Once upon a time, organic social media content was enough to reach your patient base, but that is no longer the case. Algorithm changes at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have caused a sharp decline in the visibility of businesses’ social media content. Therefore, it’s not surprising that more than half (53 percent) of companies use social advertising — i.e., paid advertising on social networks — according to Hootsuite.
If you’re not quite sure what sponsored content is — let alone how to take advantage of it — you’re not the only one. Read on for an overview of sponsored content and why your healthcare practice needs to start using it to succeed on social media.
What is sponsored content?
When reviewing medical social media strategies, the term sponsored content has probably come across your radar. This consists of paid social media content purchased and shared by a business. These posts appear in your newsfeed, along with content shared by accounts you follow.
This technique is also commonly referred to as native advertising — i.e., matching ads to the platform they’re posted on. A creative marketing tool, these ads look like other content shared on the site and engage users by allowing them to like and comment on the posts.
Impact of sponsored content
Sponsored content spreads brand awareness and builds trust. Not just a way to reach more people on social media, this form of healthcare advertising allows you to specifically target your ideal patient base.
When you’re able to get in front of an audience interested in the services you’re offering, you get results. For example, one-third (33 percent) of people are most engaged by social media content that teaches them something, according to a survey conducted by Sprout Social. Additionally, 65 percent of people who engage with a social media advertisement will click through to learn more about the topic at hand and 23 percent will follow the brand.
Data from the Pew Research Center revealed that more than two-thirds (69 percent) of U.S. adults have a Facebook account and 37 percent use Instagram. Considering these statistics, it’s not surprising that social media ad spending in the U.S. is expected to exceed $99 billion in 2019, according to Statista. Other businesses are clearly catching on to its importance, so you can’t afford to ignore it.
The issue with organic content
If your healthcare social media strategy is working well enough, you might be hesitant to start including sponsored content. This is understandable, but as noted above, organic content is losing its edge.
For example, in January 2018, Facebook announced an algorithm shift designed to make newsfeeds more about meaningful interactions with people users care about. Consequently, traditional marketing content now appears less frequently in newsfeeds.
According to HubSpot, organic reach on Facebook will eventually plummet to zero. If your practice is going to have a presence on the site, using sponsored content is the only route that makes sense.
Since changing algorithms are causing a major decline in organic reach on several social media platforms, there’s never been a better time to explore sponsored content. In fact, Hootsuite referred to this approach as one of the best ways to reach your audience.
More than 3 billion people across the world use social media on a monthly basis, according to research conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social. Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that most of your patient base has a presence on these sites. Don’t miss your chance to connect with them.
The importance of social media in healthcare cannot be emphasized enough. PatientPop realizes this and is proud to offer our customers a social media service. Consisting of a combination of organic posts and sponsored content, our service is designed to get results. If you need help reaching your target patient base on social media, PatientPop can help.