Utilizing Social media in your healthcare business is an opportune way to reach new, potential clients and engage with the patients you already have. But when you run a busy medical practice, sidetracking staff from their daily responsibilities to focus on social media can be overwhelming. Here are five ways to simplify your social media strategy to help relieve your team and keep your patients happy.
Know your platforms.
Not all platforms are created equal and before you dive in, it is important that you recognize this. Do your research ahead of time to save yourself time during the process. It’s important to understand the audience and overall purpose of each platform. Each unique audience has its own expectations for what it wants to see. Videos tend to work better on Facebook, while LinkedIn is a place to find industry-related content. When planning out your healthcare social media strategy, keep in mind that you don’t have to manage a profile on every platform. Use the data you gather about each audience and pick the ones that benefit your practice the most.
Be active with automation.
Setting up a profile on a social network is the first step, but it is only a small one in the grand scheme of things. Make sure you are consistently active in your social media strategy. Plan to post between five and seven days a week on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. If you find that one of these platforms isn’t working for you, there is no need to keep wasting time. Eliminate that network and focus more time on one that works. Once you have your schedule planned, save yourself some time and use social media automation. Plan your social media posts well in advance and schedule them to publish at a later date and time. There are online tools available that let you schedule, track and manage each of your social platforms all in one space. You can monitor what patients are saying and respond almost instantly. Automation helps save time, maintain consistent content and target your audience.
Content is key.
Healthcare content has now evolved to include blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, photos, interactive pieces and more. There’s so much good content at your fingertips so keep this in mind as you put together your strategy. Remember to consider each network’s audience when posting certain types of content, and mix it up periodically. Don’t get stuck posting the same generic content on Facebook every day, your content and your business will quickly become stale with your followers. Post an engaging video with one of the doctors, share a trending link, followed by an in-house written piece. Sharing exciting content will not only keep your audience engaged, but it will help develop a positive online reputation for your organization. Knowing what will work for your practice ahead of time will save a lot of time and energy during the process.
Avoid disasters before they happen.
In a bustling medical practice, the last thing you want to do is waste time dealing with a social media disaster. When building out social media profiles, best practices apply across the board. Your social media marketing strategy should center on your practice’s business profiles, not your personal profiles. You may also consider adding a privacy notice in the about section of your social profiles explaining that patient healthcare is confidential and that your practice respects your patients’ right to privacy. No matter where you are publishing online content, you must always adhere to HIPAA. This includes getting releases before posting patient names, stories, images or videos.
Maximize your efforts.
Getting your healthcare social media strategy into motion is a great first step, but paid advertising helps you get more bang for your buck. Combining paid with organic social media posts allows you to specifically target your ideal demographic. Approach every paid post similarly to any paid marketing campaign; with a strict budget and a strong strategy.
The best medical practices on social media are dedicated to educating their audience, providing engaging content and building a reputation as a credible source. To succeed and maximize your time and efforts, it’s essential that the process is simple and you plan ahead. Be sure to share any of your social media tips on our Facebook page!