30 Jan Healthcare Social Media: 3 Strategies for User Engagement
We know this to be true: Healthcare social media is a vital part of a healthy marketing plan. Why? Well, new patients are no longer passively walking through the doors of whatever healthcare provider is closest to their homes; rather, they’re doing research, checking Yelp, getting a sense of your brand on Facebook, and ultimately taking the time to decide which practice most closely meets their needs and makes them feel most comfortable.
Don’t you want their final choice to be your practice? Of course you do. This means that you need to present your services as part of your larger brand — and when it comes to healthcare social media, one of the best ways to truly represent the personality of your practice is through user engagement. Here, we’ll lay out what we mean by user engagement, and list 3 strategies you can use to increase your activity in 2015. Read on!
What is user engagement in healthcare social media?
At is most basic definition, user engagement literally means the amount of engagement a user has with your brand. Whether it’s through a comment on one of your Facebook updates or a positive review on Yelp, user engagement can build up your brand’s credibility by showcasing the ways in which you interact with and appeal to current and prospective patients.
After all, if a prospective patient hops onto one of your healthcare social media accounts and sees a series of positive reviews, or insightful replies from your staff to comments and questions on your profile page, these are all positive impressions you can leave in that visitor’s mind and further encourage them to walk through your office’s doors. Of course, there’s a backside to this — user engagement can also detract from the goodness of your brand by presenting your practice in a negative light. This is where you need to take a proactive approach to user engagement — and here are the ways you can do it:
Healthcare Social Media Strategy #1: Humanize your practice.
Facebook remains one of the biggest social networking powerhouses today, even after all these years — and when it comes to healthcare social media, you should be using its resources to their fullest potential. Humanize your practice by giving your brand personality online; reply to comments patients post on your wall, and take the time to ensure they leave the conversation feeling like they have received individualized attention.
How can you achieve this? It’ll take some extra time, sure, but the benefits are boundless; you’ll not only improve that patient’s impression of your practice, but other users can also see the care you put into answering individualized questions. This shows patients that you care about them as people — which, in turn, gives your brand an added boost in credibility.
Healthcare Social Media Strategy #2: Become image-happy.
Are you going to spend more time reading a wall of text, or are you going to view an engaging picture first? Healthcare social media relies on capturing the attention of your audience in a short amount of time, and images are a prime way to accomplish this goal. Your posts should feature images that capture the intent of your update, whether you’re posting on Facebook or your practice’s blog.
You can get away with text-based updates on Twitter, but the occasional photo will also give your timeline an extra bit of eye-catching color. And regardless of the platform you’re using, always seek to post high-quality images you capture in-house, if possible; stock photos or publically available images are good, but won’t humanize your brand as much as photos of your actual practice. As an added bonus, images provide greater incentive to share, retweet, and like — all of which are positive markers of increased user engagement.
Healthcare Social Media Strategy #3: Make sure you can be discovered.
In order to allow people to ask questions and get involved with your content, you need to be discoverable first. Not only should you be featuring links to your healthcare social media profiles on all of your in-house print and email content, but you should also use hashtags to allow other audience members to reach your brand. Not only that, but occasionally give a shout-out to your Facebook account on Twitter and vice-versa; show your audience the multiple ways they can connect with your brand, and create plenty of opportunities for meaningful engagement.
Interested in learning more about user engagement on healthcare social media? Contact HealthCare Marketing Group today!