Social Media Tools For Health Marketing

Health marketers are always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences, but this can be a challenge in an industry that is constantly evolving and changing. Social media marketing is one way to stay on top of the latest trends, but it can also be difficult to keep track of all the different tools available.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best social media tools for health marketing. Whether you want to monitor hashtags and keywords in real time or find out which influencers are talking about your brand, these platforms can help you get started with your social media strategy today!

Social Media Tools For Health Marketing

Health promotion is a way of enabling people to increase control over their health and improve their health. Over the years the major communication tools used in health promotion were traditional media such as televisions, radios, billboards, print media (posters, magazines). More recently social media is gaining popularity as another effective communication tool in health promotion.

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Social media are computer-based technologies that allow sharing of thoughts, ideas and information between individuals and groups. It has special characteristics such as bidirectional or multidirectional exchange of content between its users which allow such contents to reach a large audience in a short time frame. It is a cost effective and interactive tool that can be used to communicate with the hard to reach population groups. Popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Myspace, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

A targeted approach which makes health promotion more effective is social marketing. It involves applying commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution and evaluation of programs designed to influence the voluntary behaviour of target audiences in order to improve their welfare and that of the society

The following strategies described below should be considered when using social media to market behaviour change in health. They are effective strategies which have been used in successful health promotion programs/interventions.

  1. Having clear and well defined objectives when using social media for health promotion. Goals and objectives help define the program plan and usually come before planning, monitoring and evaluation strategies. The objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and be Time bound (SMART) and must be continually reviewed during the planning, monitoring and evaluation phase of any health promotion program.
  2. Conducting a thorough research to define the target audience, understand their unique characteristics, understand factors which influence their behaviour and the best methods of reaching them. These findings can help identify user needs and plan ways in using social media platform to meets their needs.
  3. Using behavioural theories to guide social media programs. Theories such as stages of change theory, social learning theory, health belief model and theory of reasoned action have been used in social marketing programs in the past.
  4. Incorporating key elements of social marketing into social media health promotion campaigns. These include: behaviour, customer orientation, theory, insight, exchange, segmentation and methods mix.
  5. Creating a brand on social media which can serve as a good advertisement tool and also improve message recall. Branding is described as a well-established marketing strategy to influence a consumer’s perception about a message. Brands can be created through paid advertisements, publishing brand content on social channels, participating in social networks as a brand persona, It is important to choose a brand that will appeal to the target group.
  6. Choosing the most appropriate social media channel for the health message. The choice of the social media channel should be based on the purpose of the health promotion project and the target audience to be reached. However, it is important to consider available resources such as technical expertise and support. Starting with less demanding tools which do not require large resources is a great way to start and build experience with use of social media. Consumer reach is higher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube and these should be the preferred social media platforms for health promotion. Facebook has a lot of users and the widest reach for the general population but young adults find Instagram more appealing. When using Facebook, it is important to be very creative to attract the attention of the target audience.
  7. Creating and stimulating user participation through creative contents which focus on end benefits. Adverts, videos, new links and program updates are ways to engage users. Adverts generate curiosity and can be customized to user preferences. Making the platform interactive also maintains and retains users. When a user finds the message/content of a campaign interesting and feels a connection to the message it usually stimulates participation and engagement.
  8. Ensuring access to social media platforms by avoiding use of passwords and providing free access to social media sites.
  9. Including social media as part of traditional media campaign. This provides an opportunity to engage more users and reach a larger audience.
  10. Using mobile interventions to complement social media. Mobile technologies allow people to access social media through hand held devices such as smart phones and tablets. Mobile phone apps can also be used for interventions in weight management, diabetes management, blood pressure management and smoking cessation.
  11. Developing an effective framework for evaluation of the health promotion program. To evaluate social media projects there should be a structure which assesses inputs, activities, outputs and short- and long-term benefits. On-going evaluation helps to reshape strategy and processes for future projects.

When carefully put into consideration, these strategies would ensure an effective and successful social media health promotion project.

best healthcare social media

1. Educate your audience

As a healthcare brand, educating your audience is one of the most important and impactful social media strategies for you. The reason? In most cases, it exactly matches the audience’s intent of following your social media handle. Your audience came to your page for information, and if you don’t give it to them, they’ll look elsewhere.

You can execute information distribution using your healthcare social media handle in several ways. You can choose to create a video, share a blog post, or use a static image that contains some written information.

Typically, videos bring the most engagement than images. You can also share blog posts on your social media, but it’s commonly a redistribution method. You shouldn’t write a blog post with the purpose of putting it on social media, but if you already have a blog that you use for SEO, you can always redistribute that content through your social media.

