5 Healthcare Social Media Marketing Campaign Strategies You Should Be Running Right Now

by | Nov 9, 2020 | Digital Strategy

When done right, healthcare social media marketing campaign strategies are the most targeted and cost-effective tools you can use as a hospital to reach your audience.

To help you use social media mar­ket­ing more effec­tive­ly, this post out­lines five types of hos­pi­tal Face­book cam­paigns that are proven to nur­ture users from prospects to sat­is­fied patients and boost your bot­tom line.

Let’s take a look at health­care social media mar­ket­ing cam­paign strate­gies work using Face­book— the #1 social media plat­form and often the first step on the patient journey—as an example.

From there, it becomes clear how the social media plat­forms tar­get users and how you can use them to reach your audiences.

The impor­tance of social media mar­ket­ing in health­care is illus­trat­ed by the fol­low­ing data from our State of Health­care Con­tent Mar­ket­ing Report:

  • 100% of health­care mar­keters use social media, pri­mar­i­ly to gen­er­ate brand aware­ness and con­sumer engagement
  • 69% use social engage­ment to mea­sure the suc­cess of con­tent marketing
  • 52% use social media con­tent to gen­er­ate leads for high-val­ue services
  • 38% use social media con­tent to engage physicians


75% of healthcare marketers use social ads.


86% of the above 75% have at least some level of difficulty proving the effectiveness of these campaigns.


Facebook in Focus

Face­book is the #1 plat­form for deployig health­care social media mar­ket­ing cam­paign strate­gies, with our annu­al study show­ing 92% using it com­pared to Insta­gram (81%), LinkedIn/Twitter (76%) and YouTube (73%).

To max­i­mize the impact of your social media mar­ket­ing, let’s take a deep­er dri­ve into the plat­for­m’s tar­get­ing methods:


You can reach cus­tomers based on where they live or do busi­ness with you. Tar­get ads by coun­try, state, zip code, or even the area around your business.


You can choose the audi­ences that should see your ads by age, gen­der, inter­ests or the lan­guages they speak.


When peo­ple are inter­est­ed in what your busi­ness does, they’re more like­ly to take action on your ad. Hun­dreds of cat­e­gories like music, movies, sports, games, shop­ping and many more help you find just the right people.

Look-Alike Audiences

This option lets you cre­ate a tar­get­ing cat­e­go­ry on Face­book based on a pro­file of your cur­rent cus­tomers. It’s a great way to use the insights you’ve gained from your Face­book mar­ket­ing to find more peo­ple who will ben­e­fit from your prod­ucts and services.


This is how you reach the peo­ple who like your page—and their friends. It’s an easy way to find a broad­er audi­ence that might be inter­est­ed in your business.

Partner Categories

Through tar­get­ing options pro­vid­ed by third-par­ty data part­ners, you can reach users based on offline behav­iors, such as own­ing a home, being in the mar­ket for a new car or being a loy­al pur­chas­er of a spe­cif­ic brand or product.

Custom Audiences

Facebook’s tar­get­ing tools also help you find your exist­ing cus­tomers among all the peo­ple who are on Face­book. You can cre­ate a cus­tom audi­ence using a cus­tomer con­tact list, your web­site traf­fic or activ­i­ty in your app.


Cus­tomers can be iden­ti­fied based on the things they do online—such as shop­ping behav­ior, the type of phone they use, or if they’re look­ing to buy a car or house.

The Anatomy of a Facebook Ad

One more thing before we get to the secret sauce. A Face­book ad’s for­mat can vary depend­ing on the ad type and the media you place with­in the ad. The exam­ple below is an ad intend­ed to dri­ve the user to a land­ing page. This sam­ple has only one image, but Face­book ads also allow for a carousel of pan­els on the ad, a slideshow of pho­tos, or video.

Facebook ad sample with each section labeled

A snip­pet of text that appears beneath your page’s name and logo. An effec­tive descrip­tion should clear­ly and con­cise­ly state your offer and what you want the user to do. Ad cre­ators pro­vide their own description.


You can upload cus­tom images or choose from Facebook’s Shut­ter­stock library. If you use a cus­tom image, make sure you have the license or per­mis­sion to dis­trib­ute. Images can­not include more than 20% text. If you choose to use an image with read­able text, such as a sign, you can test it in the over­lay tool.


The head­line is auto­mat­i­cal­ly pulled from your land­ing page’s title tag but can be cus­tomized. We rec­om­mend reit­er­at­ing the offer your ad is sell­ing to the user, as in this example.

CTA Button

Face­book has a set list of CTA but­tons but enough choic­es to select some­thing rel­e­vant to your offer. Oth­er options include “Down­load,” “Sign Up,” “Con­tact Us” and more.

Link Description

The link descrip­tion is auto­mat­i­cal­ly pulled from your land­ing page’s meta descrip­tion but can be cus­tomized to best engage the read­er to click the CTA but­ton. This exam­ple direct­ly address­es the user with ques­tions about joint health and address­es the ben­e­fits of tak­ing the joint assessment.


