Like practicing medicine, marketing a medical practice requires precision and experience with the appropriate instruments for optimal results. One of the most easily accessible and effective marketing channels available to physician practices is social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. While usually thought to be the dominion of consumer products and services, medical practices can find that these channels provide a cost-effective and powerful tool in their marketing strategy. One common misconception that many practices have is that their social media marketing can be the same across all platforms when the opposite is true: each platform will require different types of content for optimal engagement.
Content best suited for Facebook
Facebook’s audience has skewed more toward a baby boomer demographic, making it the ideal platform for content trying to reach this target audience. Facebook interactions can be ultimately designed to be more detailed and immersive, typically lead by a teaser or lead designed to grab attention and linked back to more detailed marketing content for the practice. Practices also can use the social networking component of Facebook to have their own page, allowing for sharing of content and reviews, which are becoming increasingly important to individual consumers.
Content best suited for Instagram
Instagram content is inherently more visually based due to the nature of the platform. Whereas Facebook can provide a platform to provide detailed information to drive patient interaction and decisions, Instagram can more be thought of as a branding platform for the practice. The best Instagram results often come from short, digestible images and videos, whereas Facebook will see better results from longer videos and more detailed images. The user base for Instagram also tends to be younger, giving the best return on investment when targeting this audience. Instagram does not have the same penchant or ease-of-access in terms of sharing content, and consideration needs to be given to the nature of the campaign as to how to increase visibility. In addition, in any area, there are “influencers” who have a high level of targeted followers. There may be ways that you can work with influencers to discuss your services within their posts to help drive traffic to your business. The key here is to make sure that they have sufficient followers within your catchment area to make it worth your investment in them.
Content best suited for LinkedIn
LinkedIn will normally be marketing efforts targeted at peers and professionals, rather than a broad consumer base. Here, having marketing that helps to validate your authenticity and credibility amongst peers is ideal, as this will help to drive referrals from these sources. The content will be the most technically robust of the platforms – sharing clinical information will not yield much on Facebook or Instagram but could see great interaction and engagement with other professionals on LinkedIn.
When searching for a new physician, patients are ultimately seeking authenticity and credibility. During this crucial decision-making process, patients will read through Google reviews, testimonials, and view social media feeds to gain trust and to solidify their decision. If you are not transparent enough in telling your story, then you risk losing an infinite amount of patients. To effectively market any medical practice, understanding the current digital climate and forming “customer-centric relationships” will elevate your practice over time.
While each platform has its optimal audience, there are still ways that you can link multiple platforms, such as an Instagram post that discusses a blog post about the topic. Or a LinkedIn post that links to a seminar you had, etc. The more you can understand how to effectively use each platform, and leverage them for enhanced results, the better your social media results will be.