There are an estimated 2.34 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is still growing. Understanding the importance of social media in the healthcare industry is paramount.
Your clients, specifically millennial clients, look toward technology to provide a hassle-free direct experience. They expect engagement on social networks from your clinic. If you want to learn more about millennials, please read our other blog post, Reaching Millennials: How to Create a Message that Engages Millennials.
Now, before you frantically downloading the top 5 social networking applications on the internet in hopes of accommodating these digital natives, here is some information that could benefit your business:
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Social Media Presence
As of May 2018, the most popular social media sites in America were Facebook and Instagram. Social media allows millennials to get a better idea of your brand and business. It is essential to not only have a Facebook page and Instagram business accounts for your office, but to advertise that you are on them.
It might seem pretty straightforward, but your clients will be more likely to follow and engage with you if they know your page exists. While prospecting clients might scan your profile to learn more about your business, your loyal clients aren’t doing this research. They won’t find your profile from a healthcare provider search because they aren’t searching. Notifying your current clients of your social media presence not only increases your following but can help set you apart as an innovative, up-to-date business.
Of course, smart social media does not stop after setting up an account--that is where it all begins. Once you’ve established an account, you then have to develop a presence. The two best ways to build a social media presence is through engaging content and quick responses.
1. Engaging Content
After creating accounts on social media sites and establishing your following with your clients, it’s time to create content that is engaging. Forbes reported that 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. Millennials have an expectation for brands to be on social media and also to engage with them on these platforms. It can be a time-consuming process for the company to keep up with their followers, produce content, and stay on top of messages or comments, but the payoff is worth it.
Too often, companies overlook the social aspect of social media. They pump out advertisements and cookie cutter captions, overlooking the authenticity that should be curated on their page. It is crucial to focus on putting the social aspect back into social media. Focus on building relationships with your followers and not coming across as a company that’s only concerned with pushing products and selling their services. Millennials are keen to discern when a company is selling too hard. They use social media as an outlet for entertainment. Keeping your content appealing, entertaining, and educational will help you gain and retain followers and potential customers.
Quality social media content relies on the immediacy of the business. You could have the best Facebook page in the healthcare industry, but if your responses and conversation are non-existent, well, so is your business.
Talk to your clients through social media. Be prompt, courteous, and problem-solving. It is a good idea to have a staff member dedicated to answering questions, replying to comments, and responding to direct messages on your social media platforms. Having an employee over the company’s social media account relations will help ensure you are accommodating your followers and that they are taken care of. The more immediate your response, the better. Millennials will gravitate toward companies that respond quickly. It is impressive to see a company or clinic that cares enough to make even their clients’ social media comments and messages a priority.
Reaching the millennial population goes beyond creating a Facebook page, sharing compelling content, and quickly responding to comments and messages. Here are a few more ways to attract millennial patients:
Have Multiple Points of Reference
Being on social media doesn’t let you off the hook entirely. Be present on as many platforms as possible. Millennials are tech savvy and are searching for businesses in several different places. Every point of reference people can find about your business is a positive indicator. This will help increase your credibility, social validation, and word-of-mouth recommendation.
As of April 2018, the most popular smartphone apps in the United States? were Facebook, YouTube, Google Search, Google Maps, and Facebook Messenger. If these are the applications being used by your clients most frequently, it’s important to be accessible on them. A simple Google search of your clinic is a great place to start. It’s important to regularly evaluate the reviews of your business on websites like Google Maps or Yelp to keep a positive reputation and know what people are saying about your company.
Ah yes, the often overlooked and underrated secret weapon for reaching millennials: Email. Email is not dead, and it is far from irrelevant. Email is one of the most critical pathways you could use to reach your current and prospective millennial patients. A recent study conducted by Adobe found that millennials check their email more frequently than any other age group. The American Press Institute also notes that email is the most common digital activity that takes place in the daily life of a millennial.
When creating emails for your clinic, it’s important to consider aspects like frequency and content. Here are some tips you can use to increase your millennial reach, as well as tidy up your emails and your patient’s inbox:
- Consider the timing. Less is more, regarding frequency. Half of consumers report that receiving emails too often is the most annoying thing about brand emails.
- Include images and personalize your emails. Focus more on informative content over promotional content. Create your message based on the information millennials want.
- Make sure your email is mobile-friendly. You don’t want consumers waiting for images to load or having to scroll for half a mile.
With these concepts in mind, your office can be current in the technological and digital realm. Using social media, email, and other websites not only promotes your business but helps to increase engagement with millennial patients.