Social media marketing is a great way for pharmacies to build their presence online, improve brand awareness, connect with potential customers, and promote their products and services to a larger audience. But with so many social media channels out there, which should you choose for your pharmacy? The key to a successful social media strategy is to first identify your target audience, understand which channels they use, and build your presence on those channels.
An overview of popular social media channels
To identify the right channels for your business, let’s take a look at the handful of platforms that have withstood the test of time and who uses them.
Facebook remains the most popular social media site on the planet, with a total of 2.93 billion monthly average users (MAU). That’s 36.8% of the world’s population! An average of 67% of users the platform every day and another 73.9% are likely to be shown an ad on Facebook.
In Ireland, there are 2.5 million users on Facebook with an estimated 50% of users being served ads on the platform. A majority of Facebook users are aged 25 to 34 years old, with 54.2% of users identifying as female and 458% identifying as male.
Small businesses like Facebook because creating a business profile is straightforward and it’s easy to post content, whether that’s an all-text post, a video or an image. However, organic reach for posts on Facebook pages has declined dramatically since 2018. Instead, Facebook’s algorithms tend to prioritise content that generates high engagement from users.
The second largest social media platform, with a total of 2.2 billion MAU, is also the second-most visited website in the world with 66.64 billion visits as of August 2022. In Ireland, an estimated 3.96 million people use YouTube, with 79.7% of users being served an ad. As of early 2022, 50.6% of YouTube’s ad audience identified as female while 49.4% identified as male.
While it might not seem like the best social media platform for pharmacists, Youtube could benefit your business if you have the time and resources to put into creating content. YouTube offers a good platform for health and wellness content that your patients might find beneficial. For instance, coming into the colder months, you could share valuable information on immunity support and vaccination services that you offer. In the warmer months, you could share insightful information on skin protection/care and private travel vaccination services that you offer. You could also provide patients with practical tips and information on managing long-term or chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and inflammatory skin conditions. These videos can then be embedded on your website or shared across your other social media channels, such as your Facebook page.
Despite facing tough competition from TikTok, Instagram hit 2 billion MAU in December 2021, making it the third social media platform to cross the 2 billion mark. As of early 2022, there are 2.4 million Instagram users in Ireland or 48% of the country’s population. Meanwhile, ads reached 48.5% of the country’s population. 57.3% of users identify as female while 42.7% identify as male.
Similar to Facebook, content creators on Instagram have reported a steady decline in engagement on image posts, with Instagram’s algorithm seeming to favour short-form video content known as “Reels”. As Instagram is a visual platform, pharmacies can find success if they can come up with creative and visual ways to engage their audience.
As mentioned above, there are plenty of ways that you can share valuable insights and information with your patients via video content. While YouTube videos tend to be longer than Instagram’s Reels, you could break down these longer videos into shorter clips and share them on your Instagram page. Managing multiple channels does not mean you need to multiply the workload. You can repurpose the content you create for each platform – it’s all about working smarter not harder!
To improve performance, don’t forget to add your location (also known as “geotags”) and hashtags (you can use up to 30!) in your captions to help users discover your content.
Launched in 2017, TikTok is the fasted growing app to have hit the internet. In late 2021, visits to TikTok briefly surpassed Google (including Maps, Translate, Flights and so on) as the most visited site and topped Facebook as the most visited social media platform. While it has lost its #1 spot since then, it’s definitely no small feat.
TikTok originally allowed users to create very short videos, 15 and 60 seconds long, but has since included longer videos of up to 10 minutes. The app also offers a huge selection of sound effects, music clips, and filters to make videos fun and engaging. As another platform that focuses on video content, it offers another opportunity to share the video content that we mentioned earlier.
For businesses hoping to attract a younger crowd, TikTok might be the platform of choice as 39.8% of global users are between 18 and 24 years old, while another 29% of users are aged 25 to 34. It’s estimated that 1.88 million Irish users are on the app, aged 18 and up.
Did you know that 72.7% of Twitter users identify as male? it is also the seventh most popular social media platform in the world with 486 million MAU. Interestingly, 55% of American Twitter users rely on the platform to get the latest news and 46% of users say the platform helps them make sense of what’s going on in the world.
Unlike TikTok, Twitter is mostly used by Millenials with 42% of users aged 18 to 29 and 38% of users aged 30 to 49. In Ireland, Twitter is used by just 1.35 million users.