Cleveland Clinic uses all of these methods, which is also an option. For instance, here’s a video they shared on their Facebook page:

It’s a quick one-minute video that teaches the audience about how to start an exercise program. The video could have just as easily been a static image with a bullet list of instructions, but remember, videos are more engaging for the audience. Plus, it’s much harder to show rather than tell when you rely only on text. Keeping that in mind, Cleveland Clinic has taken footage and edited it to add text and background music to the video.

If you want to create a similar video, you can rely on InVideo’s ready-to-use templates when you’re short on time. For instance, you’ll be able to create a similar video using the following template:

Use this template

Just replace the footage and text in the template, add more effects and transitions if you wish to, and you’ll be able to export your HD video in a few minutes. Of course, you can also create videos from scratch if you want more flexibility. A clean slate is also an ideal choice when you want to create long-form videos like the following one from Cleveland Clinic:

2. Bust common myths

Misinformation plagues the healthcare space. 

For many people who aren’t from a medical background, healthcare can be a bit of a gray area. In a world where doctors are calling vaccines ineffective, you can provide your audience plenty of value by just being a reliable and trustworthy source of information.

While it will take you some time to establish yourself as an authority online, the long-term payoff can be significant for a healthcare brand. You can bust myths in several ways: conducting interviews with experts, citing research or a study, or having an expert speak directly with your audience through a video. 

For instance, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare shares a video of Dr. Friall as she busts common myths about the coronavirus:

If you want to create a similar video, you should get the basics right. Get a tripod or gimbal to record shake-free footage, use a good microphone, and make sure you’re recording the video in a well-lit environment.

You can make your videos even more engaging by adding effects and transitions. Alternatively, you can use one of the InVideo healthcare templates to save the time you’d need to spend on editing. Here’s a template you can use to divide your video into myth-wise sections:

Use this template

You may choose to preserve the background track and reduce the volume to make sure the person in the video is audible, or decide to remove the background track. If the frames feel a little bare-bones without a background track, you might consider adding voice-over. You should also add text for the speaker’s name and title at the bottom towards the beginning of the video, and if you want to add a logo as TMH does, here’s another template you can use:

Use this template

3. Work with influencers to tap into new audiences

Influencers are one of your greatest assets when you’re growing your social presence. Contrary to common belief, you don’t necessarily need  a full-time influencer. 

An influencer is anyone who has a large following on a digital platform, and this can include medical professionals who have a strong social media presence. And guess what? People trust doctors more than the content they read online. A survey reveals that 90% of its respondents said they’d trust a doctor’s recommendation over something they read online. 

This gives you an opportunity to earn credibility by associating your brand with a reputed medical professional who has a strong online presence – aka an influencer in the healthcare space. You can build a professional relationship with such influential figures and confer credibility and authority that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve from any other marketing channel.

GoodMolecules went this route. The company sells products like moisturizers, serum, and toner, but so do many other companies. GoodMolecules decided to differentiate themselves by earning a popular medical influencer’s endorsement. They collaborated with Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, MD. She’s an internal medicine physician with a sizable Instagram following.

Here’s what Dr. Audrey shared:

So, why should someone trust Dr. Audrey? Well, she has a reputation to protect. For a doctor, reputation is even more important than other influencers. If they lose a patient’s trust, it’s hard to earn it back.

If you’re trying to implement this strategy, you have a few things to work on. First, is your product or service actually valuable from a customer’s point of view? If it’s a generic product or service that doesn’t offer tangibly better results, influencers might be reluctant about promoting it.

Second, you need to find an influencer who will want to promote your offering, have a target audience that matches yours, and most importantly, credibility. If you want to work with the most successful influencers, you’ll need to spend more, which brings us to the final consideration – your budget. 

Once you have these figured out, reach out to an influencer (their email is usually in the bio) and make your case. If all goes well, you’ll be able to tap into a massive audience in a single hit.

4. Track performance with analytics

Posting content consistently is key to succeeding on social media. Another critical element is variety. You can’t keep posting about the same thing and expect your audience to engage. However, certain types of posts will typically perform better than others, depending on your audience and brand. This is precisely why you’ll need social media analytics.

You’ll still need to offer your audience a good variety of posts so things don’t become repetitive, but analytics can tell you what you should post more of the same to fast-track your healthcare social media account’s growth.

The challenge is that there’s a bit of a learning curve here. Each platform has its own analytics board, so from getting acquainted with the interface to understanding what the metrics are telling you, there’s a little bit of content that you’ll need to absorb. The good thing is that you’ll find several tutorials online to help you understand analytics in a simple way:

Once you know how to read the analytics, you’ll need to optimize future content that you post on your social media handles accordingly. For instance, analytics will tell you at which time your posts receive the best engagement. Scheduling your posts using a social media management tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial can help you optimize your engagement metrics just by scheduling them to be posted at a certain time. 

