Social media is a powerful marketing tool for businesses in general and pharmacies in particular. Adding social media marketing to your strategy can help your pharmacy increase awareness of your brand and drive potential patients to your website.
It also helps humanize your business, giving customers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your team and process. You can also get a better understanding of what your patients want in a pharmacy by gathering valuable feedback as they interact with you online.
Finally, social media marketing helps level the competitive playing field. With more pharmacies moving their marketing online, you have better visibility into what your competitors are up to.
If used correctly, social media can help you grow your business and increase your target patient pool. Here’s a list of social media do’s and don’ts to start you off on the right foot.
5 Pharmacy Social Media Do’s
Do reread all posts before you hit “publish.”
Pausing to proofread material allows you to minimize the risk of posting content that is badly spelled or grammatically incorrect. It will also give you a chance to consider your content from your audience’s perspective and adjust if necessary.
Do post consistently and with some variety.
Plan on regular posts so your audience will show up to see what’s new. Focus on quality over quantity by adding multimedia variety to your posts, like images, graphics, videos or live events, or polls.
Do make sure each social channel showcases your pharmacy brand.
Whether you’re active on one channel or several, it’s important that your branding is consistent across the board. Use branded images and visuals for each social account and ensure that any content matches your brand values and unique voice.
Do tailor your posts to each channel.
Every social media platform has a unique voice and requirements that you’ll want to match if you’re creating content for multiple accounts. Consider things like hashtags, Twitter’s 240-character count, and Instagram’s use of links before you post or repost content on a different channel.
Do engage with your audience.
People like to feel involved, especially online where successful communities rely on interaction. Encourage patient engagement by creating interactive content such as surveys and events and set aside time to respond to questions, comments, and reactions.
5 Pharmacy Social Media Don’ts
Don’t use social media for unprofessional reasons.
Professional social media accounts are not meant to be used for personal advertising, complaining about customers, or insulting the competition. Remember to exercise professional judgment and adhere to ethical standards and legal requirements in both private and public social media communications.
Don’t over-post to gain attention.
A lot of businesses still think that social media is a numbers game, but you can actually lose committed customers by “spamming” them with constant updates. Focus instead on crafting thoughtful posts tailored to your audience and showcasing your pharmacy’s expertise.
Don’t share the exact same message over and over.
Try not to repeat yourself, even if you’re promoting the same event or resharing an article. While you don’t have to create separate posts each time, make it a point to repurpose your content to add interest.
Here are a few ideas from SproutSocial.
Don’t post content without verifying it first.
Do your due diligence and double-check any information, articles, and other media before you post for accuracy. Remember, information posted online is available to anyone and even if you delete a post, it can resurface as a screenshot later.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
It’s best to start small, especially if you’re new to social media marketing. Pick one platform, such as Facebook, where you know a lot of your patients spend time and build up from there.
Getting Started With Your Pharmacy’s Social Media
Once you’re ready to plunge in, you’ll need to develop a social media strategy that covers all the bases. A few general best practices for pharmacy social media to keep in mind:
- Stay compliant. Exercising professional judgment before sharing anything online is crucial. Make sure your posts adhere to the ethical and legal requirements of HIPAA law and the FDA.
- Separate the personal and professional. If your staff and pharmacy accounts are linked, some personal content may get cross-posted, which could affect your reputation.
- Minimize the salesy talk. Constant self-promotion is bad social media etiquette. Aim for a balance between posting useful health content, engaging your audience, and sharing upcoming sales or events.
A successful social media strategy takes time and experimentation, so it’s important not to get too bogged down in the details, or take on more than your team can handle.
Here are a few basic steps to help you get started:
- Decide which channels work. Each social media platform offers something unique for different audiences. Pick at least one channel that’s popular with your patients and easy for you to manage.
- Create social media accounts. Set up your first account with a bio, logo, and other pharmacy branding. It’s also a good idea to reserve your business’s name on other major platforms, even if you never plan on posting there, to direct patients to your site.
- Make a plan for posting. Think about posting frequency, the types of content and media you want to share, and who will be in charge of creating and publishing content before committing.
Ready to transform your pharmacy business with strategic social media marketing? Ask us about our digital marketing offerings or request your free software demo today.