20 Feb Healthcare Social Media: What Pew’s Latest Findings Mean
Think of the Pew Research Center as a major aggregator of significant data, important studies, and beautifully clear charts related to Internet usage. In regards to healthcare social media, the center’s latest findings are significant because they detail where we need to focus our marketing efforts over the coming year. What’s growing? Where’s the audience we want to reach? Where is everyone’s attention?
Pew’s Social Media Update for 2014 features a host of important information that you should take to heart as you continue developing your healthcare social media plan. Here, we’ll discuss what Pew found, and what it means for your practice today. Read on!
No surprise here: Facebook is still king.
The social networking giant still remains the most popular social media site, and here’s a significant development over the past year: For the first time in Pew findings, 56% of Internet users aged 65 and older are on Facebook. Not only that, but people on Facebook are playing an active roll throughout their days; 65% of Facebook users share, post, or comment on Facebook frequently or sometimes.
Healthcare social media begins and ends with the ability to reach your audience. With that in mind, if your practice isn’t actively making an effort to reach out to users and encourage shares and comments, now’s the time to start. Consider your demographics; whom do you want to reach? Parents of kids who need their teeth cleaned? Mature adults who want to be able to trust their healthcare provider? What do these people need?
Parents might want an incentive to bring their kids to your practice; run a Facebook-only coupon or advertisement that takes a percentage off a necessary service. Mature adults might want to feel like their questions will be answered; run and advertise a weekly question-and-answer series featuring professionals within your office. At their most basic levels, these actions are different ways to increase healthcare social media user engagement, which will prove to be one of the best ways to generate the gold-standard of social media marketing: organic growth.
More people are using more than one social networking platform.
52% of adults use two or more social media sites, which is a huge jump from the reported 42% of 2013. And setting Facebook aside for a minute, the biggest overlap between non-Facebook websites is Instagram and Twitter; 58% of Twitter users are on Instagram, and 52% of Instagram users are on Twitter.
A successful approach to healthcare social media should strive to genuinely capture the attention of prospective clients. With these findings in mind, you should consider your practice’s presence on multiple social networks; are you really great on Facebook, but running dry on Twitter? Did you try Instagram and run into a photographer’s equivalent of writer’s block? With the latest numbers in mind, now is the time to take a second look at your practice’s cross-platform endeavors.
Part of the difficult of social media accounts is trying to figure out what to post — without sounding repetitive. Because of this, you should begin by focusing your attention on healthcare social media accounts that make sense for your practice; if your office hosts and participates in community events on a semi-regular basis, these are prime opportunities to broadcast your brand on Instagram. Additionally, your social media team should be graphically inclined — instead of taking a photo of a flu shot reminder, consider posting a simple, tasteful text post using an aesthetically pleasing font.
If your practice tends to keep things in-house, or if you feel like graphics aren’t your staff’s forte, stick to Facebook and Twitter — these networks are still large enough for you to cover your healthcare social media bases and flex your creative muscles.
Need help getting started? Get in touch with the professionals at the Healthcare Marketing Group today!