5. Let reviews and testimonials work for you

Social proof should be top-of-mind for a healthcare brand’s social media strategy. Why, you ask? Well, 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read online reviews when browsing for local businesses. Whether you’re a laboratory or a physician, chances are your customers and clients are looking you up on social media and search engines to look at what people are saying about you.

For this reason, both reviews and testimonials are a critical part of your social media strategy, but it’s a long-term strategy. When you have happy customers, ask them to leave an honest review on your social media handle. Over time, you’ll have accumulated a good number of reviews on social media. 

As a bonus, reviews will also provide SEO value. Plus, you can also pull your social media reviews onto your website, which means this strategy can create assets that are useful even outside of your social media. Doing this can potentially bring people who visit your website to your social media page, where they can engage with your brand more frequently. Here’s an example of how you can add social reviews to your WordPress website:

Testimonials are an even more powerful way of having your clients advocate your brand. Instead of just having a five-star rating on your page, you can request the client to say a few words about what they liked about your product or how they thought your service was valuable to them.

You can use text-based testimonials, but using video testimonials is a more impactful strategy. Engagement is certainly a reason why it’s more impactful, but video testimonials can offer you a unique opportunity. 

If you’re sitting with a client to record a video testimonial, you can ask them specific questions about their experience. In contrast to text-based testimonials, video testimonials allow you a certain degree of influence on the content you want to share. Instead of sharing something shallow like “I had an excellent experience with XYZ,” you can ask questions to the client to elicit a deeper, more meaningful response.

Here’s an excellent example of how Gilroy Healthcare does its video testimonials:

Notice the video has been trimmed, which shows they cut out certain parts of the video to preserve the best parts. There are transitions in between to smooth out the breakpoints created after trimming.

When creating a testimonial video, you can use Gilroy Healthcare’s video as an example. Trim out anything that’s unimportant to make the video as crisp as possible. Ideally, aim to keep the video between one and three minutes. Then, add transitions and effects to give your video a professional touch. If you want to add an intro or outro like in Gilroy Healthcare’s video, you can use one of the InVideo templates to accomplish that quickly. Here’s an excellent example:

Use this template

6. Focus on building a community through interaction

Don’t start your social media marketing efforts on the wrong foot. Instead of gauging your social media performance through the number of leads generated, think of your social media as a long-term game where you need to cultivate a sense of community before you can start getting returns on your investment.

So, how do you build a community? The best way to build an online community around your business is to interact with your audience. You can respond to comments that ask healthcare questions to a simple thank you to someone who appreciates your work.

For instance, here’s how Odyssey Management Dental Speaking & Consulting responds to a comment that shows appreciation:

Example of how Odyssey Management Dental Speaking & Consulting responds to a comment

If your healthcare social media handle has a much larger following, you can be (rather will need to be) more selective about which comments you respond to. 

Aim to respond to comments that can encourage a healthy discussion, ask a question related to your business, or appreciate their experience with your brand, in that order. The key to consistently working towards building a community is to be in the right mindset of being passionate about helping people, rather than focusing on a business-related goal like branding or generating leads. 

It’s also important to keep an eye on your DMs. People will often reach out to you with a direct message when they have a question or simply to show appreciation (though a lot of it will also be spam). While it takes plenty of effort to read the DMs and respond to them, it’s an excellent opportunity for you to build personal connections with your audience

Think about it. Where else will you get the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with your target audience? Use this opportunity to convey that you’re capable of solving their queries and that you care. Over time, you’ll notice your community, and consequently, your social media account and business grow.

7. Run ad campaigns

Social media ads are the perfect way to sustain your health social media account’s growth. From gaining initial traction to tapping into new audiences with hyper-targeted campaigns, ads are a critical component of any social media strategy.

When you run ads on social media, you’ll need to decide whether you want to create a video ad or a static ad. Marketers often rely on static ads when they’re short on time required for video editing. However, if you use an editor like InVideo, you’ll be able to shorten the time spent on editing significantly through ready-to-use templates and a user interface that’s a breeze to get comfy with.

Using video ads works in favor because it earns you a lot more engagement than static ads. Unsurprisingly, the US social network video ad spend is expected to grow by a massive 20.1% to $24.35 billion in 2022.

For instance, here’s a great video that you can use as an example:

You can create a similar video ad fairly easily with InVideo. For instance, here’s a template you can use to quickly create a video ad for your healthcare social media page:

Use this template

If you want to run ads, you can also consider working with a digital marketing agency that has a team of experts to tackle your requirements. The best ones might cost you a fair bit, though. 

If you’re only just getting started and want to try running ads yourself, we have complete guides on Facebook ads and Instagram ads that you can to get started. We’ve also got plenty of examples for creating healthcare ads. Once you’ve got a good amount of money flowing into the business, you can hand over your campaigns to a digital marketing agency.

Now that you’re aware of the most effective healthcare social media strategies to grow your presence online, let’s look at some of the things you need to keep in mind while implementing these strategies. 


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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