Mixing healthcare with social media can be a challenge. As you’re aware, misinformation abounds. However, with forty-eight percent of Americans saying they regularly get their news from social media sites, your practice has an opportunity to become a trustworthy voice—especially when you focus on the region or town where your practice is already a recognized name.
But leaders of healthcare organizations often balk at becoming one of those voices. They fear the ramifications of using social media for healthcare marketing while safeguarding patient privacy and respecting regulations, such as HIPAA. They may also worry about the legal responsibility of ensuring that followers get accurate information on health topics. All are fair arguments and completely valid.
But it’s also important to understand that eighty-two percent of Americans use social media, often as a source of referrals, reviews, and recommendations.
Social media offers multiple advantages to healthcare practices when used thoughtfully, lawfully, and respectfully. We’ll walk through the reasons why your healthcare practice should consider the benefits of social media and explain how to get started.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Healthcare
Building a successful practice is the primary motivation behind any marketing effort, but engaging on social media offers added benefits. Here are some top reasons to consider social media marketing in healthcare:
- It improves ROI. An experienced team will be able to create campaigns tailored to specific audiences, target ads more effectively, and analyze data more accurately. Additionally, they will have a better understanding of how to optimize campaigns for better performance and greater ROI. By taking advantage of their expertise, you can ensure that your marketing dollars are working for you and delivering maximum return.
- It builds respect. Patients already seek their providers on social media, where 90% maintain a personal presence. Social accounts can help drive new followers to authoritative content to boost professional credibility by sharing expertise instead of personal pictures or opinions.
- It helps you reach a broad audience. From moms to millennials, patients reach out on social media to learn from and communicate with their healthcare providers. Sixty-eight percent of parents report using social media for health information, along with 90% of seniors. Fifty-four percent of millennials say they want to follow their healthcare providers on social media.
- It connects you to other professionals. Physicians who have unique experiences in rare diseases or procedures can connect with colleagues on social media daily, not just at annual conferences. That provides greater opportunities to give and receive advice. It also leads to referrals from other clinics.
- You’ll strengthen relationships with existing patients. When patients are more engaged and understand their conditions and treatments, they have better health outcomes. Online information reaches beyond the exam room to educate patients.
ROI of Social Media Marketing for Healthcare
Social media is a strong engagement tool because it helps patients who are just beginning their healthcare journey. Some studies have demonstrated a correlation between social media activity and revenue.
Because a monetary return may come long after the marketing campaign has ended, it can be challenging to determine social media marketing return on investment (ROI). But a delayed result doesn’t mean social media marketing has no ROI.
To gauge how successful your social media marketing is, try the following tactics:
- Ask every new patient where they heard about you. While this is more of a manual process, knowing how patients found you lets you make better decisions about the value of social media marketing for your healthcare practice. Intake forms and follow-up surveys are great places to get this information.
- Track digital campaigns from social media. Use free tools such as Google Analytics to track your patient’s digital journey. Tracking specific pages on your site will help you see how many new patients fill out a contact form after clicking on a social media post.
- Track traffic, readership, and authority. If you’re growing backlinks, referrals from other professionals, and readership, you’re likely increasing traffic to your page and, ultimately, gaining new patients.
How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing for Your Healthcare Practice
Social media marketing can educate current patients, build your brand authority, and grow your readership. The first step is setting your goals and tailoring your social media presence around those goals. Here is a roadmap you can follow, regardless of your specialty:
- Think about your audience’s preferred channels. When it comes to tailoring your social media presence for a specific audience, understanding the preferred channels of that audience is key. For example, many Baby Boomers are active on Facebook, while younger generations often focus on Instagram and TikTok. By learning where your target audience spends their time online, you can shape your content accordingly.
- Create topic clusters for your audience. These are groups of subjects, such as dental health or paying for dental care after retirement. They are important to patients and touch on your expertise. Likewise, potential patients may want to put their fears at ease, so providing walk-throughs of your in-office experience can help them do that.
- Budget for your channels. Different platforms may require different levels of investment and customization, so having a clear budget allows you to prioritize the types of content that will be most effective for each channel. With a well-defined budget in place, you’ll be able to ensure that your content is of the highest quality and reaches its intended audience.
- Schedule with your audience in mind. Devise a content calendar to distribute content in the proper channels for your audience at the right time. Stay attentive and respond to comments. After all, social media isn’t a bullhorn used to blast your audience but a conversation starter. Try to understand when people are most receptive to having those conversations.
Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency for Your Healthcare Practice’s Social Media Needs
Socius cuts the guesswork out of your healthcare social media marketing and lets you realize ROI faster. You’ll join in the conversation with patients, the community, and other professionals and start building authority in your niche—all without having to become a digital marketing expert yourself.
Schedule a consultation with a Socius representative to get the most from your healthcare social media marketing.