Marketing on Social Media: A Guide for Healthcare Facilities
Just like most other businesses, healthcare organizations are beginning to rely on social media to spread the word about their services. While you may not be a professional social media marketer, you can certainly learn about marketing on social media to help your facility or long-term care residence reach a broader audience.
Social media is complex — you may need help sorting through best practices to help get your marketing strategy off the ground. We’ll explore the benefits of marketing on social media, tips for effective implementation, and the best platforms to implement various social media strategies. Examples and ideas you find here can be used as inspiration as you refine your organization’s marketing plan.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Marketing is essential for the survival of any business. There are numerous budget-friendly ways to spread the word about your healthcare organization, like sending email newsletters, updating your website design, and sharing good news through press releases.
Enacting a social media strategy is another great way for your facility or residence to promote its brand and attract a wider audience. Also, social media accounts are free for businesses, so the startup costs are minimal. Additional benefits of social media include the following.
- Real connections: Social media platforms provide communication opportunities between you and your healthcare community, which allows you to gain valuable feedback directly from patients, employees, and stakeholders. Creating an online presence can give your facility or residence a human element.
- Increased exposure: You’ll gain brand awareness if your organization is found on social media. This increased viewership can help you become a staple in the local community and healthcare industry. Also, optional paid ads can focus on specific patient populations in your local area by targeting which groups see your content.
- More traffic: Interlinking between your website and other social media pages can lead to more visitors overall. This boost to your site’s visibility will increase the chances of engagement with online forms, appointments, and other in-person events.
- Enhanced credibility: Consistently showing up on social media can build a positive reputation for your healthcare organization. Engaging with your audience in real time to answer questions, posting relevant and useful content, and using calls to action (CTAs) that generate authentic interactions are great strategies to build credibility.
Types of Social Media Marketing
Now that you’ve seen how marketing on social media can be useful, we’ll explore the most common platforms your healthcare organization can use to get the job done. You may choose to use all platforms or focus your efforts on just a few, depending on your target demographic and marketing bandwidth.
- Facebook: Use this platform to share infographics, visuals, videos, and links to other websites. Locally targeted advertising on Facebook is especially effective because users often share their location as part of their profile.
- Youtube: If you have informational or promotional videos, you’ll want to post them to Youtube. Make sure to use relevant keywords in your title and caption so your videos will appear in as many searches as possible.
- Instagram: This platform emphasizes engaging visuals and can be linked with Facebook, so content can be posted on both accounts simultaneously. Engagement options such as questions, reactions, and polls can boost engagement.
- Twitter: With an emphasis on short-form content, Twitter is a great place to link to longer articles, press releases, videos, or web pages. Posts about newsworthy events would fit well on this platform.
- LinkedIn: Aimed at professionals, this platform is great for long-form content about industry-related issues. LinkedIn is a great forum to share content with other healthcare-focused businesses, recruit nursing professionals, and build your employer brand.
Marketing on Social Media: Tips
We’ve explored benefits and types of social media. Now we’ll discuss specific tips for how businesses use social media for marketing, with actionable advice that you can implement today.
- Choose platforms wisely: It’s important to consider which demographic you most want to reach before diving into social media marketing. If you want to be well known by other members of your industry, LinkedIn might be a good priority. On the other hand, if you want to gain a broader patient audience, targeted Facebook ads could be a better option.
- Use visuals: Eye-catching visuals are key on any platform. This is your opportunity to create a cohesive brand identity. Make sure to include your logo in each post and use consistent fonts and colors to give your organization a professional online presence.
- Prioritize consistency: The frequency and form of your social media marketing is another important consideration. You’ll want to post as frequently as possible while also maintaining quality standards and a manageable workload. Additionally, consider how the type, subject matter, and content of your posts can consistently communicate a broader message.
- Add value: Ultimately, your social media strategy should prioritize usefulness. Your audience will be able to spot an inauthentic marketing strategy because it won’t provide them with anything of value. Most healthcare organizations excel at educational, inspirational, or informative content.
- Track progress: Make sure to utilize analytics data to track the effectiveness of your marketing plan. You’ll be able to determine which strategies lead to the most engagement and which need to be tweaked. It’s best to make this a frequent practice to ensure your hard work is having the intended effect.
Reminder: Be sure that your marketing on social media follows industry guidelines and maintains compliance under the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This federal law requires you to protect patient information pertaining to their background, diagnosis, history, and photographed images.
Want More Healthcare-Focused Content?
Are you in charge of marketing on social media for your healthcare organization? This can certainly feel like an added burden on top of your other tasks. To help lighten the load, you can find more information about healthcare marketing in the IntelyCare newsletter — a source of free valuable healthcare content to help take your facility or residence to the next level.