Marketing, in general, is a far cry from what most medical practitioners usually handle. And it makes sense. They are taught in the ways of caretaking, not advertising. And there is nothing wrong with that. People specialize for the sake of their careers. You can’t expect a mechanic to know interior decorating. But when you mention social media marketing to healthcare professionals, a lot of them will look at you like you have lost your mind. However, there is merit to be found in Social Media Marketing or SSM. We will not only talk about just why it is relevant in today’s healthcare marketing landscape but how it basically works.
The Advantages of Social Media Marketing
For starters, social media has a pretty wide reach. 57% of Millenials and 41% Gen X-ers think that social media ads are becoming more relevant. At first, that sounds a little on the young side when you are talking demographics for medical care. However, the age range combined for both generations goes from 29-54 years old. All of these are ages that are currently in the workforce and worry about things like medical care. What’s more all of these targeted advertisements have a high reach for new customers. According to Sproutsocial.com, an index that collects social media data,”Non-customers are three times more likely than customers to visit retailers from social media ads. ” So, it is not only relevant it’s practically a drastically changing advertising landscape.
To quote the very same source, who puts the purpose of social media marketing succinctly, ” Social media bridges the gap between consumers and brands by providing them with a platform to engage with each other. Brands need to make the most of this and create opportunities for interaction and connection. Otherwise, they could end up losing potential customers. “
Which Social Media Platform do I Choose?
Founder of Purple Tie Guys, Robert Martin, has often said, “Choose social media platforms you want to keep up with”. It sounds tempting to sign up for every single one. However, there are easily over 100 out there. Some more popular and userfriendly more than others. But it defeats the main purpose. Which is to engage with potential customers, make people aware of you, and provide customer service.
So, instead of just signing up for every social media platform under the sun, you need to figure out where your customer base is. For example, if you are advertising for a general practice, you might want to aim for the most popular social media platform. That distinction belongs to Facebook where there are over 2 billion active users.
What if you are relying on a more professional network to send referrals over your way? Then you might want to consider LinkedIn, a social media platform for professional business connections.
What if you have patients who are naturally curious about the cosmetic procedures that you perform in your office? If you have people willing to sign waiver forms and video footage, you can use Youtube.
What do Patients Respond to Most?
So, if you find your social media platform for your healthcare marketing practice, the next questions you would probably ask yourself is. How do I draw people to my practices? What can I do that can bring as many people in as possible? This is where you look at more gathered data.
This next part is important because there is often a disconnect between what a customer wants to see, vs what doctors think that customers want to see.
As of 2019, ” 61% of social marketers prioritize social media posts that teach. 58% focus on telling a story and 53% focus on posts that inspire. ” It sounds all good, but it isn’t what people say they want. Also, it doesn’t really get them to act. The truth is:
- 73% of consumers want to see posts about discounts and sales.
- 60% want to see posts that showcase new products and services.
- 59% want to see posts that teach something.
- 58% of consumers prefer visual-first content, with their main preferences being graphics and images and produced video.
So, if you were going to create content for your SEM ads and regular posts for engagement, you want to go less for inspiration and more for offers and education.
Be Consistent in your Engagement
If people come to you, answer their questions as soon as you can. If they are curious about something or had a bad experience, don’t be afraid to try and make it work. Social media engagement as part of a healthcare marketing strategy still relies on interpersonal communication. It is just a change of platform instead of doing it door to door.