There’s no doubt that the medical industry is growing each and every year. In 2016, the Urgent Care Association of America released a report stating that there were 7,357 urgent care centers in the United States. This was a notable increase from 6,707 centers the year before. With this market constantly growing, it can be difficult to stand out. Strategies like social media marketing can help pivot your urgent care business to stand out from the crowd and gain traction with customers of all ages and demographics.
The Stagnation of Urgent Care
In an interview with Forbes, Bruce Irwin (CEO of American Family Care) says, “To really thrive, urgent-care providers will need to do a little more work and accept more responsibility for the public health, rather than maintaining an episodic-based, revolving door philosophy. Vertical integration is key.”
As the industry continues to grow, allowing patients to come and go might turn into a losing business model. World wide issues should be on the radars of urgent care centers. Take vaccinations, for instance. 24 million children around the world do not have access to the vaccines that they should have before they turn 12 months old. Urgent care centers should be taking on big issues like this, with at the very least helping to inform the public about these problems.
In the past, urgent care centers have been able to stand out through means such as decreasing wait time or redecorating. With 92% of urgent care centers maintaining a wait time of 30 minutes or less in 2015, having the fastest service doesn’t necessarily differentiate your business. Your urgent care center must become proactive in your approach to interacting with patients, both physically and digitally.
Standing Out from the Crowd
If your urgent care center needs to start taking responsibility for public health, how can you start to make the transition? A great way to do this is through social media marketing. With 82% of internet users over the age of 15 also using social media, the opportunity to inform and interact with possible patients is ripe for the taking. These people need someone to turn to for advice, assistance, and education when it comes to health in their day to day life.
Using Social Media Efficiently
Knowing the theory and necessity behind social media is a great first step, but how does one take action around it? Here are a few tips to get started.
- Know your target market. By first knowing who you want to reach, you will have a great amount of clarity going into your social media strategy. This step will aid you in a multitude of ways. Not only will this help choose the platforms that are right for your business, but it will help you decide on what kind of content to share, and whom you will be engaging with.
- Choose your platform(s). Now that you know the type of person you want to reach, you’ll want to go where they spend the most time. For instance, if you typically serve people of an older demographic, it might be easiest to reach them on Facebook. To reach a younger demographic, you may want to integrate Instagram or Twitter into your strategy. Spending a short amount of time researching available social media platforms to choose will pay dividends in the long term.
- Post relevant content. Here is your opportunity to really stand out from the crowd and implement a successful social media strategy. By posting content that educates and assists possible patients, you can become a trusted authority for these individuals to turn to in their time of need. This can come in a variety of different mediums: video, text-based posts, images, polls, etc. Be sure to keep your target market and platform you choose in mind, as different platforms treat each type of content differently.
In a market that is growing more saturated day by day, your urgent care center needs to stand out. Regardless of what demographic you’re targeting, or what platform you choose, time put into social media will be well spent. This is a wonderful opportunity to take responsibility for public health care, and transition needs-based services into a lifelong relationship between you and your patients.