Reaching family caregivers on social media

 In Branding, Marketing, Technology

This is the third post in our series exploring the keys to success in social media for healthcare providers, specifically senior care, home health, palliative care and hospice. We began the series with a holistic look at social media marketing from the perspective of what not to do in Avoid the 7 “deadly sins” of social media. In the second post, we examined one of the fundamentals of marketing – planning. An effective plan involves first outlining your goals and objectives, determining the most effective way to reach your target audience, creating a content plan and finally measuring success.

Once your plan is in place and you know who you’re trying to reach, you need to determine the best way to engage your target audience. Let’s start by looking at what NOT to do.

Shotgunning every platform

Just because social media channels are popular doesn’t mean your organization should have a presence on each one. Instead, consider the appropriate social media channel(s) to reach your target audience. The audience most healthcare providers want to reach is the family healthcare decision maker or family caregiver, which most often means women age 45+. The key is to reach them where they are.

We’ll first take a look at the demographics for the main social media channels that reach a broad consumer audience.

According to Pew Research as reported on Sprout Social, the top two social platforms are YouTube and Facebook with the percentage of U.S. adult users at 73% and 69%, respectively. Of those using the sites daily, Facebook takes the lead with 74% logging in every day as opposed to just over 50% for YouTube. Of Facebook’s users, 75% are women.

Like Facebook, other social media platforms appeal to more women than men. Instagram, with an audience that skews heavily toward women in younger age groups, continues to rise in popularity. Pinterest also continues to reign as a popular site for women with nearly three times more women than men using it regularly.

A platform that skews slightly higher toward men is Twitter. It’s a platform that appeals to a younger demographic. The largest age group using Twitter is 18-24-year-olds. Other sites that lean toward a younger demographic are SnapChat and TikTok.

The social media site that appeals to women and men alike is LinkedIn. However, the emphasis is on professional networking.

Prioritizing the social platforms to reach caregivers

As reported on AgingCare.com, “An investigation conducted by the research and consulting firms Age Lessons and comScore indicates that caregivers spend 150 minutes a month on social media sites. They also do far more online exploring than the average person, looking at 70% more pages than most people.”

Given the broad data we have about people’s use of social media as well as insights about caregiver’s time spent on social media, this is a great way to reach and engage directly with family healthcare decision makers and family caregivers. Consider concentrating your efforts on Facebook and Instagram. Your target audience is using these platforms on a regular basis. With the popularity of video, be sure YouTube is part of your social media resources as well.

In our next post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the types of content healthcare providers in the senior care, home health, palliative care and hospice sectors should be publishing to increase awareness for your brand, position your organization as an authority and go-to resource, and build loyalty.

Transcend can help with your social media efforts. We’ll review your social media accounts to evaluate performance and identify opportunities to increase engagement with your followers. To learn more about our social media audits, email me at ezarecki@r-p.com.

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