This is auto­mat­i­cal­ly pulled from your land­ing page’s URL but can be cus­tomized. For exam­ple, you could change the URL in this ad to read Sceniccityhealthare.com/joint-assessment.

A Word About Tracking Your Ads

The Face­book ad edi­tor has an option­al sec­tion you can use to cre­ate your own UTM parameters—bits of code used to track the effec­tive­ness of online mar­ket­ing cam­paigns across traf­fic sources and pub­lish­ing media. UTM para­me­ters allow you to seg­ment the spe­cif­ic cam­paign, source, medi­um and con­tent of your website’s traffic.

Here’s What They Look Like:

The Link You See  The Embed­ded UTM Code


You can cre­ate UTM para­me­ters using Facebook’s UTM tool built into the ad edi­tor, or anoth­er tool like Google’s URL Builder, which can help you con­nect your website’s traf­fic to paid media such as Face­book ads. If you use a URL builder, paste the full URL (includ­ing UTM para­me­ters) into the Face­book ad edi­tor, rather than using Facebook’s UTM tool.

5 Facebook Ads for 5 Stages of Awareness

How do prospects become patients? It doesn’t just happen—prospects move through five stages of awareness. 











Understanding the Stages of Awareness

Sched­ul­ing a pro­ce­dure, such as a joint replace­ment surgery, is not as sim­ple as adding a prod­uct to your online cart and click­ing “Check Out.” Health­care deci­sions are emo­tion­al, poten­tial­ly risky and require a lot of research before your prospec­tive patients are ready to make a deci­sion. Health­care con­sumers have more options than ever, and many insur­ance plans incen­tivize them to shop around for the best care at the best price.

Rather than using ads only to book appoint­ments, you can use ads to nur­ture your prospec­tive patients from one stage of aware­ness to the next. This way, you can be with them through the whole deci­sion process, rather than show­ing up at the very end after they have engaged with com­pet­ing hos­pi­tals and start­ed build­ing rela­tion­ships with them.

1. Ads for the Unaware

These ads are for peo­ple who have nev­er heard of your hos­pi­tal or the ser­vices you offer.

Ads for the unaware should:

  • Intro­duce your brand
  • Make a great impression
  • Name the prospec­t’s problem
  • Move the prospect from unaware to problem-aware

Here’s a local aware­ness ad that tar­gets fam­i­lies who have just moved to your hospital’s ser­vice area.

2. Ads for the Problem‑Aware

These ads are for peo­ple who are aware they have a prob­lem but are unaware that your hos­pi­tal can solve it.

Ads for the problem‑aware should:

  • Address the prospect’s pain or problem
  • Intro­duce solutions
  • Move the prospect from prob­lem-aware to solution-aware

This ad address­es that pain (your sore knees may pre­vent you from hik­ing) and offers a free assess­ment to see what solu­tions are right for the user.

3. Ads for the Solution-Aware

These ads are for prospects who know they have a prob­lem and are research­ing solutions.

Ads for the solu­tion-aware should:

  • Intro­duce spe­cif­ic and action­able solutions
  • Move from solu­tion-aware to product-aware

This ad pro­motes an eBook about joint replace­ment surgery. Resources like these will give peo­ple the infor­ma­tion they crave and estab­lish your hos­pi­tal as an expert on the topic.

4. Ads for the Product‑Aware

This is the where the doc­tors, tech­nolo­gies and ser­vices that set your hos­pi­tal apart come in—not until the sec­ond-to-last stage of aware­ness. Now that the user is famil­iar with your brand and the solu­tions you pro­vide, this would be the best time to invite them to an event or con­sul­ta­tion to meet your ortho­pe­dic sur­geons, tour your facil­i­ty and start mak­ing plans for their procedure.

Ads for the prod­uct-aware should:

  • Intro­duce your spe­cif­ic prod­ucts or services
  • Pro­vide a hard­er call to action
  • Move from prod­uct-aware to most-aware
5. Ads for the Most‑Aware

This is the clos­er. Need to con­vert those sem­i­nar atten­dees to make an appoint­ment with the doc­tor? This is the kind of ad you should serve them.

Ads for the most-aware should:

  • Alle­vi­ate doubt and risk
  • Make it easy for the prospect to buy
  • Close the deal

The Bottom Line

  1. Face­book allows for some of the best tar­get­ing by using spe­cif­ic demo­graph­ics, cus­tom lists and remar­ket­ing techniques.
  2. Face­book has a vari­ety of cam­paigns and ad for­mats to ful­fill your mar­ket­ing goals and engage hos­pi­tal prospects at any stage of awareness.
  3. Less is more. Stick to one audi­ence, one offer and one goal.
  4. Always be test­ing, learn­ing and iter­at­ing. The more you learn from your suc­cess­es and fail­ures, the bet­ter you can tar­get your audience.

Note: This post has been updated since it was originally published in April 2017.

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