6 Tips to Master Social Media Marketing for Doctors
By Amanda Weber
Social media marketing is powerful. Online social networking platforms are simply a great place to promote your practice. That’s because your potential new patients are already on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more.
Marketing on social media can help build your practice by:
- Establishing a strong online presence
- Attracting new patients and foot traffic
- Nurturing your existing patient base through engagement
- Showcasing thought leadership in your area(s) specialization
- Building a trusted reputation for high-quality healthcare
- Demonstrating authority within your niche
In this article, we’ll cover why social media marketing is effective as well as several tips you can use to start promoting your practice on social media right now.
Social media is a viable marketing option for any doctor. We’ll show you how to make it effective for your practice.
Why Social Media Marketing Works
Social media marketing works due to the vast, diverse audience accessible through online social channels.
There are currently over 4.48 billion active social media users. That’s about 56.8% of the global population.
What’s more, a good number of social browsers use social media to research commercial products and services. This marketing approach is so effective that it appeals to more than 90% of marketers in medium-sized and large enterprises.
Why? In part because social media allows marketers to interact directly with potential customers. That makes social media marketing uniquely powerful.
It doesn’t matter if you’re leading the marketing efforts for a large regional medical facility or a small private practice. Either way, social media is an effective way to pull in new patients.
How to Start Using Social Media Now
Whether you’re just building your first practice or an established doctor with years of experience, you can’t go wrong with social media marketing.
However, you have to really commit to it. The benefits of social media marketing payout over time.
If you’re just getting started, here are a few tips to get you started.
Define Your Ideal Patient
First, you have to define your ideal patient based on your professional specialization.
There are types of medicine you do and don’t practice. You can easily narrow down the kind of patients you’re seeking based on your areas of focus.
Then learn more about those patients in your area. Paint as complete a picture as you can. Typical target audience demographic information includes:
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
This matters because different types of folks use different social networks. When you know who your ideal patient is, you can combine that information with user data for different social networks.
If your potential patients are largely on Facebook, you don’t want to spend all your time marketing on Instagram.
Focus On the Mainstream Social Networks
There are more social media networks in operation than you could possibly include in your strategy. But that’s okay. The biggest players in the industry have the lion's share of users and, consequently, the largest marketing potential.
You’ll want to focus on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. We say “or” instead of “and” because in the beginning, it’s best to focus on one.
Facebook is the king of social media. For many doctors, it’s a great starting point. But the ideal patient information you’ve put together will help you decide if there’s a better social media network to start with.
In time, a multi-channel social marketing campaign may be worth pursuing. Marketing on more than one platform can give you a wider reach. But remember, social media marketing requires a commitment.
Start with one. When you feel you have a solid foundation laid, build on it.
Develop a Different Marketing Strategy for Each Platform
When you get to the point that you're marketing on multiple social media platforms, you'll need a unique game plan for each.
That’s because every platform has its own way of presenting information to users. Plus, each comes with a specific set of marketing tools on the backend. You’ll want to choose an appropriate strategy based on the platform—one that aligns with the audience's expectations for each channel.
For instance, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are ideal for promoting consumer products and services. But LinkedIn favors professional B2B engagements.
Cross-Promote Your Social Accounts
Provide users with the option to choose their preferred social media platform when interacting with your business.
For instance, give them the ability to switch from your website to your Facebook page or Twitter handle. All you have to do is include links on your website and in marketing emails.
Create and Share Quality Content
Content quality is key when it comes to social media marketing.
Create content that's not only relevant to your audience but also intriguing and provocative. In social media, it’s really the stories that sell, not the products or services.
Personify your practice and ensure every post makes a human connection that draws the desired reaction. To support the heartwarming stories, enrich your posts with vivid images and videos for maximum engagement. Studies show that videos have much higher conversion rates than plain text.
Plus, videos are more comprehensible, engaging, compelling, and memorable.
Another thing about social content is that it should encourage discussions. Create posts around interesting topics that stimulate conversations among readers. Also, be sure to respond to questions and comments promptly to keep the dialogs going.
Track Your Social Media Performance
To ensure you're getting the best results from social marketing, you need to track and measure your performance.
Some of the metrics you should look at include:
- Number of followers
- Engagements and shares on Facebook
- Number of likes on Instagram
- Retweets, mentions, and impressions on Twitter
- Interactions, impressions, and clicks on LinkedIn
Keeping an eye on these metrics will also give you an idea of the marketing strategies that work best with your audience.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind.
- Post regularly and consistently.
- Join healthcare-related communities, including other doctors’ groups and pages.
- Partner with influencers and micro-influencers wherever possible.
- Experiment with sponsored posts.
- Borrow cues from your competitors.
- Add subtle but compelling CTAs in every post.
Get Started Now
Social media marketing is an evolving and continuous process. You have to constantly create and track content across all your social media accounts.
While it takes time to build a large following to start reaping tangible benefits, it’s worth it. It can absolutely help you grow your practice.