram also just surpassed LinkedIn for the first time.
Focus on the social media channels your patients gravitate to
According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, eight out of 10 internet users search for health information online. Of those, 74% use social media to search for health information. So you know they’re engaged. Build primary social media presence around your target audience’s favorite social media site(s). If they gravitate to multiple, have (tailored) content ready for each platform.
Create quality, benefit-driven content
With an overwhelming amount of content on social media to be consumed, you need to ensure that you publish quality content on a consistent basis. Important to remember is that there is only one real arbiter of quality content — and that is your target audience. The more useful, targeted and easily digestible your content, as well as being accurate, the more they’ll be compelled to engage with it and the more you can build authority and trust. This focus will also compel your audiences to share your content with others, which will help in building your brand awareness and reputation. On the other hand, overselling your services can have a negative effect on your social audience. Always lead with your target audience in mind.
Be present on a daily basis
The effectiveness of your social media hinges on regular posting of quality content based on a focused strategy. So you need to decide if you’re really ready to commit — and if you have the resources to devote — to social media marketing. But don’t kid yourself, because 41% of marketers in 2019 report that content creation is the main challenge holding them back. And this number has nearly doubled since last year.
It is highly effective to post several times a day in order to regularly engage with your audience, especially with the amount of competitor content. Consider that 510,000 comments, 293,00 statuses, and 136,000 photos are posted on Facebook every minute.
Interact with Your Audience and respond quickly
Take advantage of the inherently social media channels to ask questions in your posts and inspire discussions. Also, be sure to provide same-day responses to patient questions, comments, and reviews.
Cover the basics: list NAP (Name, Address, Phone) and post office hours on social media sites
Search engines use name, address, and phone number information to decide which listings to show in a geo-targeted search. It is important that NAP (name, address, phone) is consistent across all platforms, so your practice ranks well organically when a prospective patient conducts a local search. In addition, provide basic information like regular and holiday hours.
Utilize images and emojis
Images include pictures, videos, and GIFs. Here are some interesting statistics from Hubspot for you to consider:
- 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing
- When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of it three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of it three days later
- 51% of marketers in the B2B space prioritize creating visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy
- For B2C marketers, priorities (from Content Marketing Institute) are as follows
– Creating more engaging content
– Better understanding of what content is effective — and what isn’t
– Creating visual content
– Finding more/better ways to repurpose content
– Content optimization
You can also reinforce the visual nature of your posts by providing visual quotes with tools such as pinwords.com. In regard to emojis, they capture the attention of your audience. Case in point, social media posts with emojis also get more engagement on Facebook and Twitter. Important however, is that emojis should reinforce your ideas and beliefs.
Follow other doctors on Social Media, and join in on relevant conversationshttps://www.trajectory4brands.com/contact/
Use social media to connect with other healthcare professionals and to build relationships. One way to do this is to search for relevant Twitter hashtags or keywords. Another is to find and participate in conversations on platforms such as Twitter Chats and LinkedIn Groups to add a unique perspective to conversations. This is an opportunity to build awareness for your personal brand by getting into discussions with patients and professionals about timely topics. Remember that there’s power in numbers, as other healthcare professionals will be apt to pass along your content to their associates, who then share your content with others.
Use analytics tools to track your success
Keep track of the performance of your campaigns to understand what is working for your brand and where you might be able to strengthen your presence and influence. There are many free social analytics tools that allow doctors to keep track of their successes. Doctors can also use social media to “listen” to their audience and respond. This increases engagement between you and a potential patient.
Share timely updates about special events, promotions and news
This type of content can include preventative seasonal care like flu shots during flu season, information about a practice’s new treatment options, a new physician joining your team or a special offer for an aesthetic consultation and treatment.
Call on professional help
If you’re too busy to commit to the resources and time required to develop a strategically-driven social media marketing program, reach out to a healthcare social media marketing agency to assist in your social media efforts. The agency should be able to bring to the table the knowledge, strategy, structure, execution and reporting necessary for your ongoing social media marketing efforts to yield positive results for your physician practice or medical practice.
Since 1999, Trajectory has shaped and guided the trajectory of healthcare and wellness brands and businesses — combining deep understanding and experience with new ways of looking at client challenges and opportunities. Reach out to learn how we can assist with your social media marketing efforts.