Fifteen years ago, you wouldn’t need this guide. Healthcare was entirely an offline affair. Now, it’s a completely different landscape. If you’re not putting yourself out there on social media, you’ll fall behind competitors, especially since the pandemic during which social media served as an important source of information for people. We kid you not—a study found that 76% of its respondents turned to social media for information on COVID-19.
Good deal. So, you roll up your sleeves and sit in front of your computer. You create your social media handles… but what’s next? Without a strategy, you’re taking a shot in the dark. For this reason, you should have a set of strategies (yes, a set!) that will help your healthcare business grow through social media.
One thing that should definitely be a part of your social media strategy is the use of videos (more on this later in the article) because it is one of the best ways to build trust and generate traffic. Thankfully, using the right set of tools such as InVideo makes it super easy to create videos within minutes, but more on that later, right now let’s take a look at what all we’ll cover in the article:
The strategies we’ll cover:
1. Educate your audience
2. Bust common myths
3. Work with influencers to tap into new audiences
4. Track performance with analytics
5. Let reviews and testimonials work for you
6. Focus on building a community through interaction
7. Run ad campaigns
As a healthcare brand, educating your audience is one of the most important and impactful social media strategies for you. The reason? In most cases, it exactly matches the audience’s intent of following your social media handle. Your audience came to your page for information, and if you don’t give it to them, they’ll look elsewhere.
You can execute information distribution using your healthcare social media handle in several ways. You can choose to create a video, share a blog post, or use a static image that contains some written information.
Typically, videos bring the most engagement than images. You can also share blog posts on your social media, but it’s commonly a redistribution method. You shouldn’t write a blog post with the purpose of putting it on social media, but if you already have a blog that you use for SEO, you can always redistribute that content through your social media.
Cleveland Clinic uses all of these methods, which is also an option. For instance, here’s a video they shared on their Facebook page:
It’s a quick one-minute video that teaches the audience about how to start an exercise program. The video could have just as easily been a static image with a bullet list of instructions, but remember, videos are more engaging for the audience. Plus, it’s much harder to show rather than tell when you rely only on text. Keeping that in mind, Cleveland Clinic has taken footage and edited it to add text and background music to the video.
If you want to create a similar video, you can rely on InVideo’s ready-to-use templates when you’re short on time. For instance, you’ll be able to create a similar video using the following template:
Just replace the footage and text in the template, add more effects and transitions if you wish to, and you’ll be able to export your HD video in a few minutes. Of course, you can also create videos from scratch if you want more flexibility. A clean slate is also an ideal choice when you want to create long-form videos like the following one from Cleveland Clinic:
Misinformation plagues the healthcare space.
For many people who aren’t from a medical background, healthcare can be a bit of a gray area. In a world where doctors are calling vaccines ineffective, you can provide your audience plenty of value by just being a reliable and trustworthy source of information.
While it will take you some time to establish yourself as an authority online, the long-term payoff can be significant for a healthcare brand. You can bust myths in several ways: conducting interviews with experts, citing research or a study, or having an expert speak directly with your audience through a video.
For instance, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare shares a video of Dr. Friall as she busts common myths about the coronavirus:
If you want to create a similar video, you should get the basics right. Get a tripod or gimbal to record shake-free footage, use a good microphone, and make sure you’re recording the video in a well-lit environment.
You can make your videos even more engaging by adding effects and transitions. Alternatively, you can use one of the InVideo healthcare templates to save the time you’d need to spend on editing. Here’s a template you can use to divide your video into myth-wise sections:
You may choose to preserve the background track and reduce the volume to make sure the person in the video is audible, or decide to remove the background track. If the frames feel a little bare-bones without a background track, you might consider adding voice-over. You should also add text for the speaker’s name and title at the bottom towards the beginning of the video, and if you want to add a logo as TMH does, here’s another template you can use:
Influencers are one of your greatest assets when you’re growing your social presence. Contrary to common belief, you don’t necessarily need a full-time influencer.
