You already know, in part because we’ve been telling you, that you need to have an active social media presence if you want to call your marketing strategy up to date. It’s one thing to know that social media marketing is important, but another to understand exactly how important. Here are some facts you need to know about the numbers behind social media. Who are you really reaching? Read on to find out.
At a Glance
There are just about 7.2 billion people on earth. Half of them, or 3.6 billion people, have mobile Internet access. Let that number sink in for a minute. 3.6 billion people.
How can that be? Remember that while some parts of the world do not have power lines for “wired” Internet, some of these developing areas do have cellphone towers. In India, for example nearly three-quarters of web traffic is via smartphone.
While Facebook is a social media giant, many other sites exist, from the ones that are popular here (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) to some that are primarily used internationally (Tuenti, Qzone, Mixi). You can see a report by Jeff Bullas here.
You might be wondering why we’re talking about what’s going on in India when you’re most likely trying to appeal to patients in your own geographic area. It’s just to point out that when you are online, particularly when you are using social media, you are taking part in global digital marketing, whether you mean to or not. You very well may get followers from other areas of the world.
For the sake of simplicity (and efficiency), however, most healthcare providers can safely concentrate on social media trends here at home.
Social Media and You
If you had to choose just one social media site to use, chances are good that the best one is Facebook. Nearly half of all Internet users use Facebook; there are 1.4 billion profiles, and 4.5 billion likes generated each day. Facebook is also very flexible: You can post images, photographs, links, a few words, a few paragraphs, videos, and the list goes on.
Twitter is another popular site, with 284 million users and 500 million tweets going up each day. Twitter is great if you don’t have a lot of time to think up great content; you’re limited to just 140 characters per post, so brevity is a virtue (and a necessity).
You can read about other social media sites, as well as find tips on each one, by going through our Success With Social Media series. The first part starts here.
Finding Time for Social Media
We know, you’re busy, and patients and your practice understandably have to come first. At the end of a long day, you may not have time to think up scintillating content or to even come up with 140 characters that say anything of substance. There are a few ways around this:
- Automate! There are programs that will allow you to type up your posts on the weekends and have them going up all week long. One popular such program is Buffer. You can read more about this here. The main drawback, of course, is that you might type something on Sunday that is irrelevant by the time it’s scheduled to go up on Thursday.
- Post less often. If you have limited time once per week or so, you can just put up a post then. The benefit here is that the posts will be timely, assuming you put up recent happenings, but the drawback is that your followers will see you less often, less likely to interact, and less likely to think of you first when they have a problem that you can treat.
- Find a social media marketing professional to handle it for you. As a busy doctor, you know that delegation can mean the difference between success and failure. If you don’t have time to keep up with your social media, you can hire someone else to do it for you.
At HealthCare Marketing Group, we specialize in all types of digital and traditional marketing, including social media. We keep our eyes on the trends so you don’t have to. We’d be happy to come up with a customized approach that would work for you. Please call us at 800-258-0702 to talk to one of our social media experts. Your first consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.