Theresa Morrow, PharmD
Theresa Morrow, PharmD
Theresa Morrow is a pharmacist by trade and an entrepreneur at heart. In 2016, she launched Community Edge Media (www.communityedgemedia.com) to share what she has learned about leveraging the diverse platforms and 2-way conversations happening in digital media. Having spent 21 years as a hospital pharmacist, followed by 11 more as a small business owner, she has invaluable clinical experience and serves as a problem-solver, strategic consultant, and educator. She is a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist with a PharmD from Virginia Commonwealth University.

9 Tips: A Guide to Using Social Media Management Tools

DECEMBER 07, 2016
Social media is an active, 24/7, 2-way conversation. It’s happening all around you, and most businesses have learned that getting online is the only way to drive engagement with their brand.
Pharmacies have an opportunity to leverage social media to talk to their customers, but it’s not easy keeping up with posting on all the social media sites. Being social takes work! Regular and engaging posts are key when you hope to benefit from your social media presence. If you’re hoping social media can bring you new business and repeat patients, make sure you plan content based on your social media strategy. Research and choose from one of the many content management systems available to streamline the tasks. Platform leaders such as Facebook Pages Manager, HootSuite, Buffer, Edgar, or Tweet Deck offer some nice options.
 
Here are 9 reasons for you should use social media management tools.
 
1. Manage multiple platforms with one easy tool.
 
From Twitter profiles to Facebook pages and groups, these tools will be your one stop shop for social media management. Some of the platforms will also allow you to prep content for Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress blogs, Instagram, and YouTube channels.

Perhaps your pharmacy is thinking about taking on a new social platform—a social media management system is a must. You can create posts that publish across different platforms or optimize them for each. Linking all of your social media accounts gives you added visibility and additional insights into your social channels and the network you’re building online.
 
2. Plan posts in advance.
 
Being social isn’t easy. Content has to be created and planned for publication. Posting when something interesting happens is great, but having generic content to fill the silence is also very important.
With these systems, you can plan posts weeks in advance. Pre-enter and schedule the posts for each platform you manage with this tool and you can take the pain out of daily social media posts. Supplement planned content with interesting organic posts that are driven by the latest news update or local events, but make sure you have a core of strong content in place.

Most systems are designed for you to drag and drop once created. Posts planned down to the minute and with analytics can make sure your messages are hitting each platform at the right time for optimum engagement.
 
3. Monitor conversations and engage with your audience.
 

Don’t let your customers go unheard. Use social media management systems to monitor conversations in social media and respond to your online community.
Rather than visiting each website for this task, many of the systems allow you to optimize your platforms allowing for easy control and engagement. Some make creating engaging content a breeze by suggesting social posts that highlight the latest news. With an easy click of the edit button, your quick changes can mean new, personal posts that draw attention.
 
4. Grow your network and identify influencers.
 
Key tools built into a management system will make the job of managing your pharmacy account easier. The flexible dashboards allow you to track trends and engage directly with your community. They also highlight opportunities to increase your network and grow your social presence. In the world of social media, conversations are happening all the time. Systems that track keywords and help identify hashtags or influencers are helpful in engaging your audience. Dashboards allow you to curate this content and offer suggestions.
 
5. Be smart and leverage analytics.
 
Data is extremely important as you work to become more social savvy. Facebook has its own analytics platform built in for business pages, and other tools may be beneficial. Posts show in newsfeeds based on algorithms. If you’re only focused on Facebook, it could be more beneficial to use their platform because some studies have reported that using other software management systems could decrease your rank resulting in less visibility.

Not only are you able to review the analytics dashboard, but many systems also offer detailed reports. These reports highlight strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to learn what time of day drives the highest engagement from your community. Reviewing these reports will also help you get a deeper understanding of the type of content your viewers enjoy, perhaps they like videos but never click on news articles that you repost.
 
6. Don’t go it alone.
 
Many systems make social media more manageable by allowing multiple users to plan, post, and manage content for their social media platform. Rather than granting access to multiple users on each platform or sharing passwords, most of the platforms allow access to an individual on your team, bypassing the need to log in to every account individually.

7. Links can be shortened in seconds.
 
Long links in your posts are a serious social no-no. Don’t fall victim. While platforms like Bitly allow you to shorten and track post click-thru rates, some systems like Hootsuite cut out the middleman.
When prepping your posts, use the quick and easy link shortening tool to optimize the content you want to share.
 
8. Run effective campaigns and sweepstakes.
 
Use social as a marketing tool and drive engagement by managing albums and sweepstakes. The user-friendly tools help you with the building blocks for launching programs on different outlets.

Perhaps you want to run a Twitter contest or prompt customers to sign up for your email updates—the tools already exist to manage and execute these tasks. At the end of the campaign, you’ll have a better handle on how to leverage the tool in the future and hopefully a larger or more engaged community.
 
9. RSS feeds are just a click away.
 
Keeping up with blogs and content can be difficult. The RSS feed lets you comb through interesting updates from your flagged categories to always provide fresh and engaging posts for your online network.

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