Everyone understands that social media has global reach, but it is just as effective for reaching local communities.
Rural hospitals are not looking for a global audience when they reach out on social media. Yet, most social media marketers are trained in marketing efforts targeted at national or international markets. This is one reason why a lot of generalist marketing firms can’t help rural hospitals target their local communities effectively.
Letting networks do the work for you
Most of the social networking services will highlight local services for people searching on those platforms. For this reason, it’s very important that your profiles include location information. It also benefits you to use local place names in your posts and articles when possible.
If you are doing paid advertising through a social network, make sure you target based on location. This will ensure you get the best impact for your money.
Doing your own homework
It will take some time, but investigating the social profiles of other institutions, businesses, and community groups in your local area can have significant benefits for your social marketing efforts. This will allow you to network with these groups and reach their established audience.
The two best ways to start your search are
- The target place name + key words like health, fitness, community
- The names of specific businesses or organizations you can connect with
By connecting with them you can connect with the local audience that follow them. It also creates opportunities to show your involvement in the local community. Look for ways to highlight what others are doing in the community in the areas of health and fitness.
Think of your social media presence as a kind of persona. Social media is not a one-way advertisement, it’s a conversation between people. Take an active part in reaching out to others with local influence and you will be rewarded.
Bring the wider world home
Another strategy you can employ is to be a local face for national health information. The COVID-19 pandemic is serves as a good example. You can share information that is national in scope but put it into perspective for a local audience and add your own expertise on its application. Having the national expertise paired with a local voice makes it more powerful and relevant for the communities you serve.
Need help with your social media?
SRJ Marketing Communications is 100% dedicated to working with rural hospitals and clinics to help them find marketing success in an ever-changing landscape. We are always working to refine and update our strategies and materials to meet the demands of the changing marketplace. If you want to benefit from our 30 years of experience or need help implementing your plans, we are just a phone call or email away: Steven R Jolly: 214-528-5775