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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. (The idea that prospects go through a process on the way to becoming customers can be found in many forms and from a variety of sources. We like this formulation, from Copyhackers.)
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
- Facebook allows for some of the best targeting by using specific demographics, custom lists and remarketing techniques.
- Facebook has a variety of campaigns and ad formats to fulfill your marketing goals and engage hospital prospects at any stage of awareness.
- Less is more. Stick to one audience, one offer and one goal.
- 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.
Learn talk about how social media marketing can grow your audience and key service lines.