Learn the Basics of Becoming Strategically Social in the Medical Field
We live in a world where consumers demand instant gratification, especially when it comes to finding answers to their questions online. According to Pew Research Center, more than 74% of people surveyed searched the Internet for health information within the past year. A medical facility’s reputation was indicated as the most important factor to survey participants. 48% of participants spent more than two weeks researching a facility online before making an appointment (Google).
So what does this mean for health care professionals?
It’s time to join the conversation online.
1. Identifying Areas of Focus
Getting started in the social media world can be intimidating. A great place to begin is identifying several topics to proactively address via social media, as well as those you plan to avoid. Having said this, it’s important to note that social media is an interactive conversation that you can’t control, so it’s important to be prepared with a standard, on-brand response for stickier subjects to ensure your organization isn’t caught off guard. By creating your list of ideal topics, off-limits issues, and standard responses for common controversial issues within your industry, your organization will have a great guide when creating new forms of social content.
2. Understanding Your Audience
It’s important to have a strong understanding your target audience in order to create content that will engage them. For example, if your primary audience falls within the 65+ age range, you probably wouldn’t want to create contests via Instagram, as this age group accounts for less than 1% of all Instagram users. Instead, it would make sense to focus on Facebook, as users 65+ are currently the fastest growing demographic for the social media site. Once you have a solid grasp for who your audience is, you can begin testing various types of content to determine what they respond to best; for example, surveys vs. photo posts, videos vs. articles or infographics vs. contests.
3. Doing Your Research
Every industry has its own unique user trends. To be successful, it’s imperative to understand how your audience behaves on social media. In the health care field, recommendations from friends and family are super important to potential clients or patients (this isn’t unlike other industries, as we discussed in a previous blog post). In fact, according to Mashable, 33% of Americans would be motivated to visit a pharmacy website if recommended by a friend or family member. In survey results published by Search Engine Watch, 90% of respondents ages18 to 24 said they would trust medical information shared by others in their social media networks.
The message is clear: when it comes to health, people trust their friends and family, and they’re listening to what they have to say on social media. The great news is now that you’ve done your research, you can begin creating ways to target social media users by providing them with helpful, timely content that they will want to share.
There are numerous opportunities to effectively reach your target audience in the health care field through social media. By identifying topics of focus, understanding your audience and doing your research, you can develop the right types of content to engage prospective clients.
Let’s chat about how inbound marketing can help you reach your ideal customer base through social media efforts. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (207) 622-0110.