Your healthcare practice probably has some sort of presence on social media by now. But are your profiles living up to their potential? Read on to learn how your healthcare facility’s social media strategy can pay off by informing patients, attracting prospects, encouraging engagement, and generating new leads.
How Social Media Helps Your Healthcare Facility
Here are some of the basic ways that the most popular social media platforms help healthcare facilities reach their marketing goals:
- Facebook, which is the most widely used, is the best way to connect with the patients and prospects in your community and beyond.
- Twitter is the land of breaking news and up-to-the-minute updates.
- Instagram is great for demonstrating your company culture through content like day-to-day pictures of your staff and “behind-the-scenes” Stories.
- LinkedIn is effective for both establishing your authority as a trusted healthcare provider and for recruiting new talent.
So, what else can social media do for your healthcare marketing?
Social media helps patients find you.
To put it simply, the more places you are on the internet, the more likely it is that people will discover you. But part of the purpose of social media is making sure that the right people—specifically, the ones who are most likely to choose your facility—are the ones finding you online.
Having active social media accounts also boosts your healthcare facility’s SEO (search engine optimization) performance, making it more likely that you’ll show up in search results. When your content gets attention in the form of likes, comments, and shares, search engines like Google view you as a worthy result to show to its users.
Social media encourages engagement.
Connections are important in healthcare. After all, helping patients feel at ease is one of the most important skills medical professionals can have. When you take time to engage with past patients and potential prospects on your social media profiles, you’re showing that your facility is invested in the community’s health. This helps foster trust, making it more likely that people will remember and choose you when they need medical care.
What kind of healthcare social media content is best for engagement?
- Because it’s so much more engaging than simple text, video is the perfect medium for healthcare social media content that captures (and keeps!) your followers’ attention. Check out our 5 quick tips for social media videos here.
- Facebook Groups provide a space for healthcare providers and patients to communicate with each other. According to Convince & Convert, “30% of the top U.S. hospitals are making Groups part of their Facebook strategy.” For example, creating a Group based around a certain medical issue that’s designed to connect patients to each other helps build trust in your facility.
- While not as commonly seen in the healthcare space as in other industries, user-generated content can increase trust and generate engagement. (Of course, you’ll have to be aware of HIPAA and other legal restrictions that may apply to your practice.) Testimonials, endorsements, and reviews are usually a safe bet for user-generated healthcare content.
Social media generates leads.
While social media alone most likely won’t result in an influx of new patients, there are ways to encourage that happening. One way is through combining social media with other digital advertising strategies. Whether you boost your social posts or invest in social media advertising campaigns, the options are there to attract more patients and broaden your reach.
“Paid social media advertising is a way to ensure your posts are seen by the right people at the right time,” says Stewart Gandolf, CEO of Healthcare Success. “Using paid social media properly means you reach your target audience, and that they actually see your content in your feed. You can limit your audience by age group, gender, or even interests and habits on both Facebook and Instagram.”
“On many platforms, sponsored content outpaces organic reach by a significant amount. On Facebook, for example, the organic reach of a post is just 6.4% of a page’s likes,” warns digital strategist Mandy King. “This almost necessitates a pay-to-play strategy to expand your reach to new and exciting audiences.”
How Your Healthcare’s Social Media Helps Patients
While social media is great for you, it’s also great for patients. Just remember that you shouldn’t write exclusively about yourself. Yes, it’s great to keep people updated on the latest about your facility, but social media users will quickly lose interest if that’s all you post about! Don’t forget to make posts about how you help your patients and the community you serve.
Other than that, here are a few other ways your social media presence can help patients.
Social media informs the public.
Especially after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are increasingly heading online to learn about their health. Patients know that staying informed on the latest updates is easy with social media, so that’s exactly where you need to meet them. Not only does providing information increase patients’ trust in you, but it also makes it easy for them to recommend you to others—after all, sharing is simple on social!
“Show your community that you’re here for them,” says marketing strategist Peter Do. “Think about what topics could help your patients avoid health emergencies, take care of themselves after a procedure, or choose the right treatment. Thoughtful, relevant, and engaging content shows people that you’re always thinking about their health, whether or not they become patients.”
Keeping patients informed doesn’t mean you should bombard their social feeds with info. On Facebook, for example, pinned posts, live video, and cover images or videos are all ways to promote important information and updates that are relevant for longer than a few days.
Social media can help ease anxiety.
For many people, going to the doctor is a stressful experience. Depending on a patient’s situation, they may feel nervous about going in to get a checkup or an opinion from a specialist. (And that’s not even counting the frustration that insurance issues can cause!) On your healthcare practice’s social media pages, you can let patients and prospects know that you’re there for them and why they can feel confident about coming to you for medical care.
Focus on what makes your facility trustworthy, whether its your experienced nursing staff or the years you’ve been in the healthcare business. This is where culture and behind-the-scenes content comes in handy, too—sometimes it’s less intimidating just to see that there are friendly faces ready to take care of you!
Another way to make prospects and patients more confident in your healthcare facility is to post about your awards, accomplishments, and accolades on your social media profiles. Not only does this inspire pride in your most loyal followers, but it makes prospects more likely to consider you, too.
Start Developing Your Healthcare Social Media Strategy Today
To ensure it’s as effective as possible, your healthcare facility’s social media marketing should be taken on by an experienced digital marketing team. Fortunately, you’re in the right place!
At Kirkpatrick Creative, we track engagement, conversions, and other key performance indicators that demonstrate healthcare social media marketing success. Then, we adjust accordingly, making sure that your medical facility’s social media is fine-tuned to encourage more patients to walk through your doors. It’s all part of our philosophy of creating advertising engineered to work.
Let’s get started! Contact Kirkpatrick Creative today and we’ll get in touch to discuss your customized healthcare social media strategy.