Millions of Americans use social media daily. Remote work and stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic are bringing more people online and to social media. According to Google Trends, the three most popular social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—are seeing a 15 percent increase in traffic. People also aren’t just logging on, they’re engaging with content at a higher rate. Pew Research Center found 55 percent of adults get their news from social media and is predicting more people will turn to social media to get information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although you may not be seeing as many patients face-to-face, this is a great opportunity to invest more time and increase communication through your social channels. How are you keeping your patients informed of your current operations? Consider posting about you current services and sharing useful resources for home care.
Communicating through Social Media During COVID-19
Larger social media platforms such as Facebook, serve many different purposes for their users from communicating with others to reading the latest articles. A Facebook business page is often one of the first places a person searches for information about a business. Because of this, it is important to keep any digital property up to date. The current stay-at-home orders make business communications vital for your brand. A brand that can keep their audience informed will ultimately strengthen their relationship, leading to strong brand loyalty.
It’s important when using social media to communicate during the pandemic that you include easy-to-understand and readily available information your audience wants or needs to know. These include:
- If your practice is open or closed, and the date your practice will re-open.
- What your modified hours, care or services include such as telehealth, secure drop boxes or curbside pickup.
- The best way to contact your staff.
- Your phone number, email or website address.
- How your practice is taking precautions through social distancing or sanitizing.
- Where to get more information.
- Video tips for hearing aid care.
- Virtual events hosted through live videos.
- Revenue generating opportunities (battery sales, accessories, etc.).
And of course, you should post about how much you appreciate your patients and staff during this crisis.
When creating content, remember to be authentic, relatable and helpful. Speak to all audiences and remember what matters most right now: connecting and supporting people during this unprecedented time and remaining true to your brand’s core values.
Creating Video Resources
Let’s face it, we all hate seeing ourselves on video. It may be awkward or challenging at first, but that’s not a strong enough reason to avoid video creation in today’s social atmosphere. By 2021, Cisco is projecting 82 percent of all internet traffic will come through video.
Although professionally shot videos are ideal for an introduction to the practice, there are easier and more cost-effective ways to share your message. Mobile phones can shoot high-quality video that can be easily edited within the device and/or third-party apps.
Video Production Tips
- Identify a well-lit, quiet location for filming. The light source should come from the front.
- Use a tabletop tripod to hold your phone while filming. These can be purchased online for $20-$30.
- Test the audio on your video. If you have concerns about the sound quality, you can purchase an inexpensive lavalier mic to connect with your phone.
- Keep it short. Videos with the most engagement are typically less than two minutes in length.
Viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10 percent when reading it in text.– WordStream, 2020
- Explanation/demonstration of the patient experience.
- What to expect for service during the pandemic
- Descriptions of conditions and/or treatments.
- How-to videos:
- Changing a hearing aid battery.
- Changing a wax filter.
- Recharging your hearing aid.
- Pairing your hearing aid with your mobile phone.
- Adjusting to life with hearing aids.
For more helpful information on video production, please view our webinar Video Production for the Audiologist presented by Rose DuLude, PhD, CCC-A.
Remaining HIPAA Compliant on Social Media
Although it may be easy to message with patient within a social media platform, these platforms are not HIPAA compliant. Most social platforms sell data and information to third parties including messaging activity and form fills that may appear to be private. Your practice can be HIPAA compliant by:
- Discontinuing use of messaging features and changing your Facebook page call-to-action button to the call option.
- Requesting patients and potential patients contact your staff by phone.
- Discontinuing use of lead generation advertising within the social platform and sending advertising traffic to a form fill on your website or a secure landing page.
Social platforms provide different forms of media to communicate with your audience. When creating a communication, consider what you would engage with most on a social platform as a user. Social media publishing includes posts or updates, images and video. Social advertising may include text with either an image or video.
Fuel Medical offers a range of social media services and is ready to support your practice through the pandemic. Speak with your regional or account manager to learn more.