Social media marketing has become a staple across pretty much all industries, from snack food to financial planning, but as more and more businesses head to social media to spread their messages, it makes it exponentially harder to break through to prospects who truly may only be online to look at pictures of their friend’s dog. Now, how does an un-sexy healthcare brand grab attention in the crowed social world?
Here are three steps to keep in mind while planning your social media strategy.
Prioritize Meaningful Interactions
On social media, and especially Facebook, new algorithms prioritize posts that earn “meaningful interactions,” otherwise known as shares, likes, and comments.
Simply posting an outbound link on Facebook and asking your followers to look at something on your website is probably not all that compelling. If this post doesn’t get likes, comments or shares quickly, it will be de-prioritized in your followers’ feeds, and with thousands of posts made per minute, your post will likely be lost in the shuffle. That’s why posting content that prompts discussion or lends itself to sharing is so important.
Healthcare brands have opportunities to be helpful, educational and entertaining by being less sales-focused, more “real,” or by showing a sense of humor. Social media also gives the opportunity to address negative reviews, provide customer service, or promote customer-centric capabilities such as online scheduling, telemedicine access, and apps for health-tracking or managing health records.
Get to the Point
One popular tactic in social media and digital marketing is the use of pre-roll or mid-roll ads, which are short video ads that run before or in the middle of YouTube or social media videos. Whether they are skippable or un-skippable, one thing is certain, the person watching this video is counting down the seconds until they can either skip or finish watching this ad, and get on to the content they actually want to watch. How can you catch someone’s attention in as little as six seconds?
Smart healthcare marketers should retool their messages and buy media that connect at the appropriate stage of the buyer’s journey. A 6-second pre-roll video should not simply be a shorter version of a 30 second TV spot, because those two ads should have completely different goals. The same idea goes for native social media video; you only have a few seconds to hook someone until they keep scrolling, so make sure you start with something compelling in the first 5 seconds.
Don’t Underestimate the Influencers
Video and social media influencers have been leveraged in many industries with the goal to earn trust and build better relationships with their desired audience, but is there a place for influencers in the serious, life-and-death business of medicine?
One option is to work with internal influencers, like a doctor or nurse who is charismatic and knowledgeable on a certain topic. This partnership could save you money while you build credibility for your brand.
Another option is to reach out to others in the community who are invested in health and wellness, such as healthcare administrators, nutritionists or fitness experts. Because trust is especially important in healthcare, building a network of credible community influencers would be very beneficial.
Just because “everyone is doing social media now” doesn’t mean everyone is doing it well. Try these three steps and measure how much traction you’re getting on social compared to your competitors.