Have you recently created a website to build your online presence (hopefully using the tips you learned on what every healthcare provider should have on their website)? And then you’ve just heard that other providers use social media for marketing, in addition to a great website.
Should you join the bandwagon?
A recent report described the notable growth in spending for health care marketing from $17.7 to $29.2 billion. And the most rapid growth has been in direct-to-consumer advertising, otherwise known as B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing, with a rise from $2.1 billion to $9.6 billion. In the health services sector, such as hospitals and health care systems, advertising increased from $542 million to $2.89 billion, with an increasing trend for digital advertising.
In a recent survey conducted to assess the use of social media across US hospitals, 94.41% of the 3,371 hospitals have a Facebook page. The ability of health care providers to engage patients in online conversation increases the hospital’s visibility in an effort to improve their reputation and authority.
Hence with this growing trend, you don’t want to be left behind.
But you might also ask yourself, are there social media practices that can help grow your brand and not hurt it?
Five Ways Social Media Marketing Can Help Your Brand
According to a journal article, the key to success in health care marketing is building a good online reputation. And don’t forget to read our blog when we discussed what an online reputation is and how you can manage it.
Here are more ways to grow brand trust using social media:
1. Ensure you have a dedicated digital media staff.
For example, you need them to:
- Create targeted, attractive, and relevant content
- Promote your brand online
- Engage in discussions
- Evaluate and know how to deal with patient reviews
- Assess the impact of online campaigns using analytics such as page hits and number of views and likes
2. Develop social media guidance toolkit for your institution
You can refer to the CDC’s Guide to Writing for Social Media, which lays out the essentials of health communication so you can reach your target audience and provide the information they need in plain language.
3. Set expectations with your health care staff at orientation and update them regularly
You have a brand to promote and protect. If the members of your healthcare staff don’t buy in to your vision and mission, your patients won’t receive the type of care that you promise. This discordance will show in patient reviews.
4. Engage health care staff in direct and online health communication strategies
Patients listen to credible sources like medical professionals.
Update your staff on any changing expectations if you want them to engage in such online conversations with patients. Have guidelines and policies in place on how to comment on social media platforms. Train them. They are the faces and voices to your patients.
5. Maximize use of technology in providing constant information to your patients
Encourage the use of apps, promote available social media platforms to your patients, and teach patients how to tap into other available online resources.
Employ these strategies and avoid marketing mistakes that may cost you.
If you are uncertain where to start and what marketing strategy to employ, we can help. The Steeplechase Company has over two decades of experience within marketing and healthcare, using the latest technology to lay out the best path forward for your organization. Schedule a call now for the best digital marketing strategy for your medical practice.