Social Media Goals for Nigerian Healthcare Providers II

In my last post, I tried to illustrate with a story that depicts the popular reaction of lay Nigerians when healthcare crises are properly communicated without delay.
First, Brand Awareness is a key goal. Visibility should be the goal of every health care brand. People and patients will interact with people that they know as professionals who keep to the task of providing information that stands them out from quacks and
wanna-be’s. Every health care business must seek to achieve this. Clients will always take a second look at the face of your brand because it is familiar. Just as one would see another and ask: ‘Hey! Seems like we’ve met before. Have we not?’

The second is to engage your ideal audience. Have you ever wondered why posts about entertainment and fashion tend to trend more on social platforms?  You are right to say it is because we love them. Is health not part of lifestyle?  Are there really people who do not love life to the extent that they do not pay attention to their health? Why do health issues not attract as many shares and regrans and retweets?

The answer is simple: lay people do not feel engaged with medical jargons and statistics. As a matter of fact, graphs and charts and mathematical calculations will not even help a mathematician engage more with the information you are trying to pass. A story does the magic. To build influence as a health care brand, we must continue to speak in a language that lay [people can understand. Scary languages like hemoglobinopathies, enterogastritis and oligospermia must be broken down. Otherwise, you do not help anybody by that. The friends on your timeline, will jump and pass.

Once I made a Facebook post on why men should avoid certain unhealthy habits that affect their reproductive system. I knew my target audience.  The medical professionals in my friends’ list will understand the jargons, but I wanted to pass new knowledge that ordinary men can understand. I am still surprised at the number of people who got engaged with that post

Engagement is a way to show that people are interested in whatever information you have to pass across. They express their reactions using the like, reply or share buttons. Some, for the sake of confidentiality, will come to your inbox to find out more. This will lead to the next goal.

The third is to generate leads.  What is the essence of attracting and engaging, if you are not going to connect with potential customers? In the business of health care, there are two kinds of leads: a customer who will buy from you or a follower who is loyal to the offerings of your brand. Remember that after visibility comes the rest of the goals, especially lead generation. Human beings can only get involved in the things that they can understand. If they have known, liked and trusted your brand they would also get interested in the things that you have to offer. They will be faithful followers if they see the influence (benefits)  your product/service will make in their lives.

As a health care provider, your leads are not just patients. Other clients you should seek to attract are partners, volunteers, sponsors, stakeholders and other professionals who show interest or support for your cause. Believe me, collaboration is the new competition. Since a lead is a potential customer, we seek to convert them into loyal customers.


Loyal customers?

Hold on! I do not mean that your clients should fall sick every day. Though it is proper to note that people do not just seek health care as a means to repair or cure an ailment; they also seek preventive health care maintenance.  Just like our (medical) devices, human beings also need preventive maintenance. Converting leads to loyal customers is the final goal. This is the peak reached after all the previous processes have been achieved. People will always consult or refer to a provider who reduces the pains of clients or offers them increased options of fulfilling pleasures that are unharmful to their state of well being.

Always remember that conversion comes after attraction. Lots of people, make the mistake of doing otherwise. The general rule for successful sales (of products, services or ideas) is 80% attraction and 20% sales. If you appear too salesy, people will think you are desperate. They will abandon you and run away.  First show them why you should be the authority that ought to be consulted, then ask them to consult you.

If a healthcare provider keeps this goal at the back of his mind, he will learn to create content or stories that speak to the minds of his ideal followers on social media. All these goals are obtainable in the healthcare business niche from leading online campaigns and offline outreaches, through communicating crises, giving information on prevention, care and treatment of certain diseases, to celebrating international health days. Social media helps the health care industry to achieve all these.

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