With technology updating at a rate that is hard to keep up with, it can be difficult to cast your eye even further into the future to see what lies ahead. Social media changes especially fast, and a variety of trends are set to shape the social media landscape in 2016.
1. Visual Content & Innovation
Visual content is on the rise, and it is not slowing down. Today, it’s increasingly important to demonstrate creative talent with stimulating visual content and virtual style ads. Content has started to transition from generic images and stock photos to animations and videos.
That old adage “an image is worth a thousand words” is particularly true in social media marketing for doctors and opens up a world of possibilities, such as giving patients a new virtual way to experience your medical practice through the use of new video formats.
Whatever social media platform you are using for your medical marketing services, always try and use some type of visual in your post, and ensure that it accurately represents the message you are trying to convey.
2. Live Streaming
Live streaming is set to be the next big thing as it connects audiences around the world in real-time. Consider this the next level of communication – beyond words and still photos. From a business perspective, live broadcasting gives you the opportunity to humanize your brand and connect with potential patients in a way other mediums can’t. Medical marketing can leverage this through real-time product demonstrations and broadcasting live from events or conferences to share breaking news as it happens, particularly the dissemination of accurate health information.
3. A Mobile Society
Not only is nearly everyone armed with a mobile phone these days, the number of people using mobile as their main source of engagement on social media platforms is rising considerably. Statistics claim that 47% of active Facebook users ONLY login from a mobile device. Today’s society is a smartphone society, so mobile users will continue to demand and expect fast loading, quality content.
[Tweet “47% of active Facebook users ONLY login from a mobile device. #hcsm”]
4. Privacy is Priority
One of the challenges the healthcare industry faces when engaging in social media is compliance with industry regulations and the protection of patient data. Now, user privacy is becoming a key challenge across the board, so expect to see more robust efforts from the social media giants to protect consumer’s privacy. With legal and non-compliance risks ever higher, be sure that your practice’s social media activities, and those of your employees, are 100% compliant.
5. Social Shopping
It’s only a matter of time before social channels incorporate eCommerce functionality so consumers can make, pay, and share purchases all via social platforms. A number of networks are already testing these features, so expect to see social media’s function shift from being a platform that provides referral traffic to a direct purchasing platform.
6. Social for Customer Care
Both Twitter and Facebook launched updates at the end of 2015 to allow easier, direct contact between companies and customers. While some studies suggest that many companies still ignore questions sent through social media channels, those that work on improving and delivering the best customer experience possible will be well placed to reap the rewards. Follow existing rules and regulations as it pertains to patient privacy to ensure that you don’t risk overshadowing any benefits.
7. Advanced Social Analytics
Facebook provides access to a huge range of data, from consumer moods and thoughts to habits and preferences. The data and insights gained can be extremely valuable to understand your audience, predict their behavior, and plan your conversations with them according to their needs and wants.
8. New Publishing Formats
Publishers are set to potentially reach billions of consumers with Facebook’s Instant Articles, where full-length articles can be published without the need to link to an external source. This looks like just the beginning as social platforms increasingly look for ways to keep users engaged in-app for as long as possible. Users can look forward to specific types of content, such as health related content, delivered and ready to read without the need to navigate away from social media.
When preparing for the future, look at how your medical marketing can adapt to the changes and utilize the power of social conversations to amplify your brand’s visibility and reputation.