Social media has become an essential tool for healthcare organisations to connect with clients, promote preventative care, and educate the public about various health and wellness topics. However, utilising social media in the healthcare space comes with its own set of challenges and considerations.
In this guide, we will:
- Explore the best practices for creating and maintaining a healthcare-related social media presence
- Look at the best way to employ social media to educate clients and promote preventative care
- Navigate legal and ethical considerations
- Measure the impact and ROI of a healthcare organisation’s social media strategy
By understanding the potential of social media, healthcare organisations can effectively use it to reach out to clients and promote better health outcomes.
Using Social Media in Healthcare
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. With millions (sometimes even billions) of users logging onto sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn every day, healthcare organisations can use this powerful tool to connect with clients, educate them about their health and wellness, and promote preventative care.
Your healthcare brand can use various platforms to reach clients in new and innovative ways. You will find you’re often in a unique position when starting to market your brand, whether focusing on the mental health, addiction, or trauma spaces, because you are offering a service or treatment that won’t fall into the category of impulse purchases that other brands focus on.
Understanding your priorities, audience, and approach to using social media as a healthcare brand is vital. To get you started, here are some ideas to consider:
- Behind the scenes – many people may be unaware of what happens in a therapy session or during an appointment. A behind-the-scenes tour can demystify this and foster a greater sense of trust and transparency for your brand.
- Infographics – well-designed infographics are incredibly popular on social media, providing share-worthy content that educates people at just a glance. Sprinkle them throughout your posting schedule to keep it varied and interesting!
- Keep your audience in the loop – educational content is ideal for the healthcare space (plus Google loves to promote it!) It encourages engagement and discussion on your posts, whether there’s some new research you want to simplify, a news article relevant to your organisation, or just a fun fact.
Best Practices for Creating and Maintaining a Healthcare-related Social Media Presence
To establish a strong social media presence, the starting point is creating a strategy that aligns with overall goals and objectives. This might include establishing guidelines for what types of content to post and how often. It could also be identifying the key individuals within the organisation who will be responsible for managing the social media accounts.
But before this can start, you must define your audience. Do you know who your ideal client is? Do you want to branch out into a new client base or expand your existing one? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can start building a social media campaign that resonates with your target audience. After all, if you’re aiming to reach people over 50, there’s no sense in targeting TikTok, where they only make up 11% of the user base! Tailor your approach instead.
Utilising Social Media to Educate Clients and Promote Preventative Care
Social media is incredibly effective for educating clients about their health and wellness and promoting preventative care. Healthcare organisations can use social media to share information about maintaining good mental health, such as tips for eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress.
Other ways of using social media in healthcare include:
- Raising awareness – social media is an ideal way to raise awareness about mental health and trauma topics. You can make this simple or as detailed as you like, from reminding your followers about easy methods to look after their well-being to planning detailed campaigns to raise greater awareness about a specific topic.
- Reducing misinformation – healthcare and topics within the healthcare umbrella (such as addiction) are filled with misinformation. Your brand can generate greater trust with your audience by only providing credible information that can be fact-checked. You can also use your platforms to debunk common myths or new misinformation out there (hint – this makes great blog content too!)
- Providing resources – everyone is looking for ways to care for themselves mentally and physically. Use your social media presence to signpost or create resources for them to turn to whenever they have questions.
- Answering questions – speaking of questions, social media is a great place to preempt any common questions your audience may have. Consider setting up a chatbot feature via Facebook to answer direct questions and prevent misinformation or self-diagnosing.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
As with any communication, healthcare organisations must be mindful of social media’s legal and ethical considerations. This includes ensuring client privacy, avoiding sharing confidential or sensitive information, and complying with all relevant regulations and guidelines. For example, you must have written consent beforehand to publish a client’s story or photos.
You should also be aware of the risks associated with social media, such as the potential for misinformation. However, this can easily be combatted – thoroughly researched copywriting and fact-checking removes the risk of spreading potentially harmful misinformation. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also provides a copy advice service that allows people to check that their adverts comply with their codes and guidelines.
Measuring the Impact and ROI of a Healthcare Organisation’s Social Media Strategy
To determine the effectiveness of your social media strategy, it’s important to track key metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversions. By monitoring these, you can identify which types of content resonate with clients and which strategies are most effective for achieving your goals. This will provide you with opportunities to optimise your content and prune out anything that isn’t working.
With the right approach and mindset, social media can be valuable for healthcare organisations in their client engagement and outreach efforts. Ultimately, it is an ideal resource to connect with clients, promote preventative care, and educate the public about health and wellness. By creating a compelling strategy that aligns with their goals and objectives, utilising best practices, and being mindful of legal and ethical considerations, healthcare organisations can use social media to improve client outcomes and achieve their desired results.