Social media can feel a lot like the Wild West these days. Remember when Facebook used to be about simply posting cute photos of your kids and pets, and all your friends would see it?
Now your feed is filled with news, politics and Black Friday ads. It’s hard to rise above this noise, but as a health provider and business owner, you know that social media is the best way to reach and build your audience.
Like it or not, social media isn’t going anywhere.
Get a guide to create social media content faster and get more engagement 👇
First, a social media lesson from a story
Did you read this yet?
Even if you don’t have kids or they’re not the right age, you must read Wonder by RJ Palacio.
My three older kids read this a few years ago, but I got to enjoy it all over again this week when my youngest devoured it.
Auggie’s journey to begin school with a severe facial deformity is full of life lessons.
There are actually precepts from Auggie’s teacher all over the book. My son was kind enough to leave this gem from Homer Simpson on my desk.
But there’s one important lesson for me in social media marketing.
First, here’s the hero’s journey:
1. Auggie mostly accepts and loves himself in the safety of his family and close friends.
2. Auggie goes to school where he’s judged only by his appearance.
3. Auggie accepts himself in public and lets his full personality shine. Kids come around, and Auggie ends up better off for it.
When you use social media marketing for your business, you go through this same journey, albeit on a less dramatic level.
1. We feel comfortable with how we provide services in our business. We’re pretty good at it 1:1.
2. To reach more people and build our businesses, we have to share our business in a very public way. It feels awkward and uncomfortable. We get tripped up and are annoyed we’re not doing well. Others who aren’t so great get all the attention.
3. And then we find our way and end up better off.
3 reasons social media marketing is uncomfortable for healthcare providers
But let’s be honest. No health or wellness provider enters the field to do social media marketing. And yet, social media marketing is this nagging itch that you know you have to scratch. It’s the means to help more people and grow your practice.
Even if you’re someone who accepts you need to use social media marketing for your business, I hear three common reasons why you still may struggle getting comfortable promoting your practice.
- Imposter syndrome is real. Even when you are an expert, the endless series of experts (and seeming experts) in your field on social media is massive. You may have worked in your industry longer and achieved better results, but all that doesn’t matter on social media. What stands out are those who confidently use the platforms to promote their brand.
- Promoting your business feels sales-y. It’s one thing to create an ad that promotes you are accepting new patients or clients. It’s an entirely different feeling to post a photo of you at work telling people to come in because you’re so awesome. Only the most narcissistic people want to do that.
- You lack confidence to put yourself out there. Maybe you don’t want to share your photos on social media and you refuse to be on video. Or maybe you are open to the idea, but you’re not sure how or where to start. The whole thing just feels totally uncomfortable…so you’ll do it tomorrow instead.
3 key mindset shifts to succeed on social media for healthcare providers
All of these struggles are real.
But rather than focusing on what is challenging about social media, I like to focus on the opportunities.
It wasn’t long ago that you had to place a print ad in a local publication and hope your audience would see it. Now you can reach your exact ideal client for free or for pennies. If you’ve been in your field for over two decades, you know this is an opportunity you could never have imagined when you first started.
Here are three key mindset shifts that make promoting your health or wellness business on social media easier
Focus on helping. I’ve interviewed hundreds of healthcare providers for profile blogs, and nearly everyone says they entered the field to help people. Often, they were inspired by someone who once helped them or a family member.
Social media is a tool to help more people, even on a massive scale. In a single day, you may support only a handful of people in your practice. You can support their problem, struggle or question in a big way with your personalized care. But there are likely so many others who have the same issue, and social media is a way to help them by sharing your knowledge. You can amplify your one-on-one work by sharing it to a much larger audience. This is good for marketing, but even if they never come to you, you can still help them. This is powerful for you and your audience.
Focus on connecting. Marketing gets a bad rap, but mostly that’s because of bad marketers. Marketing doesn’t have to be sleazy or sales-y if you focus instead on connecting. Social media is first and foremost social. It’s where you can share a bit of the behind-the-scenes on your office or life so that you reveal the human side of your business.
So often your patients or clients are coming to you because they they like your personality or approach. Or they consider you an expert. Your personality and knowledge are key to why they work with you. Social media is a place where you can build that relationship and connection.
It’s not about you. Social media marketing is uncomfortable when it feels like bragging. Look at me! Look at our award! See why we have 5 stars! Buy my amazing thing!
And yes, there is a bit of that. After all, you have business to run.
But ultimately, it’s not about you. It’s about the people you help. Why did you go after 5 stars? Because you want to provide excellence. So talk about how you do that for others. The fact that you got recognized for a low hospital readmission rate or positive outcomes is about your patients. Focus on them. Tell their stories. Celebrate them. Then, you’ll end up illustrating why you are a 5-star provider instead of just posing with an award.
How to create content that resonates on social media
I can list all sorts of ways for you to come up with content ideas. In fact, I do in this guide👇
I also recommend three ways you can be more comfortable creating great content for your social media.
- Focus on FAQs: Your patients and clients ask questions all the time. Most of what you do boils down to answering questions and solving problems. Take those questions and share the responses as content. Obviously, don’t reveal any confidential information, but general questions are likely very similar among all your patients. You’ll help more people, stand out as an expert without bragging and maybe even cut down on some of the triage calls to your office. Plus, people need to hear information a lot of times to absorb it. It helps for them to hear you talk about something on Facebook and then again in the office.
- Tell positive outcome stories: Patient and client stories celebrate your patient and allow others to see themselves in that success. A guy finishes physical therapy or a kid gets her braces off? They’re going to post about that on their own social media anyway. Better that it’s you who posts a fun photo or video of them, and then they share that!
- Share struggles and wins: Many times you can relate to the struggles and small wins of your patients or clients. Maybe you’re a pediatrician and also a parent. Maybe you’re a physical therapist who has some knee pain from running. Or you’re also tired, working through a pandemic with kids at home or trying to fit workouts into your busy day. All of the parts of you that make you human can help you relate to the humans you’re trying to reach. Get what I’m saying here? Stay professional, but be a human.
Ultimately, this comes with practice. Dedicate a little bit of time to create content each week, and you’ll start to see success come with consistency.
If you’re ready to use social media more productively, create content faster and get more engagement, start here with my guide 👇
When you do get going with consistent posting, tag me so I can cheer you on…and in case you’re wondering, that’s by typing the “@” symbol, followed by my name 😉