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Best Practices for Social Media for Health Businesses

Thumbnail for the blog post, "What Is the Best Social Media Network for Healthcare Businesses?"

Developing strategic social media marketing doesn’t only start with planning and posting your content across social media networks. These platforms differ in how they work, the types of content to post, and the ways they can help you target your audience. This makes it overwhelming for some healthcare brands to find the best social media tool for their marketing strategies that will help them meet their goals.

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for all businesses, though healthcare businesses seem to lag in this area. With an effective social media content strategy, you can use social media for health outreach to reach a larger audience, build your brand, and expand your reach. In this blog post, we will explore the best social media network for healthcare businesses and how to use them to your advantage when creating a successful social media presence.

Benefits of Using Social Media Marketing for Healthcare Businesses

Social media marketing for health benefits your healthcare business and your target audience. Awareness of common ailments, education beyond the walls of the office or hospital, and the ability to receive advice from an expert are essential for healthcare consumers. The engagement of people on social media can also aid in assisting people in remote locations.

Healthcare professionals and consumers can benefit from factual information posted on social media by an expert. You win by offering professional advice, and healthcare consumers win by receiving free resources provided through patient education. You can also share journal articles through your social media page for health promotion, engaging other healthcare professionals.

There are always opportunities for covering trending topics regarding patient care. Increasing awareness of trending and common issues in healthcare presented in a concise, easy-to-read post is another way your healthcare business can use social media for health awareness. The need for accurate information on social media is significant, and the public wants the highest standard of sources your company can provide.

Social Media for Health Businesses: Utilizing Different Platforms for Healthcare Engagement

As healthcare professionals running businesses, we must focus on expanding that business, increasing our networking opportunities, and providing factual information to our target audiences through social media for health.

LinkedIn is particularly useful for networking; every healthcare professional should have one. LinkedIn can quickly promote your business, and you can build connections with other healthcare professionals with similar interests, even those serving in remote locations. That said, the audience is limited to professionals and other companies.

Marketing your business through social media can expand your opportunities and bring in new clients. Most of your patients are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Keep in mind that when you utilize a social media platform for health marketing, each has its algorithm to learn, so starting with one and expanding from there may be the best choice for you.

How Can Healthcare Businesses Use a Social Media Network to Reach Their Target Audiences?

Your target audience is the population you want to reach, the people you want to speak to. Naturally, you want to identify your target audience before building your social media marketing strategy. In other words, niche down and market to your specific, well-defined audience using social media for health communication. For example, if your business is a Heart Failure Clinic, your target audience would be anyone with heart failure, a friend or family member of someone with heart failure, or anyone who wants to learn about the condition. Find out what they want and provide content that meets their needs.

Social media networks communication on mobile app

Below are some specific ways to reach your target audience using social media for health engagement:

1. Humanize Yourself

Would it surprise you to find out that one-third of people are afraid to go to their doctor? Healthcare businesses on social media can alleviate iatrophobia, or the fear of doctors, by doing one simple thing—humanizing healthcare professionals. Build your content to reach out to your target audience, strive to be relatable, and remind your audience that you are just like them, a person on social media for health communication.

2. Educate your Audience

So your audience likes you because you’re a person; what comes next? Precisely what do you want to achieve? Teach them something! You can provide the highest standard of healthcare education to your followers through social media for health education. Do you want to teach them about heart failure, cancer, or women’s health? This step is when niching down comes into play.

As a healthcare professional, you already do patient education in your sleep; now, put it on your page in a catchy and fun way. Theme your days, such as Medical Myth Monday or Story Day Saturday. Be creative! You are an expert in your niche and must market yourself that way.

3. Inspire Interaction

Encourage your followers to comment and prompt conversations on social media for health topics. Engage in the discussion by replying to their comments. Do whatever it takes to elicit responses and increase traffic on your page, be it polls, questions, or asking for your follower’s opinions on topics. Use some of the information they present to you to build more content, called user-generated content. This process shows them that you are paying attention and responding specifically to them.

4. Use Content Effectively

Use content that your audience responds to on social media for health education. You can assess their needs by seeing what posts have the most traffic and draw the most attention and interaction. Effectively use hashtags to expand your reach. For example, hashtags such as #heartfailure, #advancedheartfailure, #LVAD, and #heart would be hashtags a Heart Failure Clinic would use. Finally, make shareable content, such as infographics, memes, and videos, for your followers to share.

Types of Content to Post for Healthcare Brands on Social Media

While scrolling social media, what catches your eye? Is it memes? Videos? Quotes? Storytime?

If it catches your eye, it will likely catch your target audience’s eyes, too. Create your healthcare social media strategy and plan for what content you will post and when. You can use apps and services to post your content at specific times and dates.

Here are some specific examples of content your healthcare business could utilize to reach your target audience:

  • Infographics: Use infographics to present information in an easy-to-read, colorful, eye-catching fashion. You can develop infographics to share on your page and educate your followers on a healthcare topic or even use them to explain a complex concept in a simplified manner.
  • Memes: Create memes using any image of your choosing, even a selfie. These are useful for comical posts or delivering content you consider a one-liner.
  • Videos: Videos are a great way to discuss healthcare content, and healthcare businesses can use them for as short or as long as necessary to get the point across. Reels, TikTok, and full-length videos can deliver the content you wish to put into the world. You can use them to answer questions from your audience or even share a little about yourself.
  • Storytelling: Storytelling is a teaching method as old as time and brings people together. In medicine, we use case studies. Imagine presenting a case study to your audience and offering for them to figure out what is wrong with your hypothetical patient.
  • Themed Days for Content: Have you ever heard of Throwback Thursday? If not, it is a social media trend where you post a picture of yourself from the past to compare it to your current self. To connect with your audience, you can present themed days that you create and develop content weeks in advance based on your planned strategy.

Developing a successful social media account for your healthcare business can be a daunting task, but it’s completely doable with the right content marketing strategy. The most effective social media network for healthcare businesses is the one where their target audiences are. Start today by niching down and figuring out who your target audience is and what social media network they use. Then get to work on building content for your page. Remember, be your authentic self, and have fun engaging with your audience!

References

Barnhart, B. (2020, July 23). Social media and healthcare: how to prioritize what patients need. Sprout Social. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-in-healthcare/ 

Beveridge, C. (2022, October 11). How to use social media in healthcare: Examples + tips. Hootsuite. https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-health-care/ 

Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Iatrophobia (fear of doctors). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22191-iatrophobia-fear-of-doctors#:~:text=Specific%20phobic%20disorders%20affect%20about,think%20they%20need%20medical%20care 

King, M. (2022, April 1). 9 ways healthcare marketers should utilize social media. Hubspot. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-healthcare-industry 

Meg. (2023, March 30. 15 free hashtag tracking tools – from the experts – 2023. Talkwalker. https://www.talkwalker.com/blog/6-free-hashtag-tracking-tools-from-the-experts

Soldera, B. (2022, December 20). What is the role of infographics in healthcare? The Journal of mHealth. https://thejournalofmhealth.com/what-is-the-role-of-infographics-in-healthcare/ 

About the Author

Kirsten Gonzalez MSN, APRN, ACNPC-AG
Kirsten Gonzalez MSN, APRN, ACNPC-AG

Kirsten Gonzalez MSN, APRN, ACNPC-AG has served ten years in the nursing profession and currently works as a Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse Practitioner and extends her expertise in healthcare topics by writing blog posts and articles. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and dog and enjoys traveling to new places and eating the local cuisine.

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