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Social Media Planning for Healthcare Marketers

Katie Sorce

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Whether you’re in full swing planning next year’s social media content calendar or staring at a blank spreadsheet, here are three helpful strategies to keep in mind

1. Service Line Marketing by Month

Stuck on where to begin? One great way to spark content ideas is by reviewing national awareness days, weeks and months throughout the year. For example, February is American Heart Month, so naturally, this is a great time to promote your cardiac service line. Create educational blog posts or videos and feature doctors or other professionals to build credibility, and drive toward booking appointments or creating an interactive quiz to check risk for heart disease. They’re not just great for social, but organic blog posts or microsites that are optimized for the most important keywords will also be pushed up in search results as more people search for the topic.

2. Filling in Your Calendar

Now that you’ve added key health observances to your calendar, you can start to fill in the gaps. This may still seem daunting, but the best way to do this is by staying organized. Try downloading a free template to keep all your ideas in one place. Decide how many posts you want to promote per week and keep it consistent, but experiment with different posting times to see which time of day gets the most engagement. Try using a content management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule in advance to make life easier (especially if you’re posting across various platforms).

Finally, it’s okay to post content that isn’t actually yours—for example, local or national news stories or videos related to your service lines (or just public health in general). This can help build credibility by showing that you want to be helpful by providing people with important or even entertaining information, instead of just promoting your own services.

3. Don’t Forget to Be Social

When it comes to content planning and scheduling your social media posts ahead of time, it can be easy to just “set it and forget it.” However, social media is really meant to be a two-way conversation between your organization and patients. So don’t forget to actively monitor social to respond to comments or share posts that individuals or other organizations tag you in. Not only will this help to build a good relationship with your community, but responding to comments will also help your posts go further on social, as algorithms reward posts that earn a lot of activity and engagement.

Finally, even if you fill out your social media calendar months ahead of time, that doesn’t mean it should be set in stone. Adjust as needed, adding or removing posts based on community or national news events, and always share new relevant content as it appears. (Try setting up Google Alerts or use a website like Feedly to see the latest news headlines.) 

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Katie Sorce is a marketing coordinator for Smith & Jones. She contributes to research and strategy projects, manages social media and digital marketing accounts, and assists with content creation, account management, finance and operations. Smith & Jones is the healthcare marketing agency that specializes in branding and targeted service line marketing for hospitals, health systems and other care providers. Learn more at smithandjones.com.