Social media has grown to be part of daily life for millions of people worldwide, and as of July 2020, there were approximately 223 million users in the U.S. It has become standard practice to incorporate social media marketing into marketing communication strategies. With businesses of all sizes taking advantage of these new media channels, social media strategy budgets vary from millions of dollars to more humble constraints. Yet, regardless of funding, a few key points need to be top of mind when designing your social media plan. The notion that social media is a free avenue to promote a business is not entirely true. While the account can be free, recourses such as time, money, and creativity need to be put towards the content produced for these channels. Now, can you find creative tools to use for free? Yes.
When it comes to social media for businesses outside of major brands, gaining audiences overnight is not realistic. Organically growing your following and reaching an audience of upward of thousands of followers is challenging to accomplish in a short time frame. Social media has matured, and brands have become expected to be active on social channels. Accounts with smaller followings and lower engagement rates are not boosted by the platforms, limiting views to audience members who are already aware of the brand. If a business wants to generate conversions, gain awareness, or a more extensive following through social media, paid ads greatly support organic strategies. Regarding medical practices, social media channels are a proven source to build online communities and reach potential patients in local areas. The challenge will lie in being active on platforms that your target audience prefers and delivering content in the medium they resonate with.
Below is a breakdown a few popular social media platforms:
Facebook is the largest social media platform due to its popularity around the world. Within the United States, the engagement has declined, but it still has a broad reach and can help increase business SEO. Business pages are indexed and can show a business’s address, phone number, website, and customer reviews. Through Facebook’s business manager, paid social ads can be hyper-targeted to groups of “friends” that a business builds from its audience.
YouTube is the second-largest platform and is used to deliver videos to channel subscribers or through its search feature. Videos ads can be played to targeted audiences and delivered at predetermined times within videos being watched. This shows your audience your video ad when they are already paying attention to a screen. Ads can also be targeted based on interest, geographic location, and other demographics.
Instagram is the third-largest platform with 500 million daily users. This platform is used by users for visual content like photos, videos, and short stories. Instagram ads need to be programmed by Facebook business manager but will also be delivered to targeted audiences. The largest demographic for the platform is 18 – 29-year-olds. These ads have a high recall rate amongst users.
develop your social media marketing strategy based on the likes and dislikes of your patient base. By actively providing an online community for them, you can keep a daily presence with them out of the office.
If you haven’t yet read my last blog on the purpose behind content marketing.