Any change in the season gives you an opportunity to do some innovative and engaging marketing — especially on social networks where you can be effective with quick social media marketing campaigns. In order to get your creative juices flowing, here are five social media marketing ideas for individual medical practices. In the past decade, social networks have evolved from an idea to a necessity for healthcare marketers. Of all the latest marketing platforms, social networks have turned the traditional marketing techniques on their head. With outdated marketing strategies, messages were sent to the target audience, and communication was one-way. However, on social networks, target audiences and brands can directly interact and work on strengthening relationships. According to a survey by DreamGrow, nearly 95 percent of online adults are most likely to follow a brand via social networking sites. However, just like target audiences vary from one practice to another, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing for medical practices. The strategies and techniques are as varied and diverse as the types of target patient groups to whom you can market your services. While getting started with social media marketing is relatively easy, knowing how to launch, manage and optimize your campaigns is critical. Getting started with social media healthcare marketing can be intimidating for some marketers, so here are a few effective social media marketing ideas for effectively promoting your practice. Go live Facebook is one of the first few believers in video being the future of social media marketing, and the launch of features like live video and stories is an indication of the same. Live videos are an excellent way to increase your organic reach and drive patient engagement. According to Facebook, visitors spend three times more time watching a live video compared to a video that is not live. Live video is likely to see continued growth and engagement in 2018 and beyond. However, now that more brands are using live video to increase engagement rate, the content will need to evolve to become more creative and less gimmicky. In addition, with Facebook ranking live videos higher on the News Feed, going live can also increase the reach of your non-live Facebook Page content. Run a contest It is usually difficult for people to resist the power of “free.” Running a contest is one of the most impactful social media ideas when it comes to increasing engagement rate. According to a survey by Tailwind, almost 91 percent of Instagram posts that attracted more than 1,000 likes or comments were related to a contest. In addition, brands that run contests on a regular basis grow 70 percent faster than those that don’t. According to experts, when you are running a contest, the prize must be related to your practice or specialty. This is because show tickets and other unrelated items tend to attract freebie-seekers that will not translate into long-term followers or an increase in patient volume. Host a Q&A session You can plan an ‘Ask the Doctor’ series to educate and engage with your followers. Such series can help you share your knowledge and experiences. From sharing success stories to general health tips, such interactive sessions can be compelling for patients and physicians alike. Through such interactive sessions, you can not only show off your personal side but also showcase the face behind your practice as well as raise awareness for your brand without being salesy. In addition, if you have a large team, you can encourage each member to conduct their own Q&A sessions to give a big-picture view of your practice. Share ‘behind the scenes’ pictures Essentially, brands represent people. Do not let that personal element of your practice fall by the wayside. It is important to give your followers a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your practice as this will signal authenticity. In addition, taking random pictures or video at your practice does not have to be rocket science. For instance, if you are hosting a wellness camp at your practice, it won’t do any harm to let your followers see what you do and how you do it. Share a milestone Healthcare marketers should consider celebrating their success stories and victories with their followers. For example, if you have appeared in a major publication or relocated to a bigger and fancier location, let your followers know. Sharing these milestones with your existing and potential patients will show your human side while strengthening your brand’s growth. Social media is not just about products and service. Telling your story and showing your accomplishments can solidify your reputation. End of the day, the most effective way to market your practice on social media is by providing value to your followers. It is important to create and share content that your audience will find useful. A piece of information that enlightens and educates them is what will eventually attract the right patients to your practice. Master this trick, and you will be a step closer to a successful social media marketing campaign.