Healthcare Social Media Marketing Strategies

Healthcare Social Media Marketing Strategies

As healthcare professionals, your day-to-day lives are rooted in diagnoses, cures, technological innovation, critical communications with patients, providers, and businesses alike. Just the idea of developing a social media healthcare marketing strategy can feel daunting—and perhaps a bit unnecessary.

But the truth is, tools provided by digital healthcare marketing agencies are increasingly providing healthcare providers with ways to reach and connect with more patients.  In fact, it has been found that healthcare professionals who embrace the trend are overall winners from a business and brand perspective.

The bottom line is that social media matters. Whether designed to drive awareness of new campaigns or initiatives, build a community to drum up support, inform and educate like-minded professionals, or gain insight into a community for innovation, social media gives healthcare brands an opportunity to grow their brand in a meaningful way.

Engaging via Social Media

Today’s healthcare consumer is very different than the healthcare consumer of the past. Patients today can do extensive research online –making them more particular about the services they receive. They are also healthier, live longer, and rely on healthcare organizations less (and when they do they want it done right).

Engaging with the market means you are showcasing your expertise, credentialing yourself with your target audience, and creating opportunities for business growth.  As an Alpharetta Marketing firm, we have seen first-hand how healthcare entities and physicians are benefiting from social media.  In fact, according to Pew Research, 74 percent of internet users engage on social media, and 80 percent of those internet users are specifically looking for health information, with nearly half searching for information about a specific doctor or health professional. The takeaway is this: millions of people are using social media actively to sift through vast amounts of “market noise” looking for treatment options, disease groups, patient/doctor insights, and more.

Furthermore, these platforms also offer very focused advertisement programs that help you reach your target audience. Because of this, and many other factors, a healthy social media presence does, in fact, attract patients. A recent study found that 57 percent of consumers’ decisions to seek treatment at a healthcare facility are strongly influenced by that provider’s social media connections– indicating that patients do trust healthcare organizations that engage online.

Engaging with Patients in Real-Time

One of the benefits of social media marketing in healthcare is enabling real-time deeper, more meaningful discussions that address patient questions, concerns, and interests.

Healthcare providers can empower patients by enabling online patient forums and research networks. Along with forums, health systems can use social networking pages to encourage patient discussions. For example, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life helps parents inspire their kids to eat right and get moving with easy, attainable tips and advice from their doctors, nutritionists, and wellness experts via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Social media is also a great way to connect with potential patients. Here are just a few things you should regularly be doing on social media:

  • Retweeting and liking things your followers’ posts
  • Commenting on your followers’ posts
  • Responding to people’s tweets and posts to/about your practice
  • Connecting with other professionals in your field
  • Uploading shareable videos, photos, and content
  • Following/adding patients on social media

Support Population & Preventative Health Initiatives

Many social media sites are public platforms that can reach a wide breadth of people, so healthcare providers can use these sites to facilitate broader health and preventative health initiatives. In other words, social media allows organizations to distribute time-sensitive health information, promote information sharing to encourage behavioral changes (including corrective changes during potential health crises), be a platform for conversation, and allow the community to provide useful information and feedback.

In other words, you can leverage social media’s reach to showcase your organization’s values, community care, and overall marketing and brand initiatives.

Facilitate Physician Collaboration

Healthcare providers can use social media networks to collaborate, share knowledge, and work together—potentially improving care outcomes. Marketers for healthcare organizations can also use social media channels to encourage physician alignment and collaboration. Social media is an easy way to find and connect with other health professionals outside of their health system or hospital share their knowledge or research that could benefit other providers.

Overall, these practices improve healthcare providers’ knowledge and willingness to work as a team. The more informed and educated a healthcare practice, the happier patients will be with their experience and the quality of their care—a win-win.

That said, you don’t need to spend hours a day on social media to be effective. By just logging on for 15 minutes per day, you can focus on posting relevant content (publishing it through your automation platform), responding to engagement on your previous posts, and searching for new opportunities to connect with your patients.

Ultimately, healthcare social media marketing should strive to provide patients with better experiences to foster loyalty, retention, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

EWISE Communications is working with Atlanta hospitals and healthcare organizations to help activate patients and growth.

Thank you for reading our blog.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.