An influencer is anyone who has a large following on a digital platform, and this can include medical professionals who have a strong social media presence. And guess what? People trust doctors more than the content they read online. A survey reveals that 90% of its respondents said they’d trust a doctor’s recommendation over something they read online.
This gives you an opportunity to earn credibility by associating your brand with a reputed medical professional who has a strong online presence – aka an influencer in the healthcare space. You can build a professional relationship with such influential figures and confer credibility and authority that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve from any other marketing channel.
GoodMolecules went this route. The company sells products like moisturizers, serum, and toner, but so do many other companies. GoodMolecules decided to differentiate themselves by earning a popular medical influencer’s endorsement. They collaborated with Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, MD. She’s an internal medicine physician with a sizable Instagram following.
Here’s what Dr. Audrey shared:
So, why should someone trust Dr. Audrey? Well, she has a reputation to protect. For a doctor, reputation is even more important than other influencers. If they lose a patient’s trust, it’s hard to earn it back.
If you’re trying to implement this strategy, you have a few things to work on. First, is your product or service actually valuable from a customer’s point of view? If it’s a generic product or service that doesn’t offer tangibly better results, influencers might be reluctant about promoting it.
Second, you need to find an influencer who will want to promote your offering, have a target audience that matches yours, and most importantly, credibility. If you want to work with the most successful influencers, you’ll need to spend more, which brings us to the final consideration – your budget.
Once you have these figured out, reach out to an influencer (their email is usually in the bio) and make your case. If all goes well, you’ll be able to tap into a massive audience in a single hit.
Posting content consistently is key to succeeding on social media. Another critical element is variety. You can’t keep posting about the same thing and expect your audience to engage. However, certain types of posts will typically perform better than others, depending on your audience and brand. This is precisely why you'll need social media analytics.
You’ll still need to offer your audience a good variety of posts so things don’t become repetitive, but analytics can tell you what you should post more of the same to fast-track your healthcare social media account’s growth.
The challenge is that there's a bit of a learning curve here. Each platform has its own analytics board, so from getting acquainted with the interface to understanding what the metrics are telling you, there’s a little bit of content that you’ll need to absorb. The good thing is that you’ll find several tutorials online to help you understand analytics in a simple way:
Once you know how to read the analytics, you’ll need to optimize future content that you post on your social media handles accordingly. For instance, analytics will tell you at which time your posts receive the best engagement. Scheduling your posts using a social media management tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial can help you optimize your engagement metrics just by scheduling them to be posted at a certain time.
Social proof should be top-of-mind for a healthcare brand’s social media strategy. Why, you ask? Well, 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read online reviews when browsing for local businesses. Whether you’re a laboratory or a physician, chances are your customers and clients are looking you up on social media and search engines to look at what people are saying about you.
For this reason, both reviews and testimonials are a critical part of your social media strategy, but it’s a long-term strategy. When you have happy customers, ask them to leave an honest review on your social media handle. Over time, you’ll have accumulated a good number of reviews on social media.
As a bonus, reviews will also provide SEO value. Plus, you can also pull your social media reviews onto your website, which means this strategy can create assets that are useful even outside of your social media. Doing this can potentially bring people who visit your website to your social media page, where they can engage with your brand more frequently. Here’s an example of how you can add social reviews to your WordPress website:
Testimonials are an even more powerful way of having your clients advocate your brand. Instead of just having a five-star rating on your page, you can request the client to say a few words about what they liked about your product or how they thought your service was valuable to them.
You can use text-based testimonials, but using video testimonials is a more impactful strategy. Engagement is certainly a reason why it’s more impactful, but video testimonials can offer you a unique opportunity.
If you’re sitting with a client to record a video testimonial, you can ask them specific questions about their experience. In contrast to text-based testimonials, video testimonials allow you a certain degree of influence on the content you want to share. Instead of sharing something shallow like “I had an excellent experience with XYZ,” you can ask questions to the client to elicit a deeper, more meaningful response.
