RxSafe features monthly guest posts from pharmacy industry insiders and leaders. This month, we hear from independent pharmacy marketing expert Nicolle McClure, as she writes about best practices for utilizing social media to increase reach and engagement.
What is interactive social media? And how is it different from regular social media posts? Interactive type posts are any content a user can click on, click-through, answer, or play with. It’s a great way to stand out from the crowd, (to minimize people endlessly scrolling through their feed) and increase your overall reach. Examples of interactive type posts include contests, employee spotlights, and videos.
Contests, such as this one on Facebook, can increase engagement and add followers to your page.
While these types of posts are great for increasing engagement, they do take a little more effort and planning, and closer monitoring of your page (can’t set it and forget it). For example, if you are running a contest, it’s important to check the posts often to ensure there are no questions and if there are, to be able to respond back to them in a timely manner. If you are unable to monitor, assign someone from your staff to handle it. If you are getting new people responding to the post, make sure to send them an invite to like your page, so they will see your posts going forward. The other thing to consider with doing interactive social media is there could be an additional cost involved. This could be a prize for a contest, running an ad, or creating a video. Keep these two things in mind, when adding interactive posts to your marketing plan.
Our recommendation is to incorporate one to two interactive posts a month with your social media platforms. Doing more can wear people out and cause them to lose interest in your page altogether. Have fun with them, they don’t always have to be pharmacy or health-related. Here are some ideas and examples from other independent pharmacy owners:
Giveaway a free ham at Easter or Christmas, or a gift card to a local restaurant to show your support for other neighboring businesses. Run it for no more than two weeks, and make sure you announce the winner, so people know the contest is legit. If possible, take a picture with the winner and post it to your page as well, to also increase engagement of the overall event.
A pharmacy group in Rolla, MO gave away a free ham at each of their nine locations through Facebook. To be entered, people had to link the page or share the post. The initial contest post reached 14,646 people, had 208 likes, and 478 shares! At the end of the contest, they gained 290 followers in one month.
People love seeing photos of other people, and it also humanizes your pharmacy. Employee spotlight posts see some of the highest reach/likes because people tend to share them more than other posts. This also helps create a larger presence for your pharmacy on social media.
Take a photo of each staff member, and feature them on your page, along with a quick bio, how long they have worked there, their favorite product you sell, etc. Just make sure to get your staff member’s permission before posting.
Here are two examples of employee spotlights. As you can see, it’s something quick and simple for the copy. Doing these types of posts is what separates you from the competition, and pushes that community message while increasing your reach.
Research has shown videos have the highest reach and engagement of any content type. People are 80% more likely to remember something they see in a video, compared to only 20% when they read it. Take a video in the pharmacy on a new product or service, highlight an employee’s birthday, or a charity event you are a part of, are just a few examples. Don’t worry the video doesn’t need to be “perfect” the more spontaneous and real it is, the better. Keep it under 2 minutes. Any longer, and people start to lose interest. Make it more interactive by asking a question during the video for followers to answer.
Check out one of our client’s Facebook pages: facebook.com/schaffnerpharmacy to see some great videos promoting his staff, pharmacy, and community, which averages over 500 views per video.
Harmon’s Drug Store in Oblong, IL owner incorporates videos into their over social media by doing Monday Motivation on a variety of health or community topics. Get inspired by visiting their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HarmonsOblong
If you are feeling extra brave, try a Facebook Live video! Hop on Facebook using the app on your phone and start recording. The great thing with live videos is people can ask questions during the broadcast, so it can be even more interactive. Again, it doesn’t need to be scripted, just have 2-3 points in mind that you want to cover during the video. For great examples of live videos, visit Save Rite Family of Pharmacies page at facebook.com/saveritefamilyofpharmacies. On average their videos get over 2000 views, and 40% are from non-followers, creating opportunity to get more people to like the page.
Try incorporating one of these interactive post suggestions on your social media platforms to boost engagement, secure higher reach and separate your pharmacy from the competition.
About Nicolle McClure and GRX Marketing
Nicolle McClure is President and owner of GRX Marketing, a leading provider of marketing services to independent pharmacies. The company offers individualized marketing programs to its clients through both digital marketing and traditional advertising campaigns. McClure is currently the host for the Pharmacy Marketing Simplified Podcast on the Pharmacy Podcast Network.