A good digital marketing strategy is dependent upon social media. An occasional Facebook post won’t cut it these days; in order to connect with patients, improve your retention rate and achieve strong SEO results, you’ll have to work at building a strong social media presence. Before you dive in, an awareness of the latest social media marketing trends is imperative in showing you where – and how – to focus your efforts. And remember, the social media landscape is forever changing. What works today might not be as successful for you tomorrow, so keep on top of the latest trends as they evolve – and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Social Media Marketing Trends
Medical practices are currently relying on the following strategies to help boost their social media marketing.
- Videos. Perhaps the hottest trend in social media marketing these days is videos. Audiences are much more likely to watch videos than read through large blocks of text, no matter how engaging your written content may be. If you haven’t created accounts on Instagram or YouTube yet, you aren’t realizing your full potential. These sites were custom-made for sharing videos to new and prospective patients through Instagram’s Stories feature and, of course, YouTube videos. To really maximize your efforts, focus on showcasing personalized patient experiences. Today’s consumers trust the word of their peers and visual testimonials are a terrific marketing tool guaranteed to build trust. Also take advantage of video channels on YouTube dedicated to very specific audiences (e.g., channels addressing common medical questions are a great place for you to showcase your services and serve a dual purpose – marketing and establishing your practice as a trusted medical authority).
- Live streaming. Video is great, but live streaming has been shown to get an even better response. Scripted videos sometimes come across as too well-rehearsed – and let’s face it, they are exactly that. Live streaming provides your patients with an intimate behind-the-scenes look at your practice while adding a sense of uncertainty and anticipation, sure-fire ways to hook your audience. It also gives you an opportunity to immediately respond to questions and comments and eliminates the hassle (and expense) of recording, editing, and developing a video. Direct interaction with your patients helps ease their worries and allows you to develop a personalized patient experience – something sure to set your clinic apart from the competition. You’ll build trust and develop a rapport with your audience, too.
- Augmented reality. Still in its infancy, augmented reality (similar to virtual reality) is expected to grow rapidly in the future. The best example is facial filters popularized on Snapchat and Instagram. When used effectively, augmented reality features are a great tool for personalized interaction – developing a foothold now will allow you to adapt and expand when the feature becomes more prevalent across other social media platforms.
- Messenger apps and chatbots. Messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Kik are an excellent way for patients to communicate with health care professionals directly. Potential patients may have questions about your clinic’s services or other offerings; messaging via an app or chatbot allows them to initiate a conversation without going through the trouble of searching for contact information and gives you the opportunity to respond personally – a great engagement tool and another excellent method of building trust.
Social media marketing takes a little effort, but the long-term rewards are worth it. You’ll increase patient engagement, build an online reputation and establish yourself as an expert in your field – all without resorting to aggressive marketing tactics.