Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but you might be hesitant to use it to promote your private practice. In reality, all businesses can benefit from building a strong social presence — including yours. Here’s a closer look at how you can benefit from social media.
The push for authenticity and personalized interactions has impacted every industry. In fact, you could argue that healthcare is one where feeling connected to your patients is particularly important. After all, the work you do directly impacts their well-being. So, getting on social media is a chance to showcase your values, team members, and all the things you do to support your community.
Social media is a public form of communication, so it can serve your practice in two ways. First, it allows you a more constant, direct way to stay top-of-mind with your existing patients. Second, it provides a glimpse at what you do for patients who may be considering your services. In all cases, using social media correctly can help validate your expertise.
As a bonus, a great social media presence could even help you attract top talent. By consistently creating posts that naturally show off your practice’s friendly, people-centric culture, the best people in your area are going to gravitate towards your business and seek out opportunities to be a part of the fantastic community you’re building.
Organic Social Media Strategies
Getting active on social media doesn’t have to cost your practice a dime. However, it will take a substantial time investment for you to really see results. The good news is, your ROI is only going to multiply as your following grows.
To help focus your efforts, pick just one to three social media platforms where you think your audience is most likely to engage with your content. You might even start with three and narrow it down to one or two once you have a few months of data to work with. The goal with social media isn’t to be everywhere at once, it’s to meet your target audience wherever they’re most perceptive to interacting with your business.
Once you have picked a platform (or three), the good news is that you don’t have to create social media content from scratch. Coming up with fresh ideas can be tough, especially if you don’t have a dedicated writer on your staff. So, learning how to repurpose content and promote user-generated content (UGC) is a big deal. Here are some organic strategies and tips.
- Claim a hashtag that’s short, memorable, and brandable. This is a great way to create a little community on an otherwise huge social network.
- Use a local hashtag. Using your city, state, region, or county hashtag will help those in your local area come across your content.
- Choose your hashtags with care. Don’t add 20 to a post. Instead, stick to 3-5 hashtags that are truly relative to the content so more people can find it.
- Stock photos will work in a pinch to add visual interest to your post, but it’s best to opt for original photos when you can.
- Grab a camera (or smartphone) and take some photos of your office, team, equipment, and other areas that might be of interest. Keep them in a folder so you don’t have to take a new photo for every post.
- Include a watermark on your post for added branding and to help prevent others on the web from claiming it as their own.
- Planning content 2-4 weeks in advance will help you stay ahead of a posting schedule, so you don’t ghost your followers for long periods.
- Content that you post on one social media platform can often be posted (with some formatting changes) to your other social pages.
- Focus on content that shows off your clinic’s people, services, and expertise in an engaging way.
- Creating different series can help you generate ideas regularly. Examples include “Staff Hot Takes,” “Meet Our Team,” and “Guess What This Thing Does.”
- Consider running hashtag challenges and community events from time to time, whether for charity, bragging rights, or a prize (i.e., free teeth whitening session).
- Buffer will allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, saving you time and helping you post more consistently.
- Canva is great for designing social posts for all platforms. With thousands of free templates and elements, you can’t go wrong.
- Google Analytics can help you track how your social media posts are driving traffic to your website.
Paid Social Media Strategies
Paying for ads on social media is an effective way to grow your following and drive traffic to your website. If you’re thinking about running paid ads on social media, you need to do your research into your target demographics and make sure that they’re actually using your chosen platform.
If you decide to run paid social ads, you should also do your research regarding the types of ads that perform best. For instance, Facebook video ads perform amazingly well, but most people watch them on silent, so including on-screen captions is a must for engagement.
As with any ad, you’ll also want to make sure that your social ads follow a few best practices, like:
- Straightforward language that isn’t cryptic or superfluous.
- Interesting visuals that don’t look rigid or staged.
- A strong call-to-action that prompts the user to follow, learn more, visit, or book.
All aspects of writing ad copy can be daunting, but the call-to-action is especially important. It needs to be clear and direct, and there should be an obvious way (i.e., a button) to follow through on it. The landing page your ad leads to is equally important, so take some time designing your campaigns to ensure the best results.
Leveling Up With Social Media
Your practice can get started using social media in a matter of minutes. In fact, setting up your brand’s accounts is the easy part — the tougher challenge is following through with consistent, engaging content.
As time goes on, you’ll learn what works best with your audience and be able to get that much more engagement with every post. It will take some trial and error, but once you get going, you’ll see that social media is a worthwhile endeavor for your practice.