Healthcare is something everyone needs, which makes having the right healthcare social media analytics especially important. Finding the best formula for getting people to engage with the healthcare industry on social media requires the type of audience analysis that only the best social media monitoring software can provide, and ListenFirst is happy to share some key best practices.
Based on our study of key healthcare industry trends on social media from Q1-Q3 2019, here are the eight insights that healthcare brands need to know about sharing content on social media.
#1: Healthcare Social Media Follower Growth has Increased Most On YouTube
Between January – September 2019, our social analytics platform found that hospital brands on average gained 2.5K subscribers on YouTube, 1.9K followers on Instagram, 1.3K followers on Facebook, and 600 followers on Twitter. For hospital brands looking to grow their social media fan footprint, focusing on YouTube and Instagram are definitely recommended.
#2: More Healthcare Engagement Is Happening On Facebook, But Instagram Has The Highest Engagement Rate
During the nine months tracked, hospital brands saw the most total engagement on Facebook, followed by Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. However, while over 5X more healthcare content was shared to Facebook compared to Instagram, there was only 3X more healthcare engagement on Facebook. That breaks down to healthcare content having a 2.61% engagement rate on Instagram, compared to a 0.77% engagement rate on Facebook, a 0.81% engagement rate on YouTube, and a 0.25% engagement rate on Twitter.
Hospital brands are currently focusing on Facebook as the platform for engagement, but are actually seeing the most engagement per post on Instagram. Increasing the amount of content shared on Instagram would better align healthcare brands with where their content is most likely to generate audience feedback.
#3: Gallery Posts Over-Index on Facebook And Instagram, Links Perform Best On Twitter
ListenFirst’s social media monitoring software found that from Q1-Q3 2019, 9% of the content hospital brands were sharing on Facebook were Galleries, yet Gallery posts actually over-performed for hospital brands, generating 14% of the responses they received on Facebook. Similarly, 21% of hospital brand posts on Instagram were a Gallery, with 31% of the responses hospital brands received on Instagram coming from these posts.
Meanwhile, Link posts were over-indexed on Twitter. 41% of hospital Tweets contained a Link, but 53% of the responses hospital Tweets generated were from posts with Links.
When sharing singular pieces of content on either Facebook or Instagram, healthcare brands should try adding another image or video to make the post a gallery. With Twitter, Tweets should be viewed as an educational resource, as well as an opportunity to lead users to the hospital website or blog.
#4: Inspirational Stories Move The Needle On Facebook
Some of the best performing hospital posts on Facebook in the first 9 months of the year were inspiring stories of patients recovering. For example, a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Facebook post talking about how a college football player became friends with the Leukemia patient he donated bone marrow to generated 10K reactions and 357 comments, or a Boston Children’s Hospital Facebook post mentioning a woman who got a first of its kind heart surgery in 1938 which received 17K Responses and 266 Comments.
Stories that showcase inspirational human connections perform especially well on Facebook, a platform where most healthcare systems have extensively built out their fanbase.
#5: Celebrity Hospital Visits Perform Well On Instagram
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles shared an Instagram gallery showcasing Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal visiting sick children in their Spider-Man: Far From Home costumes generated 69.5K Likes on Instagram. Meanwhile the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center shared an Instagram photo of the Jonas Brothers visiting a fan who couldn’t make their concert because of chemo that received 3K Likes. Arranging for a celebrity to visit your hospital is easier said than done, but if they do visit children at your hospital that’s content perfectly tailored for Instagram.
#6: Twitter Is Optimal For Cutting Edge Research and Clinical Trials
As Twitter is a social media platform where people get their news in real-time, it’s a great place for hospitals to share news about exciting breakthroughs in medical science. Some top retweeted Tweets include a Stanford University School of Medicine Tweet about Stanford researchers finding a new “don’t eat me” signal in cancer that potentially could be blocked, and Harvard Medical School talking about a study showing how insufficient sleep could contribute to cardiovascular disease. Twitter is an ideal forum for sharing new medical insights and breakthroughs.
#7: YouTube Is the Best Platform For How-To And Expert Advice Videos
After analyzing content sharing across YouTube, it surfaced that instructional and self-improvement videos performed best. For example, Nationwide Children’s Hospital posted a YouTube video where a sports medicine expert demonstrates how to run faster that generated over 270K views, while Sharp Healthcare shared 3 stretches to reduce hip pain and received over 500K views. Video is the perfect medium to show, not just tell, and healthcare brands should be leveraging YouTube to share expert advice.
#8: Avoid Using Stock Photos
Posts and creative using stock images repeatedly underperformed for the healthcare industry.
One type of creative that repeatedly underperformed was the use of stock images in posts. For instance, a ProMedica Facebook post talking about the importance of lung cancer screening that used a stock photo only got one Like, while a ProMedica post about an employee giving their colleague a kidney with a photo of the two generated 50x that (side point: It’s an amazing story).
The more personal a piece of content feels, the more the healthcare audience will connect to it and stock photos are too generic and impersonal.
There’s ample evidence that posts shared by healthcare brands are connecting with audiences on social media, but to do so consistently requires the insights of the right social media analytics platform. Partnering with ListenFirst will give hospitals the tools and expert advice they need to properly optimize their social media and digital channels for audience engagement.