Social media is a powerful business tool. When used wisely, it can boost a company’s reputation and its revenue. When used poorly, it can torpedo a business into oblivion. While we covered some general do’s and don’ts in our last social media article, we didn’t really get into just how your pharmacy can use this powerful yet often underutilized platform.
So how should you use your social media channels? Here are a few ways to put them to work for you and your community:
Provide Public Health Updates & Advice
You have a platform; use it to do some good. Whether you post a lengthy status update on Facebook, a multi-post thread on Twitter, or a video on YouTube, you can be a beacon of community health and growth online. Talk about the latest recommendations from the CDC, then offer your own suggestions for how best to put them into practice. Give updates on any drugs making the news, and give your professional perspective as someone in the industry. Your patients don’t have the knowledge you have; share it with them.
Educate Your Community about the Pharmacy Industry
There are many aspects of the pharmacy industry that the general public simply doesn’t know about. If you ask the average passerby what DIR fees are, we doubt you would get a correct answer. Many are also completely unaware of the unfair practices of pharmacy benefit managers. Your community cares as much for you as you do for them; they want you to stay in business. When they know what you’re up against, even on a big-picture scale, they can advocate for you.
Introduce Your Staff to the Community
Pharmacies aren’t like other stores. There’s a personal element that can’t be ignored. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians provide patients with the medication and support they need to lead better, healthier lives. It’s not quite the same as buying a lamp. Because of that, patients want to know the people who are helping them. Social media can be a great way to introduce your staff to your community. Whether you do it through a picture and a short bio, or even by giving them the reins to your pharmacy’s account for a day, your customers can get to know your staff before they ever set foot in your store.
Showcase Customer Testimonials
You can make the best commercials and run them in the best time slots, but the best advertisements in the world don’t compare to the strength of word of mouth. Your customers are and will always be your best advocates, so give them a platform to tell the world. While social media outlets like Facebook allow users to leave reviews, we suggest going a step further and posting customer quotes and testimonials in your feed (with their permission, of course.)
Keep Everyone Informed about Changes to Your Pharmacy
Are you closing for any holidays? Are you shifting your hours due to the pandemic? Let your patients (and anyone with a search button) know by posting about it on social media. It will save you dozens of phone calls and potentially angry customers who showed up at your door without calling ahead.
Whether you choose to post articles on Facebook or make videos on YouTube, social media is a powerful way to connect with your community. More than that, it’s a tool you can use to grow your outreach beyond the people who live in your neighborhood. And the more people you can reach, the stronger your community becomes.