Facebook now has nearly 2 billion monthly active users, and more than half of them are logging into the social media site every day. Twitter has more than 300 million monthly users, and Instagram 500 million. Snapchat, a relative newcomer to the social media game, reportedly sees 150 million users using the site/app each day.
That’s a lot of people, and a lot of patients that can be reached with relative ease and little expense.
Social media’s popularity is something of a double-edged sword, though. With so many people in such easy reach, everyone is trying to get their attention.
Doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals want to stay engaged with their patients, and they want to reach out to new patients, but rising above the other voices clamoring to get noticed can be hard.
The quality of your posts are a big part of getting the right kind of attention, and we have some advice on that front. However, the frequency of your social media posting is important, too.
There are no hard and fast rules for how many times a day or week you should be posting to your healthcare office’s social media profiles and pages, but working with our clients has given us more than a few insights into what works and what doesn’t.
And we’re happy to share.
As in Medicine, Less is Often More…To a Point
Too many medications and unnecessary procedures can be a major barrier to a healthy lifestyle.
The same is true with social media—pushing your practice and your profiles with too many posts can backfire, and give you poorer social media health than you had before. Too many posts can annoy your audience and lead to fewer “likes” and “follows,” even though your patients won’t see every post you publish.
Trying to post too frequently can also be a drain on your resources, and the quality of your posts is sure to drop, as well.
Your goal is a profile that is properly filled out with plenty of information, and posts that come frequently enough to work as effective outreach to patients who aren’t already part of your social media audience. You don’t need to be posting every five minutes, or even every hour, to see the growth you want for your profiles and your medical office.
At the same time, the fact that each post has a limited reach means you do need to up the chances that your posts will be seen by posting a few times a day.
On a platform like Twitter, where users only see the most recent posts from all of the profiles they follow, you might consider posting 10-12 times a day, with some of your tweets repeated (e.g. tweeting a link to your latest blog post once at mid-morning and again in the later afternoon), but for Facebook and other platforms 3-4 posts per day seems to be the sweet spot. At five and beyond, you’re likely to see diminishing returns or even some backsliding.
The exception to this is if you see a high level of positive patient engagement on your posts.
Anything that gets people talking, responding, liking, and sharing is worth doing more frequently; if you’re up to five Facebook posts per day and you have an actively engaged audience that’s still growing, by all means post more.
Just keep an eye on the response rate you’re getting and the new patients your efforts are bringing into your office, and make sure those efforts are still showing strong returns.
Use Social Media To Create a Unique Voice for Your Healthcare Practice
No matter what, you want to make sure each post is trustworthy, valuable, and designed to speak to your current and prospective patients. Avoid posting generic fluff and filler. Sharing news and information from other trusted sources is great, but make sure it’s directly relevant to your practice and your patients.
Like all of your digital marketing efforts, your social media posts—and your posting schedule—should be designed to maximize the value you create for your patients.
Maximize your value to patients, and you’ll maximize their value to your healthcare practice. You can read more of our blog to get tips on both, or check out our services to start building a bigger, better practice today!