While the average person might not think of the healthcare industry as a business, that’s exactly what it is. It’s the most popular industry in the country, meaning there are more hospitals, private practices, and specialists than ever. If you work in the industry, being able to market your practice and/or services is essential. In doing so, you’ll stand out from your competitors and establish relationships with current and potential patients.
One of the best ways to market yourself is via social media. It allows you to “humanize” your practice, connect with your audience, and educate the public while becoming a trusted source of information.
Let’s take a look at a few health sector social media marketing tips you can put in place right away to boost your online presence, engage with your audience, and establish trusting relationships with current and future patients.
Create an Effective Strategy
The first step in using social media to your advantage is to decide the kind of strategy you want to build. What makes a successful social media marketing strategy? It starts with setting goals and using the right platforms. Don’t just assume you’ll start posting on social media and instantly find success. Instead, think about why you’re really there and the kind of presence you want to have with your audience. Once you have clear, realistic goals in mind and have determined the platforms that make the most sense, you can focus on building your strategy by:
- Checking out your competitors;
- Being authentic with your content;
- Staying consistent;
- Engaging with your audience;
- Fostering a sense of community.
If you’ve done any type of marketing for your practice or services, you probably already understand the basics of SEO. Utilizing the best SEO practices for your medical practice’s website is essential. Google’s algorithm looks at the quality of your content, your authority, and your trustworthiness. But, did you know you can also utilize social media for SEO purposes? By publishing high-quality content, making things shareable, and optimizing your images for both SEO and social media, you can use your social platforms to draw more people to your website. Your strategy should include all of the above if you truly want to be effective and build trust and loyalty with your audience.
Educate Your Audience
Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware that they might need medical care. Educating your audience on common health issues that could be either normal or concerning is a great way to get attention — especially if you can tie the information in with your practice and what you can offer.
If your website already contains a wealth of information about different conditions, procedures, and fields you specialize in, make sure to use it as a resource for your social media content. Doing so can keep people from Googling their symptoms and can give them real, authoritative answers.
Of course, as you’re educating your audience, make sure to do so in a genuine and authentic way. Your values should include:
If every post you make follows those values, it won’t take long before people start following your platforms to educate themselves on different medical subjects. Your audience will also be more likely to share your content via social media with their friends and family. Every marketing expert understands the value of word-of-mouth advertising, and it’s just as effective when it’s done online. Interesting, informative, educational information that is presented in ways that are easy to understand and digest will go a long way on your platforms.
Become a Trusted Source of Information
While your ultimate goal through your marketing efforts is to attract new patients to your practice, you can’t allow your content to feel like one giant sales pitch. While educating your audience on the services you offer and providing regular healthcare tips they can use is important, they should also be able to depend on new information from you regularly.
That includes providing them with new treatment opportunities, healthcare developments, and events that might benefit them. Now, more than ever, people are looking online for important and relevant information. Unfortunately, there are a lot of imposters or marketing experts trying to pose as healthcare professionals while offering up information that could end up doing more harm than good.
Use your social media platforms to combat misinformation. Be clear, concise, and authoritative when it comes to what’s happening in the medical world, and don’t be afraid to engage with your audience when they have questions or comments. It’s another way to establish trust and build relationships, so when someone following you on social media needs medical care, you’re the first name they think of.
While social media might not seem like a top priority in the health sector, it should be. Marketing yourself through these platforms will help to establish your practice’s identity, give you a voice with your audience, and help you stand out.
Author: Amanda Winstead