Social Media Advertising Do’s and Don’ts for the Healthcare Industry
by Alex Butz
Social media is becoming an integral part of our lives—we all know this. It has already become the go-to outlet for information seekers.
Whether we are looking for news, community updates or advice, the ever-growing landscape of social media continues to draw us in, and more and more often we find ourselves depending on it as a main central resource. We live in a DIY world – we will search and find out information for ourselves.
This is also true for the healthcare industry; however, there are risks involved. Social media exposes health care organizations to potential privacy, security and ethical breaches, so above everything else, it is important to have a fine-tuned social media strategy.
Because of the medical subject matter, not every aspect of your business can be advertised on social media. Truly successful practices have a solid channel strategy and only allocate ad spend to channels they know are going to be successful.
So how do we approach this social media monster effectively and responsibly?
Know your audience
Millennials are not the only people using social media these days. The majority of the online senior population are using the internet as a primary resource to manage personal health and communicate with healthcare providers. Today, 35% of all those 65 and older report using social media, compared to just 2% in 2005.
Be a reliable source
There can be a lot of misleading information online and healthcare providers have a duty to create content that is not only useful, but will help to accurately educate the community they serve.
In 2015 Pew Survey, 68% of all adults had a Smartphone. Mobile-friendly content can make or break your efforts. A strong mobile site, or even an app will keep you in the conversation. Social media introduces the content you put out, but you have to support it!
Internal policies will limit exposure
A top to bottom policy is an easy way to avoid risk. There are so many regulations that protect patients, so it is very important to make sure a sound strategy is in place, and the employees are on board.
Own your brand
Social channels can be great outlets to help brand image as wells as manage your reputation in the community. But be careful, negative comments can carry a lot of weight so it is important to maintain positive relationships with all customers. Be transparent and engage with all consumers—past, present and future.
One of the most important pieces to an effective strategy is to be creative and engaging. Healthcare can be perceived as dry or stale. Use social media to draw people in by offering solutions and use the content to point out references and disclaimers.
Healthcare, more than most industries, is regulated heavily. Maintain a professional relationship with your audience – avoid engaging with them on a personal level.
The train is moving – it has left the station, but it is not too late to catch up and jump on.
If you have any questions about how to successfully integrate social media in your healthcare marketing strategy, be sure to ask in the comments below or contact us here!