Social media has become a vital component of our society today. It’s not surprising that many organizations – including the healthcare systems – have utilized social media advertising in their marketing and communications efforts.
In the country’s healthcare industry, almost a hundred percent of hospitals and healthcare facilities have an active Facebook presence. Many of these organizations have also started utilizing other social media platforms such as Instagram and Youtube to establish their brand.
If an organization wants to succeed in engaging with and reaching their audience, social media is the ideal channel for it. That’s why social media advertising strategies have become an essential component of the overall digital marketing plan of any organization.
Eighty five percent of internet users have looked online for healthcare information. People also tend to rely on updates made by doctors and healthcare professionals on their social media pages compared to any other platforms.
In today’s post, let’s look at the benefits and challenges of social media advertising in the healthcare industry.
Benefits of Social Media Advertising for Healthcare Professionals
Social media has opened up many excellent opportunities to connect with healthcare professionals and their patients. Aside from building connections, health systems can share relevant news about the industry and improve their credibility as established thought leaders in the industry.
Through social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, hospital professionals can post essential and relevant health updates that their patients will find informative. In return, their audience can post comments and feedback – creating an atmosphere of trust and open communication.
By engaging and communicating with patients on social media, healthcare providers create a foundation of a positive patient-doctor relationship. Health systems can also benefit from this modern word-of-mouth method and address their patients’ concerns.
Aside from these benefits, targeted social media ads help in outreach efforts for specific groups of patients.
Risks and Challenges
Compliance with the Health Information Privacy is of utmost importance for all health systems in the country. The main point of HIPAA is the protection of all patients’ privacy.
Following this crucial point, HIPAA released an extensive list of social media advertising guidelines that all healthcare providers must adhere to.
From comment moderation to rules for posting images and videos to protecting patient privacy, all the directions are included in HIPAA’s comprehensive list.
Internal Social Media Policy
Aside from following HIPAA’s social media communications guidelines, healthcare organizations are also required to develop their own internal social media policies. These policies will serve as their own guidelines when it comes to healthcare employees using their personal social media.
Some healthcare employees may not be aware of the proper social media etiquette that concerns their profession. These internal social media policies should help establish social media best practices for healthcare staff.
These policies must also stipulate the specific responsibilities of the healthcare staff managing the organization’s social media page. Since these page admins are posting on behalf of their organization, they must know the HIPAA regulations by heart and monitor the activities on their social media page.
Healthcare organizations must have a clear definition of what their intentions are. This will help shape their social media advertising strategies – and ultimately realize its full potential.
Developing your organization’s objectives will also allow you to focus on what social media platform to use. It’s advisable to pick one channel and direct your efforts on that first, instead of creating an account on multiple channels and risk neglecting one of them.
If you want to promote engagement and conversation, then Facebook and Twitter are the ideal platforms. If you wish to share captivating visuals, then Instagram and Youtube may be what you should utilize.
Whatever platform you use, HIPAA regulations, as well as your own internal social media advertising policies, will shape the posts and updates you’ll be sharing with your audience.
The internet is here to stay. Patients have utilized it to find answers, learn about health conditions, interact with physicians, purchase products, connect with other patients and online communities, and read client testimonials.
Healthcare systems and organizations must ensure they are providing the information patients need to reach them, boost engagement, establish trust, and ultimately help improve their patients’ health.
These goals can be achieved through a well-defined social media advertising and communications strategy.