12 Dec Medical Social Media: Using it to Your Advantage
The Mayo Clinic is a prime example of medical social media done really, really well. Their Youtube channel is regularly updated with informative and entertaining videos; their Facebook pages are packed with upcoming events, research, and healthy living tips; their different social media pages are clearly linked.
And the numbers are in their favor; according to data collected in a social media survey conducted by PwC, 60% of all users trust healthcare information posted online through medical social media by doctors, and 55% trust information posted by hospitals. That’s a big deal, and suggests that healthcare marketing and social media need to go hand-in-hand. But where do you get started, and how can you use medical social media to your practice’s advantage? Let us list the ways.
Use Facebook as your medical social media foundation.
If your practice isn’t already on Facebook, stop what you’re doing right now and set up a profile. Facebook has so many benefits that it’s baffling; it’s perfect for photos, links, comments and questions, and it can be easily integrated with your practice’s other medical social media pages.
Facebook is a prime place to establish your practice’s brand, because it allows for plenty of space to post photos of your logo, name, and creative designs. Part of the reason why the Mayo Clinic is such a medical social media powerhouse is because their logo is clean, clear, and easily recognizable, and is integrated with all of their social media profiles. Borrow from this idea by making a good-quality profile picture for your business page, and use a separate — but related — image as your cover photo.
Once your page looks nice, begin forming a content plan. We’ve talked about the benefits of a content plan before, and we’ll mention it again — because it’s that important. If you want to have consistent posts on your medical social media pages (and you should), create a list of content and ideas you can fall back on. Fridays can be FAQ Fridays, for instance, and you can open up a comment thread on your page to give people a chance to ask questions.
You should endeavor to give your audience a reason to follow your profile, and consistent postings, interesting photos, and information that matters to your community is the best way to build a strong and interesting medical social media profile.
Keep track of what your audience shares — and what they want to know about.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and almost any other major social media website have some sort of sharing feature, allowing users to click and share links and content with other people. This is a measure of user engagement, which can point you toward a few different and important things — namely, what matters to your audience when it comes to medical social media.
If people are predominately commenting, liking, retweeting, favoriting, and sharing certain types of posts, that should give you a better idea of what kind of medical social media content appeals to your audience. If users tend to engage with posts about healthy living tips, and glance over posts about goings-on around the office, maybe your user base is more interested in things that apply to their daily lives; that doesn’t mean you need to phase out other types of posts entirely, but it does mean you can begin posting about healthy living tips more often.
Whether you work alone or with a medical social media team, you should put a tracking system in place that gives you a snapshot of the material your audience cares about. Facebook already has a tool like this in the form of their “Insights” tab, which can be invaluable as you’re beginning to build your medical social media profile and content. Additionally, Twitter sends a weekly email to users listing audience engagement, which is an excellent feature to opt-into because it also lists how many people viewed your tweet — which may differ from the number of people who replied, retweeted, or favorited it.
Medical social media is a necessary force in your healthcare marketing toolkit. Not sure where to begin? Contact the Healthcare Marketing Group today for more information — and to schedule a free consultation.