Many clinics and practices steer clear of social media. They aren’t sure how it works or how they can use it to market their clinic. But they need more than word of mouth to get new patient enquiries. With 57.6 million social media users within the UK, you’re missing out if you’re not using these platforms to promote your clinic. In this blog, we’ll go through the advantages of organic vs paid social media marketing for your clinic.
The way social media is used has evolved drastically over the past years. Whereas before, the platforms were full of organic content, social media is now widely used as an advertising platform. The pay-per-click (PPC) ads help businesses like yours reach new patients.
Since the pandemic, more users have turned to social media, not only for their social updates but also for shopping. This has increased the number of users that advertisers can reach.
Facebook and Instagram can be instrumental in generating new patient enquiries for your clinic, but you have to know how to use them.
So, which is best, organic or paid? Don’t worry; we’ve done the legwork, so read on to get some invaluable tips on using social media to help you with marketing for your clinic.
Paid vs Organic Social Media
When we talk about organic social, we refer to using social media platforms for free. This includes sharing content such as posts, memes, photos, stories etc., without paying for them. Followers of your pages will see your posts ‘’organically’’.
Paid social refers to paying for ads to be shown to users. This means those seeing your ads will see them because you have spent money to have them shown, reaching people outside of your followers.
Why use paid if you have organic?
Unfortunately, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram make it difficult for us to reach our audience with organic posts. Many marketers believe this is done on purpose to encourage businesses to pay for ads to reach their own followers as well as a new audience.
The drop in organic reach (the number of people seeing the posts you haven’t paid to promote) has increased. Check out this blog to learn more about this drop and how you can tackle it. At the moment, on average less than 10% of your followers will see your posts. This has led to pressure for businesses, both big and small, to invest in paid social. While this can be frustrating, if you learn to use paid social well, you’ll find it very rewarding.
With paid social, you are reaching a much larger number of prospective patients that would never see your posts or page without the paid ads.
This increases your chances of getting new patient enquiries and helps increase your brand’s visibility. One of the benefits of using ads on these platforms is that they don’t stick out too much or look too different from regular posts. This allows them to blend in so that when users see them, they don’t immediately think they are seeing an ad, increasing the chances of them engaging with it.
With ads, you can choose whom you target carefully. If you have a fair amount of followers on Instagram, with some of them being patients that have visited your clinic, you can create similar target audiences. Instagram will use its algorithm to find people with similar interests that fit the same profile as your current followers.
You can also specifically choose to whom your ad is shown to based on interests, age and gender to ensure that your ad is only shown to people who are more likely to enquire about a treatment.
So, as organic reach drops drastically, with paid social, you’ll be able to break through those algorithms and reach new audiences that wouldn’t otherwise hear about your clinic and the treatments you offer. Have a look at our tips to get your Facebook ads running profitably.
The importance of organic social
While ads allow you to reach a larger audience, you can’t rely on them alone. You’ll also need to use your profile to create organic posts and stories. This helps you to demonstrate what your clinic offers and the principles of your clinic while you can also boast about your amazing team.
It also gives your followers a chance to get to know you and for you to tell your brand story, which will help to build trust. Your profile can serve them to find out any information they can’t get from ads, and you can use it as a customer service platform to help resolve any queries.
Then, when a prospective patient is ready to enquire about a treatment, your clinic will be the one that will be top of mind.
Let’s not forget that organic social is free!
While it may take some time to find your groove and get into the habit of using social media as a marketing platform if you are consistent with your posting, you track which posts do well, and you use analytics to decipher when the best time to post is, you will have a better chance of reaching a larger audience. This is simply because, with the algorithms of social media platforms, the more interesting the content you produce, the more it will be shown to others.
So, if your followers are online when you post something and they engage with it by liking, sharing or commenting, it is more likely to be shown to more of your followers. This increases the reach and is the simplest way to fight against the organic reach drop.
There are several ways potential patients will see your organic social posts:
- On their homepage, if they follow you already (From Home)
- Directly looking at your profile (From profile)
- Using relevant hashtags (From hashtags)
- If your followers share posts, their followers will see it
- On Instagram, on the ‘explore page’
Your primary focus should be on producing good quality content, following trends if possible, and offering your followers useful information or content they can engage with.
Using a hybrid of organic and paid
The most effective way to take advantage of social media platforms to market your clinic is to use them simultaneously. With the right balance, you will see great results for both paid and organic social.
Your ads should reinforce the messages you release through organic posts, and they should offer your prospective patients value. Using both paid and organic together gives you the best chance to reach new patients while providing a solid brand message.
And finally, if you want to generate new patient enquiries for your clinic but are unsure where to start, get in touch with us and book a free call. Don’t worry; there are no strings attached; it is just a chance for you to get to know how we work!