As a healthcare company, using social media as part of your strategic marketing plan is vital to communicating the value and credibility of your company and of the healthcare system as a whole. According to Kyruus’s 2017 Patient Access Journey Report, 53% of consumers have used the internet to find a new healthcare provider. This illustrates that patients are increasingly seeking healthcare provider information online, as opposed to through physician referrals and word-of-mouth.
Many healthcare providers are using social media to grow a community, share information, and to promote their organization. When implemented correctly, social media can provide your patients and prospective patients with a platform to find helpful information, share testimonials, and engage with other patients. Learn more about the benefits associated with using social media as a healthcare provider here.
There are several social networks that healthcare professionals should consider incorporating into their healthcare marketing plan; however, social media platforms are constantly changing and it is important to stay on top of the latest trends. In this article, we will discuss Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. Stay tuned for Social Media Trends for Healthcare Companies: Part Two, where we will discuss Twitter and LinkedIn!
Facebook Social Media Marketing Trends for Healthcare Companies
Although it may seem like a strange space to promote your business and services, Facebook is an ever-growing social media platform that can add value to your marketing plan. In 2016, 86% of the American population were internet users, and 79% of those internet users logged on to Facebook daily!
Just because your patients are using Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to reach them. Aside from paying for Facebook ads or boosting posts, how can a healthcare company go about gaining more page likes and followers? The answer is simple – engagement. Producing engaging content that your audience will want to like, share, and comment on will organically boost your social media presence.
Creating Engaging Facebook Content Using Photos and Videos
An effective way to create engaging content on Facebook is by using video, which is an ever-growing social media marketing trend in all areas of industry (cooking, crafts, talk shows, etc.). In 2014, Facebook introduced its own video platform, which allows users to submit videos directly to Facebook. Previously, videos had to be embedded from other sources such as YouTube or Vimeo.
Facebook videos greatly increase organic reach, and automatically begin playing when they appear in an individual’s news feed – helping to quickly grab the individual’s attention. Key things to remember when creating a Facebook video include,
- Create for mobile – Your video may look amazing on your desktop, but how does it look on your cell-phone or tablet?
- Upload directly to Facebook – The video will automatically play in the viewer’s newsfeed and will not prompt users to click through to another website.
- Introduce your brand early – Viewers scroll through their newsfeeds quickly. Introducing your brand in the first 3-5 seconds of your video is key to increasing brand exposure!
- Be inclusive – Using subtitles to narrate your video will allow viewers who have their sound off, as well as those with a hearing impairment, to still enjoy watching.
We expand more on healthcare video marketing trends in this article.
One of Facebook’s newest features for business pages and advertisers is the ability to create carousel ads that can be used with both images and video. This allows business page owners to create posts that feature several products or services at a time. Since Facebook is all about “telling a story,” it allows advertisers to break up the story into easy-to-digest bites. For example, a carousel ad could feature four short videos that illustrate how a patient can use a specific healthcare company’s product in each of the four seasons.
Sharing stories using video is a useful tactic for healthcare companies using social media, as it provides physicians and healthcare professionals with a more flexible and engaging medium to educate patients or clients on the products or services being offered.
Reinforcing Professionalism and Credibility Through Design
Professionalism and credibility are very important for any business, especially in the healthcare industry. The aesthetics of your business’ Facebook page should emulate the professional and credible business that you are promoting. Special care should be taken when designing the different elements of a Facebook page, including profile pictures, cover photos, and the actual Facebook posts that you make on a day-to-day basis.
When creating design elements for your social media channels, it is important to remember the following:
- Less is more – Be succinct, as you want viewers to contact you for more information.
- Use a font that is big and bold – Bold font will help to draw viewers’ attention to the message you are conveying.
- Use vivid color & engaging photos – In the fast-paced social media world, viewers will stop and appreciate a well-photographed and detailed image.
- Animation – Depending on the channel, when viewers scroll and land on a video it will automatically start playing. Animated videos help to grab viewers’ attention.
- Harmonious experiences – Design should be consistent with that of your website and overall branding.
Is your website up-to-date on the most current trends for healthcare companies? If you feel as if your website may be outdated, contact us, or read our blog post on Healthcare Website Design Trends!
Instagram Social Media Marketing Trends for Healthcare Companies
Instagram is primarily used by younger generations. This Facebook-owned social network is all about images and short video clips. One major distinguishing factor about Instagram is the inability to put links on posts (unless you are using Instagram ads); you are only allowed to have a single link in your biography. We recommend that this link should take a user to either a contact page, or a featured product/service page.
It is still beneficial to grow an organic audience on Instagram – especially since Instagram has the highest engagement level among the top social networks. When looking at engagement data on a “per-follower” basis, 2-7% of viewers interacted with each post. To put this into perspective, a post on Instagram with 500 likes would only receive 4 likes on Twitter and 9 likes on Facebook.
What does this mean for healthcare companies when it comes to using Instagram?
If your products or services are targeted at users 35 years of age and younger, utilizing Instagram would be an excellent way to build brand awareness. Facebook owns Instagram; thus, they share the same advertising platform, allowing healthcare companies to hyper-target their advertisements on Instagram to reach a very specific audience who would be interested in their products and services.
How effective is your company’s presence on social media? Are you reaching the right audiences? How do you stack up against competitors? Find out with our free social media assessment!
YouTube Social Media Marketing Trends for Healthcare Companies
YouTube has been around for quite a while and remains one of the most heavily used social media networks. In the United States alone, 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute and over 8 years of video are watched each day!
While you shouldn’t expect your procedures or product demonstrations to go viral, YouTube is a wonderful way to boost your website’s search engine optimization by embedding videos on your relevant website pages. This will not only bring more visitors to your website, it will improve your company’s ability to educate and turn these visitors into paying customers.
One popular YouTube marketing trend to pay attention to, if you sell a physical product online, is “unboxing” videos. One in five people on YouTube watch unboxing videos showing a real customer unpacking (“unboxing”) a product and presenting it to the viewer. These videos are a way to advertise your healthcare products vicariously through one of your customers. Alternatively, your clinic could “unbox” a product, assemble it (if assembly is required) and demonstrate how a patient would use it.
If your healthcare company has any advertising videos or commercials that were created before the rise of YouTube, then a fantastic (and budget-friendly) way to gain exposure for your brand is by uploading these previously created assets to YouTube and then sharing them across your other social media accounts.
YouTube Cards to Boost Lead Generation
If you’ve gone as far as to upload your past video advertisements to YouTube and are sharing them across your existing social media platforms – great! But did you know that you can include call-to-action buttons that link to your website, social media accounts and other videos from within a particular video?
The Social Media Examiner explains how to use this tactic quite nicely. Here are the quick and dirty benefits:
- Link to your website – This shows Google that your website is a reputable source for information.
- Link to your other social media channels – Not everything you post as a business on social media will be in video format; therefore, not everything you post can live on YouTube. Linking to your other social media channels will introduce viewers to those channels and additional content pertaining to your company.
- Link to your other related videos on YouTube – If you have more than one video on a particular topic, you can link to the related video(s). This gives viewers additional information about your brand – keeping them engaged.
Not sure which channels are right for your company? Confused as to what to post? Creating a social media strategy prior to beginning to use your accounts will help ensure you have a reliable guide to follow, and help to minimize the chances of professional blunders.
Click here to view part two of Social Media Trends for Healthcare Companies