For a long time medical providers questioned the value of social media. Could it help spread the word about your services and reach prospective patients? Could it help you connect with your current patients in a more meaningful way?
Well, there's no denying the huge impact social media has on the world around us anymore. With over 2 billion active social media users online, medical care providers understand the need for a social media presence. From what we've seen, medical providers often don't use social media personally. Meaning they don't have a personal Facebook account, Twitter account, etc..
When trying to build an online presence, they struggle with social media because they don't understand the best practices. Does this sound like you? If so, how can you use social media to amplify your clinic’s content?
Focus On A Goal
What specifically would you like to achieve through social media? We all want to reach more people on social media and drive more traffic to our websites. Set a specific goal of how many people you want to reach and how many website visits you want to see. Is your goal reasonable? Is it something you can achieve in six months time? By ensuring your goal is specific and giving yourself a time frame, you give yourself a means by which to evaluate your performance. If you meet your goals that’s great! If you don’t, reevaluate. Could a change in marketing strategy help you reach your goals over the next six months?
Create Your Social Media Content Plan
A social media content marketing plan outlines the pieces of content you will promote and on which social media channels you will promote it. Your social media content plan should answer the following questions:
- What types of content do you intend to post? Graphics? Video? Links to blog articles?
- Who is your target audience for each type of content?
- How often will you post content? Once a day? Twice a day? 5 times a day?
- Who will create the content? Do you have someone who can create your social media calendar in your office? Will you create it yourself? Will you hire a social media manager?
- How will you promote the content? Will you hold Like and Share campaigns? Will you build a referral program?
A social media calendar is a document where you plan out all the content that goes out through your social media channels. Your social media calendar should contain lists of all the dates and times you intend to post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Include in your calendar all the images and links to blog articles and videos you intend to share for the following month.
Once you create your calendar, schedule your messages in advance rather than constantly updating throughout the day. Preparing your posts in advance will give you the opportunity to work on the language and formatting of your messages rather than writing off the cuff. You can schedule your messages in advance using a social media management software such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or Hubspot. Be spontaneous with your engagement and customer service rather than your content.
Find Your Audience Where They Are
You don’t have to be everywhere on social media, but you do have to be somewhere. On which social media platforms do your prospective and current patients spend their time? Rather than spend all your energy on all the social media sites, identify your patients’ top platforms. You can do this by:
- surveying your current patients
- conducting industry research
- running experiments
- monitoring keywords.
Some platforms like Facebook allow you to dig through their analytics to determine if your reach is growing.
Each social media platform was created to deliver a different experience. Consider how your followers will engage with your content. Do you want to post a blog post to Facebook? Be sure you add a link that will direct your followers back to your website. Will your followers be on a desktop or on a mobile phone? You want to make sure your website is mobile friendly. Does the platform have a character limit like Twitter? Your message should be concise, quick, witty and creative. Is the a platform imaged based like Instagram? If so you need dynamic visuals to attract the attention of your audience.
Speaking of visuals, according to a study done in 2016 posts with images tend to get 94% more views than content without images. When choosing images, use clear, professional photos. You can find great images on Canva, Pixabay, and Kaboom Pix for free. If you're willing to spend a little money on professional photos AdobeStock and PhotoDune offer great images at a low cost.
We work with medical practices to ensure they maintain an online presence that leads to growth in their business. If you need help developing a social media strategy, give us a call at 662.869.8665. Your first consultation is always free.
Do you need more patients? Are you ready to launch a Medical Clinic Referral Program? Learn how to build a professional medical clinic referral program from the ground up with our new Ebook.