The super short answer is: No. But, for those who are wondering why you don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform out there, read on. Just like any other aspect of your marketing strategy, your social media should be executed thoughtfully and strategically to make sure you are utilizing your resources in the most effective way possible.
It seems like there’s a new social media platform that’s launched (or being announced as “coming soon!”) every single week. When you’re in charge of social media and content development for your healthcare organization, it can be overwhelming to think about adding one more thing to your social media plan – not just from a timing standpoint, but from a content creation place too. Because each platform calls for different pieces of content – whether it’s text only, images, video, audio – having to tell your message in all of these different ways might not necessarily be the best strategic use of your team’s time.
Where Should We Be?
When this question is asked, my first piece of advice is to do a deep dive into who your target audience is. Here is where you might not find a fit between who you’re trying to target and the primary demographic that’s using a specific social media platform. For example, if you are a long term care facility that is trying to target Baby Boomers and their caregivers, TikTok might not be the best place to focus your efforts.
Look at each social media platform, see what their primary user looks like, and determine if there is a fit for your target audience. This should be the main driver of whether or not your organization has a presence on a social platform. If your target audience isn’t a primary user of a platform, it’s not recommended to focus your efforts there.
*If you’re just starting out with social media for your organization, definitely start small and work your way up. For example, start with Facebook and get comfortable with a consistent posting schedule, creating content, and building an audience. Then move on to a second social media platform, as long as it will meet your target audience goals.
What Kinds Of Resources Do I Have To Work With?
This is another critical question when it comes to establishing a social media presence on a new platform. Just like with anything in life, when you jump into something new and want to make an impact, it’s important to make sure you have the resources to be able to make it happen.
When reviewing whether you should add another social platform to your marketing plan, as yourself these questions:
- Does our team have enough bandwidth to manage an additional social media platform on a consistent basis? How would that look? (Don’t forget that managing social media platforms is more than just posting. It’s also managing comments left by followers and responding, monitoring and responding to messages/DMs from followers, monitoring metrics, etc.)
- Do we have resources to help with content creation (i.e. original photography, stock photography, graphic design, video creation, writing posts/scripts)? Do we need to tap into an outside resource to help with these efforts?
- Do we have support and input from various departments in my organization to help provide content/stories?
- Do we have support from key stakeholders and decision makers within the organization?
Make The Plan
When you’re looking to add another social media platform to your existing social plan, it’s really important to make a Social Media Plan.
Figure out if the platform works with your organization’s goals, objectives, and target audience. Establish how this social platform will help support your other marketing efforts and how everything will work together.
Identify who is going to manage the new platform, who is going to create the content, what your posting schedule looks like, who is managing comments and messages, and what additional resources you’ll need to make your content come to life.
Once you have your plan together, it’s time to get going! Create content for at least a week’s worth of posts, have your social media team set a schedule for content creation, and post scheduling. Know that when you are setting up a presence on a new social media platform, it takes time to grow an audience and a following. It’s important to monitor the response and engagement to your posted content, but also give it time to build an audience.
With the right combo of meeting your target audience, the right messaging and content, and a consistent posting schedule, your newest social media platform should be a great brand addition for your organization. But remember: Just because a social media platform is the hottest, newest thing doesn’t mean that it will make strategic sense for your organization – and, it’s okay to not jump on the bandwagon.
Board Member, Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society
Director Of Social Media and Content, MorningStar Media Group