There has been an explosion in digital content and the ability to transfer data over the last decade. Analysis of people’s habits tells us that today we are reading processing thousands of words daily via email, text messaging, web information and social media and that the digital media revolution has touched all aspects of modern society. Undeniable industry data tells us what most of us already realised:
Digital media including social media platforms are not a fad – they’re here to stay and their presence has caused major impacts and shifts in marketing communications.
It all started with the internet – and look where that has taken us.
Some quick facts:
- The first website went live in 1991
- In 2014, there were a recorded 1 billion websites
And then there’s Dr Google…
- Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average equalling over 3.5 billion searches per day
- 80% of internet users have searched for a health-related topic online
- Google owns 81% of search volume
While most medical practitioners and businesses have now accepted and embraced the need for marketing on the world wide web, the big question we are now asked is about Social media.
What are the statistics for social media in Australia?
The figures for social media users in Australia are startling regarding take-up and engagement over shorter
timeframes. Here’s a snap shot of monthly activity of some of the more well-known channels that are suited to medical businesses.
Some other fun facts:
- 7 in 10 Australians use Facebook
- 1 in 2 Australians use Facebook on a daily basis
So – is Social Media appropriate for medical businesses?
There is still so much resistance to social media within the medical industry. It’s viewed warily by many doctors and outside of a few niche specialty groups and allied health professionals, the take up of marketing programs utilising this medium has been slow.
But this is now changing.
What are the pros?
- Bear in mind that whether or not you have your own social media platform, people are still able to comment on you and your services via online forums which are
completely out of your control. In many instances (not all), people who go on forums to comment on you and your services are not posting positive messages. Often the posts are emotive and disgruntled. The advantage of having your own social media program allows you to be building a profile that is a true portrayal of you and your services.
- Social media channels can be extremely targeted and very cost effective, they are monitorable and enable you to track return on investment
What are the cons?
- Social media marketing (SMM) needs to be well constructed, regular and have variety and replies and posts needs to be monitored and responded to. To get results and benefits takes time and proper management.
What is the best social media channel for my business?
There is no one size fits all approach to social media. That being said, for the medical industry there are uses for different channels.
Facebook: For most medical practitioners wanting to reach out to the general public Facebook is still the best choice. It can target via age, gender, specific locations and interests. A well conceived Facebook campaign can quickly grow your followers and you can set a budget that fits your goals.
Remember to keep your Facebook personal profile separate from your Facebook business profile and set your security settings.
Google+: Google+ is essential for your website to be found on Google. It is essentially Google’s version of Facebook.
YouTube: Video imagery is highly valuable. It creates great engagement with your audience – and Google loves it!
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an ideal channel for reaching out to other professionals and engage with people seeking high calibre and reputable service providers. It is an ideal channel if you are trying to attract other professionals to be a part of your medical business or to gain trust from specialist medical users for your product or service.
Instagram: Instagram is more limited as a channel for medical practitioners and not a channel we would recommend for many practitioners. It works best for providers of cosmetic services.
It always needs to be remembered that social media is about building engagement and relationships and posts need to be regular, informative and interesting. Once you start to be perceived as over selling in this space, your followers will disengage. Develop a content calendar to ensure your posts are the right frequency and en point.
- Blog marketing
- Video production
- Social media monitoring for individual clients
- Building your profile
- Media monitoring
- Regular reporting