NEWS

So, about those social media posts you’ve been doing…

Over the last few years, savvy healthcare providers have invested time and effort into building and engaging audiences in social media. Those efforts have been primarily organic posts in their timeline or newsfeed.

Problem is we’re learning that organic posts most likely won’t be sufficient to move the needle as we go forward. The culprits are the social media platforms themselves. In order to increase revenue, their algorithms are affecting what appears in users’ timelines.

Simply put, an organic post today doesn’t reach the number of users it once did.  In fact, according to Forrester Research, marketers are reaching only 6% of their fans if they aren’t using paid social advertising in their efforts. Valleywag and Cision have estimated that organic reach with Facebook and Twitter may be as little as 2% without paid advertising.

So, you’re probably thinking that after all your efforts to build your social media program that your posts are being delivered to your 3,000 fans while you may be actually reaching only 60 on any given post.

Bottom line is if you’re using social media, you must bring paid advertising into the mix. It can be as simple as boosting your organic posts or adding sponsored ads to the feed. All the platforms allow you to set specific budget caps.

The good thing is that paid advertising enables much better targeting opportunities to reach beyond your likes and find others like them.

If providers are going to be paying for social posts, we’ve got to provide better content. The greatest problem I see in social media today is the lack of quality posts. Scroll through most providers social feeds and you see a hodge podge of self-promoting posts noting employee awards, event promotions, holiday wishes, and the like. While there is nothing wrong with those kinds of posts as part of the mix, they aren’t what bring consumers back to your posts. 

Consumers want information they can use and that provides insight and understanding – such as information on conditions, risks and new treatments. Plus, there has to be a strategy for your posts whether organic or paid. Each must add something to your brand image. A random post is a wasted post.

They also want to see content presented visually. All social platforms are now focusing on visual content, the most popular of which is video. Research shows that audiences prefer watching video to reading a blog. Plus, it’s a great way to promote physician expertise.

Most social traffic is via mobile, so all content must be developed for viewing on smartphones. Social video is different from traditional video in a number of ways. The format should be vertical or square and the first 3-4 seconds are critical. And, videos and other visual content should be effective without sound.

Social media is definitely a moving target, especially as algorithms are changing every day. Just posting a little news occasionally isn’t enough anymore. To succeed, you must have someone staying on top of trends and thinking strategically.

The Adams Group can help you strategically plan and develop your social media and other digital offerings. Just contact Wayne Adams at wadams@adamsgroup.com and we’ll be happy to talk with you about your needs.

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