Social Media for Healthcare Providers

Social Media for Healthcare Providers. Here’s a question probably percolating in the marketing and communications department at your hospital system: Should we start a Snapchat account? While healthcare providers (and all organizations) should consider different social networks, assessing them as one-offs leads to a scattered strategy that never pulls together, and never delivers the impact you’re looking for. It starts with creating high-quality content that helps people understand how to be healthier, and then quickly becomes about distributing that content. Choose one or two social platforms to begin, and do everything you can to make those channels successful. But even a $2,000 to $3,000 monthly budget for paid social campaigns can make a significant positive impact. Better news: You can get very specific in your targeting. Which social media tools do you need? And don’t automatically give it to the youngest person on the team because “the kids know social media;” you need to be strategic, so you likely need someone with some experience and context for the goals you’re trying to accomplish. But that’s changing, as healthcare marketers realize they don’t have to rent those media companies’ audiences and can start to build their own instead.

Healthcare Marketers Focus on Emotion and Interactivity to Reach Millennials
Getting to know a #CMWorld 2017 attendee: Becky Goplin
Social Media in Health Care: The Benefits, Challenges, and Opportunities

Here’s a question probably percolating in the marketing and communications department at your hospital system: Should we start a Snapchat account?

Wait. Stop. Back up.

While healthcare providers (and all organizations) should consider different social networks, assessing them as one-offs leads to a scattered strategy that never pulls together, and never delivers the impact you’re looking for. You spend your time and money chasing the latest shiny thing and inevitably waste a lot of effort zigzagging across the online landscape.

When people go online, they’re looking for health information. Maybe not every time, but it’s definitely one of the top topics people are searching for the internet; according to a Pew study, 80 percent of internet users have looked online for health-related information.

And that means healthcare providers have an opportunity to fill that void by creating and distributing patient-focused health and wellness content. In fact, it can be argued that healthcare providers’ mission requires them to educate the community and steer them away from that One Stupid Trick That Helps You Lose Weight.

It starts with creating high-quality content that helps people understand how to be healthier, and then quickly becomes about distributing that content. The key is to establish an agreed-upon understanding of your audience, get management buy-in, and then set clear goals for what you’re trying to accomplish. Once you know and document your marketing goals and have determined what types of content you want to create, you have to consider social media.

Through shared interests and history, social media brings people together in a place where they often feel more open to share and invite others into their lives. And that can include your hospital.

Here’s what you should consider when forming your social media distribution strategy.

Which social networks are right for you?

Another way to ask this question is where is the audience you want to engage with? If they’re on Facebook and Google+ (word to the wise: They’re almost certainly not on Google+), then those are the social platforms you should prioritize. If you think you can make your mark with visual posts and women are a key target demographic, Pinterest might be the way to go.

If any marketing consultant ever starts a conversation by saying you have to be on Social Network X, ignore him. Kick him out of the room. You don’t have to be anywhere. And you certainly can’t be everywhere. Choose one or two social platforms to begin, and do everything…

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0