Do you know how to get the most out of social media for your business? In the healthcare industry, it may seem like social media is optional, but truly, social media marketing is essential for all industries if you ask me.
Nowhere else on the web can you interact with prospective and existing patients like you can on Facebook and Twitter, which is why more companies around the globe are investing in social media marketing.
Facebook is highly social, which is good for business. People tend to tell stories, share inspiring images, quotes, and checklists, talk about news headlines, and express their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with local businesses. Facebook users also like to engage in contests – photo contests, general sweepstakes, and much more.
So why is Facebook good for business? If someone recommends your services to a friend on Facebook, it has the power of word-of-mouth referral times 10. Why? People who are friends with your happy patients will discover your practice without the influence of an ad. Google also favors websites that have a lot of organic traffic, so Facebook can actually boost your search engine rank. The same goes for some other social platforms, namely Twitter and Google +.
If you do Facebook right, it can be one of the least expensive and most effective marketing strategies you use this year.
If you do want to invest in Facebook ads, the iHealthSpot marketing team can help you target those ads specifically to people you want as patients.
Facebook (and Twitter) ads can be targeted to people of a certain age, profession or job title, city/state, and many other demographics that are captured in social media profiles. This is not possible on any other marketing platforms, like radio, TV, or print ads. Because of this, many companies are putting more money into their marketing budget for social media. In fact, some businesses are putting social media at the foundation of their marketing plan to drive growth. To get the most out of your social media marketing budget, it pays to hire a professional unless you have someone on staff who can dedicate a minimum of 5-10 hours per week to social efforts.
A social media marketing strategy should include enough time (and financial resources) to research your target audience, create a social media campaign (and content) that will speak to your audience, execute that campaign, foster engagement and generate a buzz about your brand during the campaign, and analyze the results. A social marketing professional will know how to use the latest technology and online tools to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Unfortunately, only a small portion (< 5%) of your Facebook fans will see your posts in their news feed, but an expert can help boost your visibility on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.
Still not convinced the healthcare industry doesn’t need social media marketing? Consider these statistics from HubSpot.
- 42% of marketers say Facebook is critical or important to their business. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
- The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75%. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
- 62% of marketers said social media became more important to the marketing campaigns in the last 6 months. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
- 80% of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
Want to review the basics of social media for healthcare professionals? Check out part 1 of this series.