Local community pharmacies face a lot of competition from larger chain stores and their big marketing budgets, so they must engage with prospective patients on the platforms and devices they're using.
Local community pharmacies face a lot of competition from larger chain stores and their big marketing budgets, so they must engage with prospective patients on the platforms and devices they’re using.
According to Pew Research, 72% of adults online actively use Facebook. All too often, a community pharmacy creates a Facebook page or other social media account but doesn’t keep it updated. If your pharmacy understands how to effectively engage on social media, you can cut through the clutter and build relationships with prospective patients.
Here are some tips for getting social:
1. Show patients what makes your pharmacy special
Every pharmacy has a unique personality, and most pharmacies have a specific focus on something they do differently than their competition. Make sure to highlight those things on social media.
2. Demonstrate your credibility
Introduce your social network to your pharmacy’s owner, pharmacists, or other trusted employees through short blogs or videos. Tell patients about what you do, how long you’ve been doing it, and why your employees are outstanding.
3. Get visual
Pictures and videos are by far the most engaging pieces of content shared on every social media platform. Uploading them directly to Facebook allows you to track how many users view them.
Make a photo collage or an image graphic with text. A smartphone video is enough to give patients a hint of what they might experience in your pharmacy.
4. Be community-centric
Creating community fosters loyalty, so highlight important events happening around you. Share a community cleanup day or recognize individuals for their contributions to the community.
5. Offer health tips
Pharmacists are medication experts, but patients look to their pharmacist for advice on many health areas. Providing information on current health concerns through social media will help build trust.
6. Show patients you care
With current patients’ written consent, highlight some success stories and share testimonials that show you really care. That way, you’ll connect on an emotional level with prospective patients who want to know you can be trusted with their health.
7. Engage with patients
Social media is a 2-way street, so be sure to respond to comments and shares in a genuine and authentic way. If the question requires a professional answer, use the opportunity to invite the patient to schedule a consultation.
8. Host a contest
Offer a fun contest with useful prizes like gift cards for coffee at a local shop. They don’t have to be health-related, but they could be a nice introduction to your pharmacy. The ultimate goal is to connect with potential patients and get to know them better.
9. Don’t take patients for granted
Appreciate that patients want to follow your pharmacy on social media. A customer appreciation post will tell patients you appreciate their support.
Social media can be overwhelming, but if you focus on serving your community with engaging content, you’ll eventually build an online and offline network. As with most things worth doing, it will take time. So, get out there and connect with your potential patients!