While it may seem that social media has been around for ages, *cue the cringe-worthy MySpace photos from 2006*, social media is a relatively new concept that has grown exponentially in popularity since its early days. Each year new social media platforms are introduced, bringing new ideas, new methods of sharing, and shifts in the tastes of consumers and businesses alike. Marketing departments are taking part in these types of conversations of digital and social media by creating accounts across all platforms to engage with potential clients, customers, patients, prospective employees and even a social media influencer.
Through these social media platforms, organizations are learning how to cut through the noise and reach a new generation, all the while growing a cult-like following. The growth and opportunity these social media sites can provide to healthcare organizations seem to have no limit, making potential patients even more accessible than ever and fulfilling their desire for connection and conversation. Today there is no reason or doubt why an organization should not have an online presence. With helpful tools such as insights and analytics, these social media platforms release data to the organizations about their target audience and demographics. Using this insightful information will allow the organization to cater their posts to what their audience is really looking for.
Healthcare organizations and practices should be no stranger to these online communities. Being able to reach out to potential patients along with former patients allows for a connection that, before, was otherwise not attainable. Whether you’re a practice that specializes in Dentistry, Cosmetic Surgery, or even Radiology or Oncology, it’s important that your organization be online to tell their story. By sharing your own story, patients become aware of the history of your organization and they also get a glimpse of who their physician or specialist really is. This can strongly affect consumer reviews, allow for a personable approach, and drive organic traffic to the organization’s website.
People nowadays are more likely to find a new restaurant, store, or healthcare organization through platforms such as Instagram, which allows the consumer to see the organization’s location and get a feel for the overall vibe and experience. Boasting over 800 million users worldwide, Instagram has seen growth in both the number of users who are utilizing the platform as well as the types of users engaging with the platform, leading to the modern-day phenomenon we’ve come to recognize as social media celebrities: the influencer.
While the concept is nothing new, the social media influencer - who is simply an individual, professional, or organization that has a platform of a certain following - has emerged as a game changer for marketers. These influencers have a voice or following online which may range anywhere from 5K followers to over several million people, all of which are actively following their social media accounts, noting their lifestyle, favorite restaurants, and/or most recent political and cultural views.
The social media influencer space started out humbly put as a way for individuals to be an authority within their own communities. As social sites like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have grown, so has their following. Some of these individuals are now even full-time influencers, having to quit their daytime jobs as the growth of their personal sites are skyrocketing. While some may wonder how lucrative their incomes can be, larger influencers can make millions (yes, millions!) of dollars per post on their social channels, while micro-influencers of around 5K followers often post about a certain brand, product, or organization in exchange of free goods or services.
Businesses are paying attention to the growth and want ‘in’. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, and the top 13% of businesses are making $20 or more! Furthermore, social media influencers partnering with these brands and organizations have allowed them to become online celebrities in their own right.
Although many people consider influencer marketing to be appropriate primarily for aesthetic industries like cosmetics, beauty brands, and apparel, there are influencers in every single industry - including healthcare. Tapping into these influencers and leveraging their authority can be an incredibly valuable way to promote your organization through the 21st century’s version of word-of-mouth marketing.
When it comes to social media and influencer marketing, think about them as tools rather than a burden. It may take time to look for the right industry influencer and grow your practice’s audience along with finding the right type of content, however, in the end, it will be worth it. Social media isn’t going anywhere and will only continue to grow in the upcoming years. If medical and healthcare practices take advantage of these opportunities, who’s to say they won’t become the leading and authority figure in their particular space in the years to come.
At Atlantic Health Solutions, we specialize in all things Social Media, Marketing, and Influencer Relations. Finding your organization’s voice is tough amongst the competition on various social media channels. Not to worry you are not alone, we can become a vital partner to your social media marketing needs. For more information, contact us.