It’s been argued that social media is not technology. But, if you look up social media, of of its definitions describes it as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging)” (1). What is electronic communication if not technology? Social media applications build on web-based ideological and technological foundations, making it one of the most powerful forms of modern-day technology available to the masses. And most of the time, social media is free to use! Savvy pharmacists who practice smart healthcare marketing
The 21st Century Pharmacy Series: Part 3 - Stop Being Anti-Social
Welcome to the final installment of The 21st Century Pharmacy series. In this installment, we’ll examine the positive side effects social media can have for pharmacies. Find out how one of the most popular technology-based communication channels can help your pharmacy reach a huge audience and, if properly utilized, can increase your ROI!
The Positive Customer Effect
The best cheerleader for a brand, business, or product is a happy customer. Social media gives those happy customers a bullhorn and PA system that allows them to broadcast their reviews, word-of-mouth, across a platform of millions. Millions. At no cost to the pharmacy.
Word-of-mouth marketing continues to be the strongest source of new customer referrals and isn’t limited to specific industries (i.e., it’s not just for internet brands). Further, more than 80 percent of Americans will seek out recommendations (online and offline) before they make a purchase of any kind (2). In conclusion, word-of-mouth referrals don’t just help in the decision-making process, most often, they drive the decisions.
The Positive Business Effect
According to a recent survey on pharmacies and social media adoption, American pharmacy consumers found their pharmacies as through the following channels (3):
- Google – 37%
- Facebook – 18%
- Word-of-mouth – 34%
When your pharmacy turns to social media to engage patients and customers, you’re not giving up control of your reputation management. In fact, you’re helping to boost word-of-mouth marketing strength — through technology — by making yourself more accessible to your target customers.
Where do your customers spend the most pharmacy time in social media (3)?
- Facebook is the most popular for pharmacy and consumer interactions at 47%
- Twitter follows at 15%
- Instagram placed third at 12%
One of the many positive ‘side effects’ for businesses active in social media includes higher search engine rankings. And, the higher your rankings, the easier it is for customers to find you wherever they are.
Even better? This type of healthcare marketing complements the in-person services of your pharmacy team.
- Ninety two percent of consumers reported that they follow their pharmacists’ recommendations and advice (through social media where you can reach more customers with fewer messages)
- Fifty four percent reported trying or buying new products their pharmacists suggested on social media (which means more revenue for your pharmacy)
In its simplest form, social media as a technology and a channel not only makes it easier for your pharmacy to be found, but boost consumer relationships and revenue.
As you get to know social media as a technology and an invaluable channel to reach your consumers, think about your objectives and which technology best supports them. If you choose your social media wisely, you can gain a significant ROI over time. However, you’ve got to be ready to stick it out. Social media engagement is a constant process, not an occasional one.
The quality of your social media results will correlate with the quality and consistency of your efforts.
Has your pharmacy made any technology-based improvements? Has it helped your pharmacy grow? How has the technology impacted –– positively or negatively –– your standing in the community? We’d love to know and may even share those experiences in future blog posts, white papers, and e-books. If you’d like to add your experience, please contact BB Drake.
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