Finding your marketing stride in a fast-paced digital world is challenging enough. Layer in health care marketing and you have a whole new set of limitations, nuances, and hills to climb. But there are ways to navigate these challenges and bring your social media marketing strategy to the next level.
With so many social media platforms to choose from, don’t be afraid to experiment. First, determine your primary objective—are you aiming for engagement and awareness, generating patient appointments, or patient referrals? Test these objectives across different sites and determine which platform drives your desired performance. On the flip side, just because a social platform exists doesn’t mean you have to have a presence there. Go with what makes the most sense for your target audience, your objectives, your budget, and your resources.
Even if you don’t have a sophisticated CRM system on the back end, tracking activity on social media is very accessible. Free tools like Google Campaign URL builder and Bit.ly provide valuable data for making informed decisions. Build out a template and naming convention for your URLs and stick to it. This will help keep your data tidy and readable.
With healthcare data sensitivities and rising concerns around data privacy in general, take caution when it comes to any type of data tracking or retargeting efforts. Always consult with your legal and compliance teams before placing any cookies or trackers on your website, or uploading audience lists to any platforms. It is important to have a clear understanding of where your legal team sits on the subject.
Take advantage of the out-of-the-box tools many social platforms provide and find creative ways to use them. If your media budget is limited (or non-existent) use tools like Facebook slideshow, or the video creation kit to turn your existing assets into lightweight video. Tell a story using LinkedIn or Instagram carousels; explore the Facebook Canvas Builder etc… These tools require time and planning but with practice, you’ll be able to build out templates and guides that work for your business to make the process quick and simple.
Test everything. From creative assets to body copy and headlines. From calls to action to landing pages. Test campaign objectives, audience segments, and budget optimizations. The options are limitless and can be overwhelming. But take a scientific approach and focus on one variable at a time.
Find synergies amongst your marketing, communications, and service line teams. Align your content priorities. Use a combination of organic and paid social media to amplify reach and tell the same story. Take time to connect regularly and communicate strategy, execution, and results. Learn from each other and share in the failures and successes.
About the Author: Cindy Elliott is a senior marketing specialist at Mayo Clinic, focusing on social and digital ad strategies.