How to Optimize Your Online Presence

With advancements in technology playing such a significant part in innovating the healthcare industry, it is important to remember to utilize all digital resources available to us, like social media, in order to develop an effective business strategy that not only helps you promote your brand but encourage engagement between you, your followers and those you follow. Whether your goal is to increase awareness and educate or to advertise and improve revenue, all of these tactics involve understanding the 5 best practices that can help your business properly establish and benefit from an online presence. 

Proactivity

Over the course of the past few months, it seems social media has become the primary outlet for crisis communications. As people continue to look online to read public statements regarding closures, new laws passed and how the pandemic is affecting some of their favorite businesses, it is important that you keep up to date with the latest news and address the current social climate appropriately. By modifying your social media strategy to be considerate of how your audience feels during this time as well as identifying the adjustment of their needs, your posts can have the opportunity to help the public educate, raise awareness and even advocate for causes they believe in. Some examples of proactive social media content include: press releases at the beginning of COVID, regularly scheduled updates from WHO, the CDC or other health organizations and most recently physical therapy practices and other supportive medical clinics who have been fighting for telehealth reimbursement from CMS. All of these responsive actions have led to positive change and have helped fueled the fight for others during a time of such uncertainty and change. 

Inclusivity

Now more than ever, inclusivity is an essential component of effectively communicating your message because in order to address your audience you need to understand who they are, what they want and the nature of their environment. In times like now, it is important to make sure your posts are spreading positivity when they can and helping rebuild any sense of community. Whether it be promoting diverse marketing materials that showcase various races, ethnicities and religions or accommodating users with accessibility disabilities, in order to grow  your following as well as produce all inclusive content, be careful about the decisions you make when writing, designing and publishing social media posts. 

Consistency

Any successful social media plan involves a posting schedule and strategy, both of which need to be consistent. In order to optimize your audience reach and increase organic impressions, you will need to develop an understanding of your audience’s interests as well as analyze trends in their activity. By tracking user behavior analytics, you will be able to see when your followers are most active and more likely to interact with your content. Knowing what time to schedule posts proves extremely beneficial for businesses who strategically target a variety of segmented audiences. For example, elderly populations are found to browse social media earlier in the morning than younger generations who are consistently active more often later in the day. 

Empathy/Acknowledgement

Especially during situations like COVID-19, social media provides businesses with a way to connect with their clients and communities, proving to the world that large corporations and small companies are alike in caring about the general well being of the public. With platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, businesses have been able to advocate, inform and communicate their mission in helping the world recover from the social and economic damage of the CoronaVirus. However, while news updates, health alerts and legal announcements are all intended to help circulate important information for the public to rely on, during COVID it is just as significant to take advantage of pushing out any good news as well. The past few months have been hard on all of us as the news has been filled with negativity, hate and death, so as a business looking to counteract those struggles, you will need to create a balance of posts that are informative and posts that serve as positive distractions. In fact, for some brands it may be better not to associate with the virus at all, but for healthcare professionals, the virus is an inevitable topic of discussion. To best create a sense of normalcy, try to focus on things that inspire, encourage and motivate others to best adapt to challenging situations. Here are some ideas…

-develop and host business continuity webinars that provide helpful insight

-promote virtual conferences and events so that people still have things to look forward to 

-share positive information like declined COVID cases or new telehealth reimbursement laws 

-encourage education and raise awareness for charities or non profit organizations

-stimulate open discussion with mental health checks and live social forums 

Value

While improving brand awareness and increasing revenues are important for business, it is also important to ensure your posts have some intrinsic value to your audience. Value comes in many forms but it is up to you to establish the WHAT and HOW your audience will benefit from engaging with your social media content. This involves designing your posts to be open ended, so that the viewer individually interprets the message and clicks to read or learn more because it piqued their interest. Another way to provide value to your audience is knowing your brand, being thoughtful about your place in the market and communicating a message that clearly explains WHAT you have to offer as well as concisely demonstrates HOW you can help your audience.