Social media can be a total time suck or an absolute goldmine for your healthcare practice or wellness business. And on any given day, it’s most likely a little bit of both. But with some healthy habits and limits for social media, health and wellness providers can get the most out of using it for your business without wasting time and money scrolling on apps.
Why social media apps can be so addictive
First, let’s define the problem. You likely know the challenges of social media use firsthand. Take a moment to check your app and then before you know it, 20 minutes fly by.
Research on social media is relatively new only because the platforms themselves are new. But, it’s no surprise that researchers linked social media use to the reward center of the brain that’s associated with preservation of our social reputation, whereas another preliminary study found compulsive Internet use may induce changes in some brain reward pathways that are similar to drug addiction.
Just refreshing the page to always get new posts can affect the brain’s reward-circuit. And of course scientists have found social media use before bed affects sleep behavior.
Even with the best intentions for social media use, there’s a direct correlation between amount of time you put into your business channels on social media and the results you achieve. It can become a treadmill if you let it.
3 healthy habits for social media use
With some planning, you can still use social media for your healthcare practice or wellness business in a healthy way.
- Turn off notifications. Don’t tell me you let the social media apps ping your or email you every time someone makes a comment. Turn those off!
- Log out of social media apps on your computer. Setting that extra step of having to log in to your LinkedIn or Facebook on your computer makes you less likely to check the channels on a whim.
- Set a screen time limit on your phone. Locking your apps is key to predetermining how much time per day you or your team member are willing to spend on social media marketing. Sure, you’ll know the screen time code, but each time you use the apps, you’ll have to put it in and indicate if you want 15 minutes, an hour or all day. This puts you back in charge of your phone.
Grab your quick guide to fast social media action for heath providers
How to effectively use your time on social media for your business
Once you determine how much time you are willing to spend creating content and nurturing your social media followers, you’ll want to get the most out of the time you have. Coming up with a plan that’s specific to your practice or business will make this time most effective.
Following are 5 ways to organize your use of social media for your healthcare practice or wellness business.
Put time and energy into one social media channel at a time
Big social media teams have the ability to focus on multiple social media channels at once, but most small health and wellness practices don’t have that luxury. Figure out which channel the demographic you serve uses the most and then put your time and energy into developing content and nurturing that audience.
You can and should still post similar content to other channels as well, but it’s hard to spend a lot of time focusing on multiple channels at once. If your audience is on multiple channels, you can switch the channel you are emphasizing every quarter or season. The important thing is to not get spread too thin by having too many responsibilities on social media.
Set social media goals for your practice or business
Getting clear on why you’re using social media for your healthcare practice or wellness business in the first place can help you determine how to best spend your time there. If you’re a therapist who only needs 20 patients a month to stay busy, you don’t need to pour hours of time into getting followers and engagement. It might be enough to just have some consistent, relevant content on your page. But once you add a few more therapists to your practice and need to fill their calendar or you want to offer a workshop or a group course, then it’s time to invest more time into social media.
Plan content in batches
Planning your content ahead of time makes you less likely to get distracted by scrolling on social media apps searching for ideas on what to post. We tend to get distracted when something is hard. If you head over to your business profile pages without a plan for what to share each day, you’ll spend more time on the apps and are more likely to get distracted by other content on there. Batching up front saves significant time later.
Read a blog on how to make content batching a part of your social media marketing plan.
Use a social media scheduler
Using a scheduler like Hootsuite or Later saves you time in planning your content and also means you can create posts, respond to comments and messages without going on the actual social media channels. You’ll stay totally focused on your own business pages inside the social media scheduler.
Set benchmarks for social media use
Once you determine the time you have and the channel to focus on, it’s important to plan how to use that time with intention. Otherwise, you can get lost in an abyss of distractions. Set goals for your social channels that help you determine how to spend your time.
Following are some benchmarks for your social media channels:
- Number of followers you want to gain each week
- Number of Stories, Reels or TikToks you will post each week
- Number of comments you will leave on other people’s posts
- Number of direct messages you will leave for followers
At the end of each month, it’s a good idea to evaluate not just how your social media channels performed, but also how well you stuck to your goals and healthy habits. With intention, you can use social media for your healthcare practice or wellness business without letting it abuse you.