Best Practices in Social Media
Recently, social media has become a part of many medical practice’s marketing strategies. By allowing more interactions with potential patients across multiple platforms, social media is a powerful tool that can take your practice to new heights. When creating a social media profile for a business, it’s essential to have a well-rounded profile to benefit your company long-term and help your social media presence thrive. This article will discuss different aspects of social media marketing and tips and tricks to ensure you are making the best use of your practice’s digital presence.
Which Platform Should I Use?
Facebook and Instagram have proven to be the two most lucrative platforms for marketing, especially for elective procedures in the medical industry. When first starting on these platforms, it’s valuable to understand how to create an effective marketing strategy. To start, take a look at what others within your industry are doing on their social media platforms. By looking into the type and frequency of posts, the number of followers a profile has, and the amount of engagement each post receives, you can create your own social media marketing strategy.
On Instagram, one of the most valuable assets for a practice is prioritizing engagement and followers. There is a strong relationship between an account’s follower count, post engagement, and post frequency. Profiles with more followers have a direct correlation to more likes per post, regardless of posting frequency. This shows that building a solid foundation of followers and creating a relationship with them results in better engagement and long-term sustainability on Instagram.
Alongside posting frequency and follower interaction, current trends and the type of posts lead to the most success on Instagram. Within the medical industry, four types of posts consist of the majority of the social media world: educational posts about generic medical information, professional posts of doctors in action or at work, service or product posts that showcase a doctor’s specialty or any products they are offering, and personal posts of the doctor outside of the practice. By incorporating these different posts in a marketing strategy, followers are given a well-rounded view of who you are, what you do, and what you can offer them.
Although Facebook’s popularity has declined over recent years, there are still many valuable aspects of the platform that can be useful in the medical field. Due to the nature of Facebook, there tends to be a focus on one specific type of post to cater to a specific audience and a lower posting frequency than Instagram. Suppose a practice’s goal is to create an intimate relationship with its following and generate leads for a specific service or product. In that case, Facebook may be the platform to focus more energy towards. However, a variety of posts will still widen your reach and provide more opportunities in the future. Throughout whichever platform you are posting on, it’s important to note that a solid follower base with consistent content will continue to show beneficial results.
When planning a social media strategy, one of the first things to decide is how much time is dedicated to a specific platform. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that businesses post daily on Instagram and about three times per week on Facebook.
With the culture of Instagram, there is an unwritten rule that users should not post more than once or twice a day. Doing so may have an opposite effect and lead to a drop in followers and engagement.
Time of day is also important. Businesses often find the most traffic to their profiles occurs during lunch or after working hours when most people have logged off for the day and are catching up on social media. As a result, using external services, like Hootsuite, can be beneficial to schedule posts ahead of time.
Geotagging, or tagging the city your business is located in, allows businesses to advertise to a local range of users while also exploring new opportunities to connect with potential patients. This can happen through events in the area or local news outlets that broadcast to a wider audience.
Hashtags are also helpful when boosting social media profiles. Businesses can find what hashtags are being used in the industry, which users may be using to search for specific information or topics and implement them into their posts. On Instagram, hashtags are beneficial and are incorporated into almost every post. Hashtags also allow businesses to expand beyond their scope, for example, using #MerryChristmas, on Christmas Day.
Visuals and Content
When creating graphics and visuals for social media, it is important that they match the business’s branding. There are a variety of ways to have consistent branding, two common ones are using a specific color palette and using the company’s logo. Social media posts set expectations for users on what your business is like and what it can offer. This can include adding photos of a business logo, photos featuring staff members, and photos inside of the office.
Paired with visuals is the written content of the post. It’s best to ensure that the two coordinate well while also showcasing the practice’s expertise, experience, and services. Some examples can include highlighting a particular procedure, sharing a client testimonial, or a personal account of an event you hosted or attended.
For the medical industry specifically, the content of the posts should also be easily digestible and conversational. If an informative post becomes too technical for the average user or someone without a medical background, it may cause them to turn away.
The Bottom Line
Social media has become an integral part of marketing and it’s important that businesses take advantage of it. Although there are many features and aspects of social media platforms, the foundation of it all is to establish a strong relationship with your followers coupled with cohesive, digestible content.