5 Ways Healthcare & Wellness Companies Can Get Results with Social Marketing

 

By now, most organizations have integrated social media into their marketing mix to some degree. Whether they’re targeting businesses or individuals, their customers are tuning into various social channels—Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter, among others—to engage with their favorite businesses and share experiences with their networks. And they’re providing all kinds of measurable and actionable insights along the way.

Healthcare and Wellness Marketers: Welcome to the Party!
We’ve worked with clients in the healthcare and wellness industries to help them identify and target unique—and largely untapped—opportunities through social marketing. By effectively connecting with their customers and prospects using social media, they unlock significant business value they’re not able to achieve using traditional media. It’s value derived from:

  • Personal customer interactions
  • Real-time customer feedback
  • Word-of-mouth (word-of-post) sharing
  • And more, depending on underlying business goals

And by using social media as a vehicle for promoting offers and generating response, they have access to a whole new set of data to inform their strategies. Social media brings a fresh and modern dimension to their marketing programs.

Our Two Sense? For health and wellness brands to get the best results from social marketing, they’ve got to leverage their favorite social networks to:

1. Project the company voice. Social media connects people with people, making the channel ideal for getting personal with customers. We don’t mean sharing personal health information, of course. We mean showing your company’s personality to shape customers’ perception of your company and encouraging personal interactions to promote positive brand experiences.

Speak volumes: Create a catchy profile name and use profile images that are consistent with brand standards but also display an approachable and engaging brand persona—like a fun variation of your corporate website design. And be sure your posts and company representatives who chat with customers use language that is professional yet casual enough to support your company’s more relatable social personality.

2. Provide information and thought leadership. Health and wellness brands rely on credibility. Your customers are looking for answers to their health care questions. They’re seeking expert (that’s you!) guidance. They need help solving specific issues. That means your social media objective is to deliver informative, actionable content that’s accurate, professional—while also being share-worthy.

Inform and inspire: Establish your brand as the go-to source for whatever it is that you do best. If you’re a healthcare insurer, share information about reducing health risks, managing conditions, and, of course, where to turn for policy support. A health coach can share recipes, wellness tips, and details about last-minute changes to offline events. Social content is shared in real-time—so communications always need to be newsworthy and relevant. And track and measure engagement with content so you can keep delivering what your customers like the most.

3. Promote behavioral change. This is a challenge for health and wellness organizations today, as lifestyle practices are key to customer (e.g. patient, member, client) “success” with your products and services. You need to drive some sort of behavior—whether that’s putting down the cigarettes, lacing up the walking shoes, or visiting a website or on-site location to participate in some form of care management—and social media is an excellent place to promote action.

Impact Change. Take an encouraging and inspiring tone in your messages—and include measurable calls-to-action, as appropriate. You could get community members engaged in an online contest or ask them to take a quiz. Share a coupon or a special offer. Leverage the community ties to connect people who can provide support. What motivates your customers? Ask them. Think outside the box and test to find what works.

4. Build a community. Isn’t this what social media is all about? Your customers are healthcare consumers who are on social media platforms to learn from others, pick up best practices, and swap ideas. Health and wellness brands have a lot to gain by engaging with customers and giving them a forum to engage with one another—all in a 24/7, moderated environment. Meaningful social experiences can help them become your best brand advocates and referral sources.

Spread the love. Online social communities are filled with people, human beings who want to connect and learn from one another. Your social media persona “acts” as the personal face of your company—it’s the founding member of the community. What’s more, it may make sense to have a few different employees (or partners) personally engage with customers who visit the page to comment, share, and ask questions. In other words, get in on the discussion!

5. Administer wisely—and drive results
Finally, it’s critical to manage your social media marketing according to a solid strategy. Your objectives will likely include…

  • Implementing a “crisis plan” and protocol in case an employee misrepresents your brand or a community member says something negative. Essentially, it’s social media-specific PR damage control.
  • Posting content according to a schedule—on specified days and times to maximize exposure and meet the needs of your communities. It can take some testing to learn what works, but you’ll be able to fine-tune your efforts to reach better results.
  • Supporting campaigns deployed across other marketing channels, integrating social media efforts to promote a particular offer, introduce a new product or service, or send other brand messages.
  • Generating sales leads for cross-selling and up-selling. Social media provides unique opportunities to impact your bottom-line.

We hope this gets you thinking about new ways to leverage your favorite platforms. To learn more, email us!