What to avoid when doing health care social media marketing?
Many healthcare mavens have understood the importance of robust digital identity and a constant presence on social media. Most, however, are still excluded from the Net or do not fully understand the advantages that healthcare marketing tools can give. Today we’ll discuss 6 common mistakes doctors make on social media. So that you can avoid them when doing social media marketing.
What are the six most common mistakes doctors make on social media?
1 – Thinking that social media is not about the health sector
As in any sector, in the face of progress, some take avant-garde positions and prefer a more conservative approach. Healthcare is a traditionally reluctant sector to change. But fortunately, many are embracing the new scenarios proposed by digital innovation and cultural development.
The first mistake made by doctors is to think that social media does not concern them. The main objection raised is that there is no point in having a social profile for a doctor. Because they thought treatment takes place offline, so they don’t need to stay online.
No doubt this is very true. But in the age we are living in now, there is an ever-greater mix between inside and outside the Net. So any reality can’t be released from its digital alter ego. The same goes for healthcare professionals.
Understand the importance of Social media for your facility
Physicians need to understand that the trend for health users today is to search for symptoms and information on the Internet. Most of them often make self-diagnoses before seeking medical attention. This behavior cannot be avoided, but it can be directed towards the right information. Therefore, doing health social media marketing becomes a duty toward health web surfers. Doctors must ally with “Doctor Google” in the fight against fake news and prevention.
Also, even if, as a doctor, you are not interested in social media, you need to know that social media is already talking about you. Modern patients love to leave reviews and let others know about their experience, especially if it has been negative. If unfortunately, a patient of yours did not feel comfortable in your doctor’s office and reported it on social media, you would not have the opportunity to reply. You could receive a lousy image return without being able to investigate the reasons for the dissatisfaction. Without a social media presence, you can’t inspect and explain what and why it did not work.
In essence, the doctor’s figure is changing, and the only wise thing to do is to go towards change. Try to exploit all the possible advantages.
Good health communication on social media can work wonders in several ways:
Reputation: by publishing quality content against misinformation, you can become the point of reference for your current and potential patients.
Education: the transmission of authentic information will help your patients understand what content is reliable. Moreover, it helps distinguish it from the myriad of texts written by inexperienced people on the Net.
Engagement: With social media’s primary language, you can involve your patients. Besides, you can establish a direct relationship with them, made up of listening and understanding their requests.
Improvement: Social media are inherently virtual communities. It connects people with common interests. Think about how many other professionals you might meet. Further, also consider how you could always be up to date with the latest news in your industry.
2 – Focus on Facebook only
If you convince yourself that your social media presence is necessary, that’s great. However, you shouldn’t make another basic mistake, assuming that Facebook alone is enough for your healthcare industry.
Of course, with a good health care social media marketing strategy, you can get a lot of results on Facebook. Still, you should neither take it for granted, expecting it to do everything by itself, nor neglect other social platforms.
Posts need careful and accurate programming, for which an editorial plan is essential. Above all, you should invest in creating quality images and videos. Subsequently, the Facebook algorithm rewards the most visual and “shareable” content.
Be involved and always answer questions and comments, especially negative ones. As we’ve seen, negative reviews are the most feared obstacle on social media. But they can turn into an opportunity if you make the most of them. For example, you can ask questions to understand the reasons for the dissatisfaction, showing interest in solving the problem situation. Keep a calm and polite tone of voice in your responses. Remember that even if the negative comment can’t be eliminated, it can instead change the perception that the user has of you.
3 – Do not open Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube profiles
Instagram: Don’t mistake thinking that Instagram is a social network only for young people. Somehow it’s true. It has internal rules that make it, by its very nature, much more “elusive” and suitable for a young audience. Nevertheless, do not think this is why you cannot be there.
Meanwhile, consider that the average age of Instagram users is gradually rising. Secondly, young people also need to be informed and educated. Especially if you think they are the first to use the Internet to search for their health information and rely on reviews when choosing a doctor.
On Instagram, you can fully exploit the potential of images and videos. Besides, here you must use hashtags to categorize your services and the topics you deal with.
LinkedIn: It is the professional social network par excellence. It can be beneficial for a doctor’s office to communicate with your followers. Furthermore, it is also valuable to create a network of professionals in your sector to dialogue and share news and updates.
YouTube: Some medical centres also lend themselves perfectly to YouTube, a video viewing and sharing platform. We have seen how multimedia contents are the most appreciated by users. So you can upload informative videos or columns of the services you offer to YouTube. Suppose you are the owner of a gynecological clinic. In that case, an idea could be to share good practices for proper intimate hygiene. Or answer the questions that patients are afraid to ask because they are embarrassed about certain issues.
4 – Open the profiles and pages on social media and do not update them
We have convinced you that you have opened profiles on the different platforms based on the type of services your healthcare facility offers. And you have abandoned them. Don’t mistake opening social media profiles and pages and not updating them.
Having a social page whose last post dates back to 2011 causes damage to the image much more serious than not having it at all. If you have opened a profile but you do not publish updates, you do not have pages optimized for different devices. If you do not have a structure that is user friendly, it is better to close everything and start over.
The excuse of lack of time does not apply, mainly since you should rely on competent people and not do everything yourself. And if you are still not wholly convinced, think about the feelings you feel yourself. You may not be a social media manager, but you are indeed a social media user. You land on a well-kept page with frequent updates, and it is easy to navigate. With all the information immediately traceable and contacts at your fingertips, what do you think? You think it indicates competence and professionalism. You are satisfied with your browsing experience and are pushed to rely on that reality. On the contrary, what sensation does a page that dates back to the Paleolithic give you?
5 – Do not use paid advertising
You can also do paid ads on social media, and there is nothing ethically wrong with that. With organic promotion, only your current followers and their social network can see your post. You can determine which audience will see your content in detail with ads. Besides, you can find out exponentially increasing your visibility and letting those looking for you and your services track you.
Consider, in addition, that the Facebook algorithm gives less visibility to organic posts just to push pages to do sponsorships. So what is the point of creating valid content if no one can see them? On the Net, the competition is high, there are billions of information, and the real battle lies in making yourself visible.
So, in addition to investing in creating authentic content, you also need to budget for sponsorships. Otherwise, all your work will only be worth half.
6 – Thinking you can do everything yourself
It is in the last place, but it is the biggest mistake: not turning to professionals in the sector.
Understandably, some small businesses may not have the necessary resources to invest in healthcare marketing. However, as with any professional sector, it is essential to rely on the right skills to obtain satisfactory results.
In most cases, healthcare facilities use people who are already employees for other roles and can manage social media channels as well. Often, therefore, even if some realities are present on social media, there is no strategy and structured planning upstream because there is no team of qualified people to carry out these tasks.
Only a professional will really know which actions are suitable for you and for the doctor’s office. There are no universally valid solutions, but each reality must be studied on its own, based on the context in which it operates, the services it offers and the target audience.
Don’t improvise. Consider the benefits you and your patients can reap from professional social media management and embrace change. We assure you that it will be worth it from every point of view.