Five steps important to planning your healthcare social media program
The Importance of Healthcare Social Media
Most marketers don’t need to be convinced of the importance of participating in a healthcare social media program. In a marketplace where consumers look for brands to demonstrate traits of authenticity, openness and transparency and where they welcome (rather demand) the opportunity for two-way conversations, social media keeps your brand top of mind with communities and patients.
Social media allows your brand to remain relevant with people who are looking to connect, communicate, create and share content. The Social web is also the great equalizer between large brands with big budgets and small brands that simply “do it better.” No matter what your organization’s size, social business tools are affordable and mandatory to stay competitive in today’s market.
Treating Your Healthcare Social Media Program As A Priority
Too often, we see healthcare marketers approaching social media marketing as a step-child to the planning of more traditional marketing tactics. Social media is either relegated to a junior team or treated as a secondary marketing effort. More often than not, these social media efforts backfire. Because goals and planning aren’t as sharp, audience targeting isn’t as sharp and therefore messaging and relevancy isn’t as sharp.
Social media is a reality for connecting with and engaging communities and patients, and there’s no dialing it back. In fact, according to globalwebindex, 98% of consumers in 2019 have used a social media network in the past month. And globally, digital consumers are now spending an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social networks and messaging. Your healthcare social media marketing program needs to reflect this importance to audiences if it’s going to deliver the returns you’re looking for.
From Social Media To A Social Business
Leading organizations also understand that social media extends beyond marketing conversations and the marketing department. They understand that by using social platforms across the organization — from HR, to Customer Care, Operations and Product Development — businesses can simply be more successful and profitable. These organizations are becoming social businesses, connected through collaborative processes with both customers, other stakeholders and employees.
Five Steps For Planning Your Social Media
As social media has become a primary tool for higher levels of engagement, directly driving lead generation through interaction and content sharing, disciplined planning is required for getting social media and word-of-mouth marketing working for your organization.
Here are five steps to follow to harness the power of a healthcare social media program to cost-effectively transform your business and leap ahead of the competition.
1. Planning & Research
Determine your marketing goals, both external and internal, e.g.
- building organization, facility or service line awareness, clinical thought leadership, patient support, prospecting/leads, public relations, investor relations, research
- staff and physician recruitment, boosting morale, CSR
Understand both your audiences and your competitors social media practices:
- who they are, why they participate, where they participate, when they participate
2. Social Media Stance
Determine your big picture strategy:
- thought leader, education, entertainment, engagement, empowerment
3. Social Media Strategies & Tactics
Determine your content and your conversations:
- type, style, sources (internal or external), guardrails (frequency, quality, legal considerations, authenticity)
Determine your outreach channels:
- tools (to gain maximum participation), compliments to core
Determine your initial awareness-building activities to build your social following and participation:
- SEO, traditional vehicles
4. Internal Resource Planning & Policies
Time and resources
Cross-functional personnel participation
Social face and voice:
- CEO, leadership, marketing, cross-functional
Internal training to build engagement and on-brand participation
Review of policies and procedures:
- employee participation, brand consistency, confidential & proprietary information, conflicts of interest, crisis situations, defamatory behavior
5. Monitoring Progress & Performance
Ongoing internal monitoring:
- compliance, message consistency, tracking, opportunities and gaps, new/emerging channels
- simple to use, making decisions, taking actions, harvesting value
Agree to metrics:
- qualitative, quantitative
Trajectory has specialized in working across the health + wellness continuum since 1999. If you want to talk about how to improve your healthcare social media program or healthcare content marketing program, reach out.