What, when and where to post to reach more patients online
What’s a great way to connect and engage with patients outside of your office? Social media. Use of social media increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and interest does not seem to have tapered off: currently, 97% of Generation Z, 90% of Millennials, 78% of Generation X and 48% of Baby Boomers are active on social media.
Social media allows you to reach prospective and existing patients more directly than other communication channels like email. But it can be time-consuming if you don’t have a plan in place. Here are our thoughts on why advance planning is key for your social media strategy.
Why plan a year in advance?
We suggest planning out a year’s worth of social media content in advance. Of course, the world is constantly changing and you should leave room in your social media plan to respond to news, trends and other things that come up. But planning ahead means you can thoughtfully align your content with larger practice goals and initiatives, and you won’t be posting reactively or haphazardly.
Planning out your social media calendar in advance lets you align your content with larger practice goals and eliminate posting haphazardly.
Look at your year by quarter to start laying down the groundwork for your social content strategy. This will help make the process less overwhelming and allows you to leave room for flexibility should something change.
Especially post-COVID, it’s now more important than ever to engage with your patients so that your practice stays top-of-mind in their healthcare decision making. Use these content ideas and strategies to help you plan out your social media calendar for 2022.
Monthly health observances
Raising awareness around relevant health and eye health topics can be helpful in keeping your audiences informed in your social posts. This can be a great place to start if you’re looking for content year-round. The American Academy of Ophthalmology lists monthly eye health observances. For example:
- January: Glaucoma Awareness Month
- June: Cataract Awareness Month
- November: Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month
Consider linking to patient education blog posts or videos or, for more engagement, share on social media about Live Q&As and Twitter events that your practice can participate in as industry leaders.
Experts recommend sharing content from other trusted sources on social media along with your own content. This is called “content curation” and it’s a smart–and time-saving–strategy, since you don’t have to create new content yourself. Here are some ideas:
- Retweet the results of a new study, drug approval or treatment.
- Post a link to a podcast on a topic of interest to your audience.
- Share informative links or graphics from health organizations or associations.
At the end of this post you can download our content calendar.
Video and multimedia
Overall, text is fine and images are better, but sharing video content on your social media pages ultimately gives you the best chance at increasing engagement. Start thinking about the different content themes and multimedia components that you want to include in your social posts, and place them strategically within your schedule to keep content fresh.
It’s no coincidence that those having the most success with social media, including these top medical influencers on Instagram, frequently post photos and videos. Sharing short videos explaining a new procedure or common diagnosis as an easy way for followers to engage with your practice. Here are some examples of videos you could share on your social media platforms:
It’s important to remember that social media is a conversation, not just a string of posts. Businesses should follow the 5:3:2 rule for posting on social media, recommends Sprout Media Lab. “Out of every 10 posts, use five pieces of content from other sources, make three posts brand-related and create two personal posts.” A personal post could be a “Meet the Doctor” photo and intro, or a behind-the-scenes video clip of your staff cleaning equipment between patients to demonstrate COVID protocols.
Post a blend of brand-related and personal posts, as well as content from other sources. Social media is a conversation.
And don’t forget the “social” part of social media. “Generally speaking, approximately 80 percent of your content should be informative or interesting and 20 percent should be promotional,” according to PatientPop.
While it’s not necessary to be on every single social media platform, “different demographics gravitate toward different social networks,” noted PatientPop. According to Pew Research, YouTube and Facebook dominate the online landscape, with 81% and 69% of U.S. adults using the sites. Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok have an especially strong following among young adults, noted Pew. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 71 percent use Instagram 65 percent use Snapchat and roughly 50 percent use TikTok.
If your practice is posting on different platforms, pay attention to which types of content work best where.
With Rendia, sharing engaging content on your social media profiles is quick and easy. Find out how today, and download our content calendar template here!