Nearly three-fourths of American adults use some form of social media. Whether they’re sharing pictures of their child’s birthday party or filling out a survey to find out which Hogwarts house they belong to, Americans are more connected than ever.
But they’re not just connecting to each other. They’re also connecting with businesses. From the biggest fast food chains to the mom-and-pop store around the corner, businesses are increasingly upping their social networking game — and seeing big results.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Pharmacy’s Social Media Efforts
When it comes to utilizing social media for your pharmacy, there are a few things you need to consider:
- How much time am I going to spend on social media promotion?
- Which platforms do my customers use most?
- What should I be sharing with the world?
How Much Time to Invest in Social Media
When it comes to your pharmacy, social networking can fulfill two purposes: marketing and community outreach. While the two go hand-in-hand, there are still different. You can use social media as a marketing tool to promote your pharmacy’s services and special offers to your community. You can also use it to connect with your patients and get more involved in what’s happening in your neighborhood. And while social media is free, your time is not.
Decide early on how much time you’re willing to invest in social media. Even just a few minutes a day can make a difference in your pharmacy’s reputation. Posting a quick picture on Facebook or throwing out a thought on Twitter makes your business look more accessible to people. Don’t be surprised if patient engagement — especially with new patients — seems easier once you’re more active on your networks.
Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Pharmacy
Sometimes, it feels like a new social media platform is introduced every week. For every old standby like Facebook or Twitter, there is a newcomer like TikTok taking the world by storm. When your time is limited, it can be difficult (and even intimidating) to choose the right platform for your business.
To reach the most people with minimum effort, Facebook is your best bet. Seven out of 10 adults in America are active on Facebook, and 75 percent of them use the platform daily. To get the best bang for your time investment, Instagram is fantastic if you share lots of images and videos; their integrations allow you to simultaneously post to Facebook and Twitter also. And while it’s not the most popular social media platform (only 22 percent of adults are active users), Twitter allows you to get a message out to your community in seconds.
In the end, the best social media platform to use is the same one your patients use. While nationwide statistics are a good starting point, don’t be afraid to ask which apps the people in your community are using.
Sharing the Right Information in the Right Way
After choosing where to spend your time on social media, your next task is to figure out how to spend your time. What kinds of posts should you share? Should you be humorous? Should you keep it to just the facts? Social media can be your representation to your community (and even further), so you need to consider the content you choose to share. Here are a few do’s and don’ts:
- DO: Develop your own social media “voice.” Whether you choose to tell jokes or deliver community health facts, your followers will be able to identify your pharmacy’s brand identity simply by your posts. The more consistent you are with your voice, the better for your identity.
- DON’T: Share information about patients, either on your page or others. Even something as simple as identifying patients who visit your pharmacy could be an issue. It qualifies as protected health information, and that’s trouble you don’t want. (We know this goes without saying, but we wouldn’t feel right not including it.)
- DO: Provide a variety of content for your followers. Post images of your pharmacists and technicians so your community can get to know them. Share articles and information about the pharmacy industry to educate your followers. Post about community events and make connections with the people in your neighborhood.
- DON’T: Use your pharmacy’s page as a personal page. Political views, family drama, and pictures of your dinner don’t belong on a business page. That may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often the line between shop life and home life can get blurred — particularly when you’re putting in the kind of hours you are.
What you choose to share with your community is how your community will see your pharmacy. Be mindful of your content, and your social media reputation will soar.
For businesses, social media is a necessity these days. Larger businesses and corporations use it to establish their brand and make their company seem more personal for potential customers. Smaller businesses use it to grow their client base and connect with future customers. No matter how big your business is, being active on social networks can benefit you.
Image Sources: Pew Resource Center