Here's an excellent example of how Gilroy Healthcare does its video testimonials:
Notice the video has been trimmed, which shows they cut out certain parts of the video to preserve the best parts. There are transitions in between to smooth out the breakpoints created after trimming.
When creating a testimonial video, you can use Gilroy Healthcare’s video as an example. Trim out anything that’s unimportant to make the video as crisp as possible. Ideally, aim to keep the video between one and three minutes. Then, add transitions and effects to give your video a professional touch. If you want to add an intro or outro like in Gilroy Healthcare’s video, you can use one of the InVideo templates to accomplish that quickly. Here’s an excellent example:
Don’t start your social media marketing efforts on the wrong foot. Instead of gauging your social media performance through the number of leads generated, think of your social media as a long-term game where you need to cultivate a sense of community before you can start getting returns on your investment.
So, how do you build a community? The best way to build an online community around your business is to interact with your audience. You can respond to comments that ask healthcare questions to a simple thank you to someone who appreciates your work.
For instance, here’s how Odyssey Management Dental Speaking & Consulting responds to a comment that shows appreciation:
If your healthcare social media handle has a much larger following, you can be (rather will need to be) more selective about which comments you respond to.
Aim to respond to comments that can encourage a healthy discussion, ask a question related to your business, or appreciate their experience with your brand, in that order. The key to consistently working towards building a community is to be in the right mindset of being passionate about helping people, rather than focusing on a business-related goal like branding or generating leads.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your DMs. People will often reach out to you with a direct message when they have a question or simply to show appreciation (though a lot of it will also be spam). While it takes plenty of effort to read the DMs and respond to them, it’s an excellent opportunity for you to build personal connections with your audience.
Think about it. Where else will you get the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with your target audience? Use this opportunity to convey that you’re capable of solving their queries and that you care. Over time, you’ll notice your community, and consequently, your social media account and business grow.
Social media ads are the perfect way to sustain your health social media account’s growth. From gaining initial traction to tapping into new audiences with hyper-targeted campaigns, ads are a critical component of any social media strategy.
When you run ads on social media, you’ll need to decide whether you want to create a video ad or a static ad. Marketers often rely on static ads when they’re short on time required for video editing. However, if you use an editor like InVideo, you’ll be able to shorten the time spent on editing significantly through ready-to-use templates and a user interface that’s a breeze to get comfy with.
Using video ads works in favor because it earns you a lot more engagement than static ads. Unsurprisingly, the US social network video ad spend is expected to grow by a massive 20.1% to $24.35 billion in 2022.
For instance, here’s a great video that you can use as an example:
You can create a similar video ad fairly easily with InVideo. For instance, here’s a template you can use to quickly create a video ad for your healthcare social media page:
If you want to run ads, you can also consider working with a digital marketing agency that has a team of experts to tackle your requirements. The best ones might cost you a fair bit, though.
If you’re only just getting started and want to try running ads yourself, we have complete guides on Facebook ads and Instagram ads that you can to get started. We’ve also got plenty of examples for creating healthcare ads. Once you’ve got a good amount of money flowing into the business, you can hand over your campaigns to a digital marketing agency.
Now that you’re aware of the most effective healthcare social media strategies to grow your presence online, let’s look at some of the things you need to keep in mind while implementing these strategies.
When you market your healthcare brand on social media, you should be mindful of social media best practices, especially in the context of healthcare. Following are some best practices that will help you grow and minimize the number of errors you commit while marketing your healthcare business on social media.
1. Go the extra mile to build your online community
An online community can be one of your biggest assets. It can be a source of valuable information and productive debates for your audience. However, you should consider going the extra mile with communities by giving them various modes to engage.
So, how do you go the extra mile? By building focused communities.
Facebook pages are an excellent place for your audience to interact in the comments section. But your Facebook page is about the big picture. If you’re a hospital, your audience can discuss anything from heart health to joint pain on your Facebook page.
