Building a comprehensive social media strategy?

The last thing you want in 2014 is to have a Facebook and Twitter account to get “likes” and “follows”.  You want them to like your “product”, not your “page”. Page likes are a very weak (almost useless) form of currency.

Whether your business is an acute care hospital, a medical tourism clinic, or a concierge medical practice, you’ll be using the internet as a part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.

Three things you likely have as a concern are:

  1. How can I make people more aware of our product?
  2. How can I make them consider my product?
  3. How does that person stay loyal when advocating my brand?

These three things are part of the purchase funnel that drives leads to become conversions and closed sales or in medical speak, patient consultations.

As management consultants, we struggle with this too, right here at Mercury Advisory Group. Every business does.

One thing we notice frequently  in internet marketing is the tendency by beginners and those who have not researched their target consumers or partners (in B2B approaches), is “consideration”.

You must evaluate that content you produce to align what the target customer wants with what you produce as a brand.  For instance, by now, everyone has seen the picture of the nurse that is on most medical tourism websites, even the MTA’s website has her on it.  Consulting firms have her image featured for revenue cycle outsourcing, and Great Lakes Computer, and Malaysia Medical Insurance, and  the State of Wyoming too! I call her “Nurse Everywhere”.  What this says about your brand is “you have nurses right there in your hospital or clinic, so why won’t you use own photography to show off your brand’s unique qualities? What’s wrong with the real brand? Instead you portray the same cheap purchased image that appears on thousands of other websites. After all, $49 gets you five on Shutterstock!

In fact, when you fall into this trap what you are doing is essentially “fake core brand messaging.”  You have to plug in what your brand is really about and how the reader will benefit by knowing about you and buying from you. Real benefits!

What’s your message?

Great care, great prices, great service from real people?

Then that’s what you want to push out in content. Pictures of real people, real services, real hospitals, real clinics. Better yet, your people, your services, your hospital, your clinic.

How do you tell if your message is connecting with target readers?

Are they calling? Are they buying? Are they engaging? That’s the basic test.

Where is your focus? The most successful marketers focus 90% on their marketing, 10% on their product. Most people don’t have the courage to do that, they actually spend a lot more time fiddling around, trying to get the product absolutely perfect. Read my article on Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and then consider this 90-10 rule. Don’t fall into this trap of spending months and months building the perfect product, forgetting about the fact that that’s only a tiny part of the job. The key to success is actually getting out there and marketing it, which most healthcare people absolutely hate to do. They want to treat patients!

There’s also another key consideration I want you to think about. The Bright Shiny Objects phenomenon. They are really fata morganas –  a kind of mirage.

Bright Shiny Objects are plentiful online. Internet marketers are particularly good at selling Bright Shiny Objects too. It’s about applying the 80/20 principle, knowing that 20% of what you do will get you 80% of the results. Also being able to recognize what is a Bright Shiny Object and what is something that is going to make you successful. Bright Shiny Objects tend to be the next cool marketing strategy or website design that’s come along by someone’s trying to get you to spend a few thousand dollars on a website or gimmick marketing trick.  If you spend all your time just chasing the next promotion, then you’re never really going to create a stable business. A stable business is built on a solid ‘want’ that people are passionate about, that they’re prepared to pay money for, and where you have the unique solution to fill their need.

If your concierge practice or medical tourism product is not built on a solid “want”, there’s no more clever website, video commercial or trade show stand at a congress or conference that will get them to do the three things: Get patients to call… Get patients to buy… or Get them to engage and refer others to you.

One way to do this is to make sure your Google Analytics and Facebook Insights metrics are working for you. Don’t ignore these valuable free tools.  With each one, you’ll get very basic understanding of your pages, which can then lead on to insights into how you should produce content moving forward. It takes 3 minutes to check both, digest and plan your “tweaks”. It is something that should be checked weekly, at a minimum.  With each tool, you’ll get a number of measures such as your most engaging posts; your highest reaching posts; your audience; your fan base; people that are actually engaging; how many people like you; how many people are talking about you etc. There’s just so much data, but the important thing is to review it and to map it back to the purchase funnel of the three questions I posed in this post”:

  1. How can I make people more aware of our product?
  2. How can I make them consider my product?
  3. How does that person stay loyal when advocating my brand?

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