The world of healthcare marketing is always evolving, and that’s especially true when it comes to social media. Simply churning out a few posts each week with basic information isn’t going to cut it—you need relevant, interesting content that resonates with your audience and inspires action.
If you’re trying to take your healthcare social media marketing to the next level, here are a few ideas to get you on the right track.
1. Be relatable and conversational with your voice.
Tone is everything with healthcare marketing. Write in a voice that’s warm and relatable, but also make sure you’re coming off as reliable and trustworthy.
The key to being conversational is writing how you’d actually talk—which sounds obvious, but it’s easier said than done. Here are a few things to consider when trying to strike that tone: Stick with personal pronouns including “we” and “us” instead of using the third person when referring to your health system; use easily understandable synonyms when possible (e.g. “emergency” instead of “emergent”); and use contractions wherever you can.
2. Identify and promote service lines with the most room to grow.
Hospital service lines have varying capacity, so promote the ones with the most potential. Newer service lines are a great place to start, as these typically don’t have the patient base of more established lines. You’ll also want to focus on areas poised for growth, so pay attention when new medical equipment is purchased and/or new staff is hired. And keep in mind that your health system’s medical group director or the head of the physician network usually know where there’s capacity, so they can be a great resource when available.
3. Welcome new people.
One of the best ways to get a new employee started on the right foot is to greet them via social media. Let everyone know you’re excited they’re part of the team, what expertise they bring to the table, and maybe include a fun fact or two about them. And when possible, be sure to welcome everyone new to the organization—not just physicians and leadership.
4. Capitalize on good PR.
Public relations are a key part of hospital communications, and they give you lots of opportunities to share all the good your organization is doing in the world. Examples of good PR to highlight in social media include industry awards, new service lines, important medical advancements, achievement of key milestones, local partnerships, and upcoming events out in the community or at one of your facilities. Sharing PR wins is also one of the best ways to get buy-in from the surrounding community, as these are larger stories that typically touch many lives.
5. Don’t overpromise or guarantee outcomes.
It’s important to be careful what you promise when writing healthcare social media—and you definitely can’t guarantee any type of health outcome.
Here’s an example: Let’s say one of your physical therapists teaches a weekly yoga class for expecting moms at the hospital, and you want to promote it. It’s fine to say, “yoga can help with flexibility, strength, and overall well-being.” But it’s not okay to say, “yoga will help with flexibility, strength, and overall well-being.” The distinction is minor, but the implications are major: You simply can’t promise outcomes since everyone’s experience is different.
6. Use all the avenues available to you.
Chances are good you’re already using Facebook and Twitter to promote your health system—and maybe Instagram, too. But there are other platforms out there you should consider using, and one of the most important is LinkedIn. It’s a great way to connect with possible new employees, and to network with community and industry leaders who can share your message. And while they aren’t as writing heavy, it’s also good to pay attention to YouTube and Pinterest—especially if you’re trying to connect with a younger audience.
7. Provide great health information—and connect it with local resources.
This might be the most important tip of all. Give your audience useful health information that can improve their quality of life, and make sure they’re connected to the right local resources—but don’t provide direct medical advice or discuss medical questions. You should typically focus on preventive measures to improve overall health, and you can also call out community health issues and ways to help fix them.
For example: Want to help people in your community quit smoking or vaping? Post a few facts about why quitting is a good idea, then let people know when and where they can find local cessation classes sponsored by your health system—and maybe consider providing a small incentive to help convince them to go (e.g. a $5 Starbucks gift card).
Healthcare social media marketing doesn’t have to be complicated.
And it shouldn’t be if you follow these tips. Be smart, relevant, friendly, and consistent, and you’ll be surprised just how much social media can boost your health system’s profile in your community and beyond. And if you ever need any help with your healthcare content or marketing strategy, give us a shout—we’d love to chat.