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Health Content for Social Media: 7 Tips for a Cohesive Strategy

At HealthDay, we don't just create award-winning health and medical content—we also endeavor to understand how quality content solutions drive client engagement and increase website traffic. These days, to have a truly comprehensive content approach, such a content solution must include content specifically intended for social media.

Whether engaging a social media audience as a marketing or public relations tool, attempting to drive traffic back to websites, or embarking on a brand enhancement campaign, the social media accounts of health and medical marketing and communications departments simply must include quality, verifiable content.

Every day, we at HealthDay are asked questions about health content for social media. Here are some of the typical questions we field, along with the answers you need to achieve your goals.

What Is the Best Health Content for Social Media?

Whether you buy licensed content for social media or engage a content provider to create custom content for social media, the question remains: what is the best health content for social media?

The content on your social media channels should be aligned directly with the content on your other marketing media outlets (such as on your website, in your electronic newsletters, in your print materials, etc.). The social media content should also be created and shared with your audience in mind.

For example, when sharing to LinkedIn, the content should be slightly more professional-friendly, and selected with client partnerships in mind-possibly leaning a little towards a marketing communications voice. On the other hand, healthcare marketing content for Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, or other consumer media networks should be a little more about lifestyle and well-being, and how your organization is at the forefront of your chosen niche.

Where Can I Find Good Health Content for Social Media?

Partnering and building a relationship with a content provider is definitely the best way to ensure that you have a cost-effective, measurable strategy in place for your social media content. While organizations may be really strong in specialized health or medical fields, communicating that proficiency in the hope of building brand trust or generating new business may not be their forte. Knowing your business and knowing how to market it are two completely different things.

You could possibly employ a freelance content writer for health articles, but as anyone who has ever actually done this will testify, managing freelance writers and then editing the health content they return uses up valuable time and money. A dedicated health content provider gets around this problem by already having a team of editors on staff and knowing exactly which types of content to assign to which writers. Creating health content in-house is notoriously difficult because of time and cost restrictions, and also because health content leaves absolutely no room for error in its research-based verifiability. It not only has to be right, but it has to get to right in the most cost-effective way. This isn't easy, and it is why so many organizations turn to a professional content provider such as HealthDay.

Does Buying Content for Social Media Mean I Need Social Media Management?

In a word, no. In fact, spending money on social media management simply means that you are giving an agency money to go and buy the content you should be buying yourself. Social Media Management simply takes your content and ensures it is posted at the right time and in the right way. That's a very different skill set to creating the content you need.

But Won't I Need to Post the Content to Social Media?

Not necessarily. There are many apps and tools created specifically for automating the process of posting to social media. All you need to do is connect to the right app and then make sure your content funnel is fed at a cadence to suit your needs. A good content provider will ensure you receive a feed to your social media channels, so you don't need to worry about writers, editors, managers, etc. In fact, you don't need to worry about anything. Passing off your social media tasks to a content provider means you never need to do anything other than step in now and again to monitor client engagement and traffic data.

What If I Don't Yet Have a Large Social Media Following?

You will. Enlisting the help of a professional content provider such as HealthDay to take care of your health content for social media fits in line with the "build it and they will come" philosophy. Social media users are a pretty savvy bunch, so regardless of what your level of followers/likers/sharers/connections/friends is, if you are using accurate, research-verifiable, engaging content, your audience will come.

Does a Content Feed for Social Media Include Images and Video?

Yes. Any decent health content feed that goes to your social media channels should include accompanying images and video to spark engagement and drive traffic back to your website. The better content providers use professional image and video licensing services to merge their text feeds with media, which catches the attention of social media users.

Should I Mix Social Media Health Content with Commentary?

An effective marketing communications campaign, especially a social media campaign, should include commentary. Sharing posts from a content feed, such as HealthDay's Consumer News feed, provides research-based articles about the latest studies or findings on a multitude of health topics. If your organization specializes in a field covered by the Consumer News feed, you could share the item as a post and add your own commentary as a way to engage your audience.

Sam Holmes is Sales and Marketing Manager with HealthDay, the worlds' largest syndicator of health and medical news, and a leading creator of custom health content for hospitals, physician's offices, corporate benefits providers, health insurance companies and media outlets. Sam can be contacted through his LinkedIn page.

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