Health care marketing is undergoing dramatic reinvention and change, due to emerging trends, reform uncertainties, emergence of social marketing and renewed focus on quality, outcome and prevention. Executives are demanding higher impact and bigger returns from marketing investments; and marketing professionals are more closely aligning their efforts with strategic objectives, customer experience and integration of communications across multiple platforms and channels.
Here are some best practices for Marketing and Social Media within your Healthcare/Medical Practice:
- Know Your Audience
It is clear that in any marketing strategy you will need to know your audience. For many healthcare providers it is easy to see whom your audience is and how to reach them. For instance, a pediatrician’s audiences are moms, OBGYN’s target women, orthopedic practices; sport teams, and so on… However, have you ever stopped to consider your audience’s comfort level for internet based communication or social media? It is a no brainer for the younger “socialites” to be heavily involved in social media. Surprisingly enough, there are a fair number of seniors who are on Facebook and Twitter and that number increases all the time. Both young and the young at heart are fully integrated in the online realm of communication.
- Know Your Content
With healthcare concerns ranging from politics to the home, there are a myriad of topics to post and to discuss. The best way to handle content is to just present the information. Do not take a stand on any subject, especially politics, unless you are extremely comfortable with the repercussions. Health information, articles, and trends are a great starting point. People want to be informed. However, people also want to be entertained. Don’t rule out fun information such as pictures of events you’ve attended, interactions with people, comics, or even one of those weird cat pictures that has a caption of “Just pour the coffee and back away slowly.” Just keep in mind HIPAA and the violations that may result in regard to patient information.
- Know the Rules
Be strategic in what you post and how you post. Pay attention to what people are posting and remember you are still a professional organization not a frat house. Your content should be relevant to hot topics both nationally and locally. Never post private information. (HIPAA) Always get permission in writing to post a person’s picture or likeness on the internet. It is a good rule to stay away from taking a stand on controversial topics. And for goodness sake, don’t pester people by posting 100 things a day. My rule of thumb is to post no more than 3 things in a day and never back to back.
These three are a great starting point for marketing and social media within healthcare/medical practices. Use common sense when diving in and don’t be afraid to try new things. Just remember to do your research first and always think of what others would want, not what you would want. Marketing is not for you. Marketing is for the people you want to reach.