Targeting millennials and grandmas

An effective social media strategy is a “must have” for practice growth

Tammy Evans

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2019

Most practices understand that an effective social media strategy is no longer a “nice to have” but rather a “must have” for practice growth. But what is the best way to develop and implement a social media strategy that both attracts and converts prospective patients and has a high return on investment? The secret is twofold. First you must understand which elements are a must, which elements should be avoided and, most importantly, how to apply “social speak” to different demographics, namely baby boomers and millennials. Second, you must understand the rules of engagement.

Both millennials and baby boomers make decisions about you based on what they see online and on social media — often without visiting your practice or talking to anyone on your staff. This is true even when they receive a word-of-mouth referral! millennials are especially comfortable making buying decisions based on internet research and are now applying the same methods they use on Amazon and other online retail sites to decision-making in the healthcare arena. In case you’re wondering if this behaviour is limited to millennials — it’s not. Baby boomers are spending an average of 27 hours per week online; and according to the data, like millennials, whatever they see, they believe.

So how can you leverage contemporary consumer behaviour to increase patient volume? You have to be where potential patients are: on social media platforms. Millennials are more comfortable using non-traditional means of engagement with their doctors, and an astonishing 90.4% of millennials use social media every day. Baby boomers are more likely to use Facebook than any other social platform (although Instagram usage is growing) and they are 19% more likely to share content than any other generation. And interestingly, they are also more likely to act on what they see on social media. This is good news for practices who have a good Facebook presence!

What constitutes a good social presence? It can be summarised by the tried and true 80/20 rule. Eighty percent (or more) of your posts should be social, in other words, funny, informative, inspiring. Less than 20% of your posts should be promotional. As a Facebook executive once stated: “You have to remember that your [practice posts] are coming in, in the middle of my posts from my family and friends. So, if you bombard me with promotion, I will remove you from my feed.”

The takeaway? Your prospective patients are on social media, so your presence on social media platforms should be robust and engaging, so that it can provide a powerful branding for your practice.

Tammy Evans, VP of Marketing at Ceatus Media Group will be speaking at The ESCRS Practice Management and Development Programme which will take place on Monday 16 September at the 37th Congress of the ESCRS in Paris, France. See here for further details