Instead, you can create a separate community for people to talk about joint pain. Any posts in that community will more closely resonate with a member because they’re more likely to have a similar problem.
Cleveland Clinic does this beautifully by carving its audience into smaller communities:
They’re closed groups which means there’s no spam. Members can therefore participate in a moderated community where they can ask questions or contribute to discussions based on their experiences, consequently helping your marketing efforts.
2. Be careful about who you associate with
As a healthcare brand, you should only associate with credible professionals over social media. Reputation management is important for healthcare because it’s fundamental to your brand’s existence.
Think about it. Would you buy medicine from a brand that was endorsed by someone who has recently been convicted? Would you go to a hospital if one of its doctors that you saw in their social media video last week was charged with malpractice?
Trust is a healthcare brand’s biggest asset, and unlike other brands, you can’t dust off a bad association as easily as brands in a different industry can.
3. Schedule your post at the right time
So, you’ve probably heard that posting on your social media handles at 2 in the morning isn’t the best strategy, and that you can optimize the engagement metrics simply by posting at the right time. However, did you know that the optimum time to post also differs based on your industry and the social media platform?
Sprout Social says that the best time for a healthcare brand to send out posts is:
- Facebook: 11 a.m. on any day between Monday and Friday
- Instagram: 8 a.m. to noon or 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, and 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sundays
- Twitter: 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays
4. Diversify your social media channels (but not too much)
It’s important to diversify your social media channels for several reasons, like changes in the algorithm or a platform’s popularity in the long term. However, managing too many social media channels can sometimes require you to spread yourself too thin, especially if you’re a small team. What you should do is pick social media platforms where your target audience hangs out.
Let’s also look at what the numbers suggest. Based on a study by Convince and Convert, hospitals rely on Facebook and Twitter more (posting an average of two times a day), and less on Instagram (posting an average of less than once a day).
There’s a bit of a quandary here when you look at the engagement rates revealed by the report, with Instagram and YouTube offering higher engagements and still being used less frequently by hospitals. Here’s a summary of platform-wise average posts per day and average engagement from the report:
Source: Convince and Convert
If you’re looking to pick a social media platform for your healthcare brand, you should certainly choose Facebook, as it seems to be the most popular platform among brands in the healthcare space. If your product can be presented in a more visual way and appeals largely to millennials or younger generations, Instagram is a good second choice.
5. Stay HIPAA-compliant
Non-compliance with HIPAA can sometimes turn into a nightmare with all the hefty penalties it brings. As a healthcare brand, you should always be mindful of HIPAA regulations and medical ethics codes. You should never share any information without a patient’s consent, or information that can be used to identify a specific patient, such as a description of their physique.
That’s not all, though. There are certain rules that HIPAA prescribes, specifically in the context of social media. Make sure that your social media management team is fully aware of the rules prescribed by HIPAA. Doing this will ensure you never land in legal hot waters and tarnish your reputation.
Social media management is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a crucial part of every marketing strategy, and will likely become an even bigger part in the near future. While there’s extraordinary potential for marketing your brand through social media, you should be cognizant of the fact that it’s a fairly saturated playing field. Unless you differentiate yourself from the crowd, you’ll end up with low engagement, which translates to poor ROI.
What you need is a robust set of healthcare social media marketing strategies that will help you grow your social media account at a decent pace. Most social media strategies produce results in the long-term, except a select few like running ads. You’ll need to be patient, but you’ll witness the benefits of your investment in social media as time passes.
What you need to remember, especially if you’re a small business, is that you should focus on productivity rather than perfection. You don’t need to overwork yourself trying to produce content. Remember, having the right set of tools is the best decision you can make.
For instance, having a user-friendly editor like InVideo makes producing video content a breeze, especially with its massive library of ready-to-use templates. Should you have any questions, you can go to the InVideo YouTube channel and find a tutorial for pretty much any InVideo feature.