Over time, businesses have found Twitter to be an effective customer service channel as customers often go to Twitter to make queries or complaints, expecting a timely and appropriate response. For most pharmacies, Twitter is unlikely to become a relevant marketing channel unless you’re willing to dedicate time to establishing domain authority and cultivating your presence on the platform.
Compared to other social media platforms discussed, LinkedIn commands a much smaller share of the internet at just 850 million LinkedIn members globally. It’s likely that the platform has a smaller share of users due to its higher age requirement of 18 years instead of 13 years like other platforms.
Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn focuses on the professional side of life, with 84% of users using the platform to grow their professional network. In Ireland, LinkedIn reports having 2.5 million members with 47.8% of users identifying as female and the remaining 52.2% identifying as male.
For pharmacies, LinkedIn might not be the right social media channel to promote products and services as it’s mostly used for companies in the business-to-business sector. However, LinkedIn is a great platform for pharmacies to establish their authority in the pharmaceutical industry, which could benefit recruitment efforts in the future. It is also a great platform for staying up-to-date and engaging with other organisations in the sector. For instance, HasHealth uses LinkedIn to share valuable industry insights with pharmacists and engage with organisations within the pharmacy industry.
Case Study: Day Lewis Pharmacy
Day Lewis Pharmacy has done a great job creating authentic, educational, and relevant content for users across their social media platforms.
On Instagram and Facebook, they share images to convey exciting news about the business, such as the launch of their Flu Vaccination Service and the beginning of the extension work of their warehouse. Sprinkled in between business updates and dance videos, they also post educational content, including tips on using sunscreen and why women should go for cervical screenings.
Interestingly, their most popular video, with over 112,200 views, is of a team member communicating with a customer in sign language. Their second most popular video on TikTok features a “day-in-the-life” of a pharmacist at Collier Row.
Day Lewis Pharmacy is nailing its social media strategy because of two things:
- They share authentic content featuring real people, instead of stock images, making content more relatable to their followers.
- They consistently feature patient-centred care in their social media posts and it resonates with their audience, especially with younger followers on TikTok.
How to use social media marketing for your pharmacy
When thinking about your social media marketing strategy, prioritising the right channels and setting the right goals can do wonders for your business. There’s no need to jump onto all the platforms available and you most certainly do not need 100k followers. You only need the right people to engage with your content for your social media marketing strategy to benefit your business.
1. Focus on your target customers
Focus on your core group of customers and the channels that they’re most likely to use. If you want to target 35 – 45-year-olds who are both mothers and caregivers to their elderly parents, chances are they’re likely to frequent Facebook and Instagram. If you’re hoping to target a younger crowd, you might want to focus on Instagram and TikTok instead.
2. Complete your profiles with the right details
To get started, make sure your business profiles are set up correctly. Check that your address and opening times are correct. If you have a website or if you have pharmacists who can speak multiple languages, make sure it’s added to your social media profiles too.
3. Create a realistic content plan
A consistent schedule is important to growing your social media presence so create a realistic content schedule for your top two or three channels. If you can’t post every day, aim for once or twice a week. Don’t be afraid to use the same video or image across all the platforms, just remember to tweak the captions accordingly to suit each platform.
When it comes to creating content, try to stick to the 80/20 rule. That means 80% of the content that you post should educate, entertain or offer a solution to your customers’ problems. Only 20% of your content should explicitly promote your business. No one likes to scroll through endless advertisements, and posting too much promotional content will lead to people hitting the “unfollow” button.
As mentioned above, try to create content that your patients will find useful. For instance, you could provide health and wellness information and insightful tips, or you could answer frequently asked questions about your products or services. When you wish to promote new clinical services or special offers, you can use your social media channels to share direct links to your online booking page or your website!
4. Schedule posts in bulk and make time for engagement
Use social media scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts in bulk and have them automatically published at your chosen time and date. This should free up time for you to engage with your followers. Respond or “like” comments, reply to messages, and repost content that you have been featured in.
Are you ready to get started with your social media marketing strategy?
Social media platforms are great for helping businesses connect with potential and existing customers online. You don’t need to jump on every platform available. Be strategic and make an effort to share authentic and genuine content that reflects your brand and its values. This will help attract the right customers to your pharmacy!
Want to take your pharmacy to the next level? HasHealth’s innovative platform hosts a range of cutting-edge tools that will help you digitalise your pharmacy. Speak to our team today to learn how we can transform your pharmacy!