Social media marketing is a relatively new phenomenon among physicians, but the returns that can be derived by social media marketing are unmistakable. Three out of five doctors believe that their social media efforts have a direct positive impact on the care their patients receive, and more than 80 percent of patients aged 18 to 24 indicate that they would share relevant health information that they found helpful. With these numbers, it’s no secret why social media is the wave of the future in medical marketing.
However, these numbers are only valuable if social media is done well. Unfortunately, many physicians are behind the curve. You might be missing the boat on social media marketing, and you might not even know it. Here are three reasons why your social media marketing might not be getting the job done.
1: Landing Pages
Your landing page is the first thing someone sees on your site after clicking a link you shared on social media. It’s your first impression, and it’s your best chance at convincing that viewer to stick around. It’s in your best interest to make this first impression count.
Someone who clicks on your social media links likely has a good reason for doing so. They want to hear more about what you have to say, and they’re buying what you’re selling. You want your landing page to possess the same qualities. Make sure the text,graphics and logos on your landing page match those on your social media platforms. Keep the voice of your writing the same. In other words, don’t deviate from what got you the click-through.
Call to Action
All landing pages need to feature a clear call to action. Whatever your endgame is for enticing the viewer to learn more – for example, a white paper you’ve prepared in exchange for the viewer’s contact information – make sure the terms are explicitly clear on your website. People should know exactly what they’re getting themselves into when they click Submit. That means they should know what to expect in both the short term and the long term.
Keep it Simple
A great way to drive away an interested viewer is to bombard them with tons of text. There’s no need to sell people on what you’re offering. They already want to learn more. Instead of hitting them with giant text blocks, simply include a few bullet points that reinforce the value you’re providing your audience. Utilize bold text where necessary, but don’t overdo it. A nice image can be helpful, but too many pictures can cause your page to load slowly, which will send viewers heading for the exits.
The two years between 2010 and 2012 saw a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of an individual searching for health information online. Those numbers are only going to go up in the future. Mobile isn’t just the future – it’s the present. If your landing pages aren’t optimized for mobile viewers, you’ll lose out on a ton of readership and never fully understand why. In addition to making your landing page viewable on a mobile device, limit the number of forms required of the end user to only the most essential information. Nobody wants to fill out a 20-field survey on a smartphone.
2: Content Offers
Once you’ve convinced the viewer to stay, it’s time to get them interested in what you have to offer. The content you create is what will really take your online reputation to the next level.
eBooks and Guides
Professionals in non-medical fields use content like eBooks and how-to guides in order to cement themselves as an authority within a given niche of their industry. As a medical professional, this is your opportunity to do the same thing. Write the content you wish people had before they come to your office for their first office. This can be anything from a guide to a cancer diagnosis to an eBook about how a patient can incorporate whole foods into their diet. As long as your content is relevant to your practice, the sky’s the limit.
The best thing about advances in marketing technology is that it enables you to handle small tasks with no effort. Marketing automation can help you to nurture leads – that is, to guide them from the moment they reach your website until the point they become active patients. There’s a lot of strategy that goes into these email messages. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about any of that. Let your marketing software do its magic, make yourself available to answer any non-basic questions, and watch the leads roll in.
3: Selling vs Educating
One of the biggest misconceptions about content marketing is that it’s a never-ending sales pitch. In fact, content marketing that’s well-executed is just the opposite. Instead of selling, it provides information to recipients when they need that information the most. Then, when the customer is ready to make a purchase, they know exactly where to go. Medical content marketing is much the same.
The key to social media marketing in any discipline is to create content that lends itself to sharing. This doesn’t mean that you have to resort to detestable clickbait methods to get people to pay attention. However, it’s a great idea to consider what people are naturally curious about when you post on social media. Ideally, every piece of content you post should answer a question, whether it be from your current patient load or from a list of questions you’re likely to be asked by a new patient. Educating your patient base is what will send your social media traffic into the next stratosphere.
Help Your Patients
The 80/20 rule of social media marketing states that 20 percent of your content can consist of sales-based materials – promotions, offers, and purchase opportunities. The other 80 percent should be educational material that directly helps your audience with the issues they’re currently experiencing. This content should be relevant to your followers, and it should also be shareable enough that it can get exposed to other audiences. Again, the goal isn’t to sell to these people. It’s just to inform them about important health topics so that they can make their own choice about seeking you out for medical care.
Social media marketing can be a truly lucrative avenue for any physician – as long as it’s done correctly. Don’t simply assume that you’re doing things correctly. Consider these points as you review your social media marketing policy, and make sure you’re delivering the best content for your social media followers and patients.