Organic Social Media
When social media exploded onto the scene nearly two decades ago, marketers and healthcare professionals were a little too excited about its potential for healthcare marketing.
Who could blame them? The fantasy was great.
‘All I have to do is figure out how to create a free Facebook business page, and then our business will get lots of new patients the next day!’ (Everyone loves free patients.)
Sadly, the promise of social media fame and easy money far exceeds reality—then and now. In our experience, while organic social media can bring in a few new patients, it rarely brings in a lot. Also, while some people call organic social media “free”—because you don’t pay money directly to a social media platform—organic social media involves a lot of hard work.
That being said, several “medinfluencers” have experienced tremendous success by leveraging organic social media strategies, including
What do these and other rising social media stars have in common?
Most seem to be “naturals” who possess great social media instincts, enjoy the process of winning followers, have something unique to say, and work very hard at building a following.
Take, for example, Sheila Nazarian, MD, who has earned 18,000 TikTok followers, 36,000 Facebook followers, and 872,000 Instagram followers. In addition to sharing medical insights online, Dr. Nazarian is a charismatic, board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who stars in the Netflix original series Skin Decisions, Before & After.
She employs full-time social media employees and a marketing agency to manage her brand reputation, marketing strategy, and social media presence.
If you want to become a social media medinfluencer, have the right stuff, and are willing to create engaging content every day with no guarantee of success, these best practice recommendations can help you get started.
Be forewarned, however,
If you are like the vast majority of providers who don’t have the time, budget, skills, or inclination to do what it takes to become social media famous, the principles herein can help you build a solid, prioritized social media presence that attracts some patients along the way.
Assuming that sounds more like you, social media should be part of your marketing plan, but definitely not your only—or even primary—marketing strategy. Either way, let’s get started.
Organic reach has steadily declined over the last decade as social network giants increasingly enforce a pay-to-play model.
Organic Reach by Social Media Platform
Think for a moment about what these stats mean. First, it takes a near Herculean effort for the average practice to win 1,000 followers on any social media account. Then, it takes creativity and time to develop suitable content to be shown to less than 50 people, most of whom are already patients.
Declining organic reach, combined with the labor and skill required to master social media, are the fundamental reasons most practices fail to attract a significant amount of new patients from their organic social media efforts.
However, it is still worth doing. Here are some reasons to focus some time on tactics that build your organic reach
More on these later.
This article is a revised excerpt from Chapter 9: How to Make Social Media Work for You in the book, “Cash-Pay Healthcare: How to Start, Grow & Perfect Your Business,” written by Mark J. Tager, MD and Healthcare Success CEO, Stewart Gandolf, MBA. We have updated statistics, medinfluencer information, and other facts throughout.
The book and original version of this text is available in its entirety on Amazon.