5 tactics to up your social media game

Update your hospital’s social strategy for 2015

Social media has made leaps and bounds since its inception back in the early 2000s. Not only have consumers changed how they use each social channel, but so have businesses and organizations. There has been a lot of trial and error, but it seems to finally be hitting its stride. Of course, as soon as we say that, everything is bound to change again, but it’s a fun medium to keep up with and see how organizations use it to creatively connect with their audiences. Below are 5 new trends in social marketing that hospitals and physician practices can adopt to revamp their social strategy in 2015.

1. Post video on Facebook

Is your hospital still only posting videos on YouTube? It may be time to add Facebook to the mix. Since June 2014, Facebook has reported an average of 1 billion video posts per day, and 76% of Facebook users said the majority of videos they watch are on Facebook. Think about it: patients may not think to seek out a health video, but if they scroll by it on their news feeds, and it’s relevant, they’re likely to watch it. Bonus points if it’s engaging because videos posted on Facebook make it that much easier for patients to share it with their friends, whether they ‘like’ it, comment on it, or even repost it on their personal profile. Start posting your videos on both channels to test where they perform best.

2. The best things in life are free (except social media)

While social media was never really free once you factored in the time and resources that go into managing social profiles, it’s now next to impossible to not pay for any social posts or ads. Facebook has been decreasing business posts in users’ news feeds for a while, and now overly promotional content will have even less distribution among page fans. So what does this mean? It means you’ll have to invest a little cash into promoted posts to make them worth your while. Only pay for posts that will drive conversions so you can measure their effectiveness. Community-related posts will perform better organically due to their shareable factor.

3. Use Pinterest to make your content evergreen

Content marketing and Pinterest have become the new super team in healthcare marketing. When you post inbound content on your hospital’s website or Facebook page, you may feel like it’s popular for a day or a week, but then it drops off into the abyss of the Internet. Pinterest solves that problem. Pins become more popular over time and make their way to bigger and bigger audiences. The other great thing about posting your content on Pinterest is that patients are in a frame of mind to digest healthcare content, compared to other social channels. Pinterest users are aspirational. They pin recipes they’d like to try, exercises they’d like to do and health tips or FAQs to keep as a mental note. Appeal to this mindset with your inbound content to extend its shelf life.

4. Partner with local bloggers

Did you know that 81% of US consumers trust advice and information from blogs? Many big brands partner with mommy bloggers and fashion bloggers to help promote their products, but hospitals and healthcare providers can also use this tactic. 79% of bloggers accept advertising to monetize their blog. Sponsored or ‘native’ healthcare content allows your hospital to tell a much more detailed story than a print or display ad. Whatever service you’re looking to promote, find a way to make it interesting to that blogger’s readers, such as guest posts from physicians or private tours of a new maternity wing.

5. Build community

Patients today don’t just want to hear about others’ stories, they want to start a dialogue. Women especially are looking for a space to swap stories, experiences and advice. Using your hospital’s social channels, create a space for patients to do just this. It could be in the form of a Twitter chat, a Facebook group or a message board. No matter the medium, act as a moderator, but don’t try to direct the conversation. Establish it as a space to encourage support and help patients to achieve their health goals, and then step back and listen.

Download our white paper, The State of Social Media 2015, for all 8 tactics to update your hospital’s social media strategy. Or dig deeper into the new realities of the ever-changing marketing world with the healthcare marketing book, “In Search of Good Medicine,” written by our very own, Mark Shipley.