There’s a wealth of healthcare social media information out there for providers to read through and work into their social media marketing plan. However, gleaning the good out of the garbage is a nearly insurmountable task. When it comes to social media for healthcare, the information overload seems to actually prompt mistakes in healthcare social media marketing campaigns- sort of a throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks mentality. Youcan substantially cut down the work, time, and budget for your social media marketing by learning what NOT to do, so you can focus on what will ensure your success.
[pullquote align=”left”]You can substantially cut down the work, time, and budget for your social media marketing by learning what NOT to do, so you can focus on what will ensure your success.[/pullquote]Whether you’re a healthcare professional trying to make the most out of your Facebook and LinkedIn profile, make your “tweets” count on Twitter, or are trying to attract views on Youtube, there are simple things you can do to avoid abject failure. Below are our 3 most commonly seen mistakes that healthcare organizations make on social media and what can be done to prevent them in the future.
1. Setting up an account on every social network:
As a physician or healthcare practice, you don’t need to be on every social network. Is it more exposure? Yes. Is that exposure worth the time and energy it takes to maintain it? No. Does it make sense for your practice to be on Goodreads or Myspace? Not likely.
What to do: Define your marketing goals, and find the platforms best suited to helping you reach them.
2. Failure to communicate:
Physicians and healthcare practice managers act as if they have three choices here: never respond to negative feedback, always respond to negative feedback, or disallow/delete negative feedback . All three stances are short sighted. If you never respond to negative feedback, you miss the chance to create positive patient interaction moments. If you always respond to negative feedback, sooner or later you’ll encounter a “troll”- pick your battles with these types. Finally, if you delete negative feedback, you risk the commenter pursuing you with increased zeal, and ultimately it makes your organization look like it lacks transparency- one of the keys to social media success.
What to do: Set out guidelines for how to handle situations. Typically, you’ll want to respond to negative feedback, but do not engage in back-and-forth arguing. Deletion should happen rarely, usually only when confidential information or inflammatory language is being used.
3. Narrow viewpoint of content types and timing:
“We need to be posting 10 times per day, on every network, promoting just my practice and the services we have to offer.” Effective post timing and frequency is different for everyone, and no matter what the social media guru du jour claims this week, you’ll need to figure out what works best for YOUR practice. There are features within Facebook that allow followers to hide your posts- and they will if they feel like you’re bothering them. Likewise, if every post is a sales pitch about a service you have to offer, you’re going to see what audience you have “tune out” rapidly, in much the same way that we skip over commercials in pre-recorded television shows.
What to do: provide engaging content, even if it’s only tangentially related to your practice. Approach social media followers as people, rather than only as potential patients. Most importantly, don’t seek to overwhelm your followers with your message; post content on a schedule that works for you, and mind your metrics to see when people are most active and what they do and do not respond well to.
Does any of the above sound familiar? If so, contact PRM today, and we’ll assess your healthcare social media presence and get you started on the path to success.
Healthcare Marketing Agency- Physician Referral Marketing (PRM) provides the tools and the know-how to grow physician practices & increase visibility both online and off. PRM specializes in strategic marketing campaigns & referral development through a uniquely direct relationship establishment with demographically relevant doctors and hospitals.To stay on top of the latest healthcare marketing trends, contact PRM today at 888-336-1344 or visit www.physicianreferralmarketing.com. Also be sure to visit our Facebook, Twitter, or G+ page for the latest news in healthcare marketing. Nationwide service, with headquarters in Michigan and a regional office in Arizona.