05 Nov Healthcare Social Media 101: Increasing User Engagement
Healthcare social media, as with any online presence, relies on one thing to be truly successful: user engagement. Even if your social media accounts feature plenty of photos, your brand’s logo, and tons of posts, it’s all for naught if users aren’t viewing your content and engaging with it in some way. So, how can you get people to click, like, retweet, and favorite your material while still maintaining quality content? Read on for more information!
Healthcare social media should be relevant.
Here, “relevance” means a few different things — your content should appeal to your audience’s interests, but it should also meet the goals and standards of your practice. With this in mind, your healthcare social media should function as a happy medium; your Facebook wall shouldn’t be full of regurgitated links about the latest stress-relieving tips from Buzzfeed, but it should feature a mix of links you find personally interesting, questions you want to pose to your audience, and features that serve to separate your social media profiles from other websites.
In short, don’t talk at your audience; talk with them, and appeal to the topics you would be vested in as a prospective follower. People care about things that matter to them, and the way to make your healthcare social media matter is to give your audience different ways to engage. How can you accomplish this while still producing quality content, you ask? Well…
Consider the questions — and answer them via healthcare social media.
As a medical professional, you’ve very likely received the same few questions time and time again as part of your day-to-day practice routine. Why not turn those frequently asked questions into a series of posts on your Twitter or Facebook feeds? Or, even better: Turn that FAQ into a blog post, and feature a link on your healthcare social media channels for other people to share and comment on.
Carry this idea even further by hosting a question-and-answer session on one of your healthcare social media pages — Twitter tends to be the best place for something like this, or you can use Facebook if you already have a large base of followers. Advertise your Q-and-A two weeks prior, broadcast the credentials of the person (or people) involved, and set aside an hour or two to field and answer questions people from your community may have about your medical office, services, or health questions in general. Generate a hashtag and encourage people to tag their questions with that tag.
All of this will serve two purposes: It will give your audience a clear opportunity to engage with your practice and get a sense of your brand’s personality (friendly answers mean friendly people — brief or straightforward answers mean less personality conveyed online), but it will also give you a clear idea of what kinds of questions and content users care about on healthcare social media. You can use this to build future posts and content, and to guide your media plans moving forward.
Get creative with healthcare social media audio, video, and images.
Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and many other healthcare social media platforms are capable of hosting multiple forms of content — which means that you should use them to their fullest potential. While videos and photo albums may take a while to fully compile, they’re worth the effort because they show your audience a new level of depth related to your medical practice. Photo albums inherently have plenty of flexibility — you can showcase anything ranging from scenes around your office to shots of your staff participating in community events — but video and audio are slightly different topics.
With video and audio, it pays to take a little extra time to consider content, production value, and overall relevance. Keep in mind that you’re trying to grab your audience’s attention in a relatively short amount of time, which means you need to be upfront about the importance of your video as soon as possible. This can be accomplished by featuring a hook or quick blurb detailing what the video will cover. Furthermore, successful healthcare social media videos relate to content your audience wants to see and hear (think back to that Q-and-A idea), but also need to be clearly audible, clearly visible, and seamless. It’s okay to take a little more time with this step.
At the end of the day, it’s the little things that matter when it comes to healthcare social media. If someone posts a question to your practice on Facebook or Twitter, take the time to thoroughly answer that question and show your audience that a real person is behind the computer screen. Strong user engagement isn’t about getting tons of new followers — it’s about taking care of the audience you currently have, and allowing it to naturally grow into a bigger base of thriving followers.
For more information about healthcare social media, contact Healthcare Marketing Group™ today!