It’s 5 p.m. You’ve been working since 7 a.m. and — sigh — you still have to schedule all of the social media posts for tomorrow. That after-work cocktail will have to wait a little longer.
When you can find the time to make stand-out social media content, it can have a big payoff for your healthcare marketing strategy. But the to-do list is long, and social media usually finds itself near the bottom.
Fortunately, there are plenty of platforms out there today that can help ease your social media burden. We’ve gathered up a few of our favorite social media tools for health marketing and included some tips on choosing the right one.
Maybe, with the right toolkit, that cocktail won’t have to wait after all.
How do I choose the right social media tool for my healthcare marketing team?
Before investing your time or money into a social media tool for health marketing, it’s essential to consider a few key questions:
- What is your budget for a social tool?
- Do you need a listening tool, a scheduling tool, a tool with in-depth analytics, or an all-in-one platform?
- What is the #1 feature your organization must have in a social tool, and will this social tool fit that need?
- What are your goals for growing a social program? Will this tool help you reach those goals?
- What is the size of your team? Who will be using the social tool and what kind of access will each team member need?
- What does your review process look like for social media content? Will this tool make that review process easy or complicated?
- What is the experience level of the team members who will be using the social tool? Will they need training on the tool first, or will they be able to dive right in?
- How will the social tool integrate with other project management or customer relationship management (CRM) software you already use?
Try outlining these questions in a spreadsheet where you can track whether a certain tool meets each requirement. Are there any that tick all the boxes?
Once you’ve narrowed it down to three or four options, look for a free trial and, if possible, a demo from a sales or customer service rep. A free trial or demo will give your team a chance to learn how the tool works and whether it can fit into your organization’s workflow.
A few of our favorite social media tools for health marketing
Free scheduling tools
- Hootsuite– Although the free version of Hootsuite has some limitations, it allows you to schedule social posts for up to three social profiles. The free version also includes some analytics tools to help track social performance. (Free with option to upgrade for more features)
- TweetDeck – This is one of our go-to free tools for Twitter-centric social strategies. We love TweetDeck for the way it helps us stay organized while managing several Twitter profiles. It offers scheduling and custom timelines, and its dashboard helps you easily visualize Twitter searches and lists. (Free)
- Buffer – We love Buffer for scheduling content on multiple social profiles. One of the great features of Buffer is its web browser extension; this allows you to create a social post from any webpage in seconds. Plus, Buffer will automatically schedule your posts for a time that maximizes engagement. (Free with option to upgrade for more features)
Social media scheduling and all-in-one social tools
- Sprout Social – Sprout Social is an all-in-one social platform that gives social teams the power to manage multiple accounts and engage with users across each account. Sprout also provides analytics to help drive decision-making and listening tools to inform your social strategy. (Paid with free trial option)
- Agorapulse – Agorapulse is another popular all-in-one platform that offers publishing and scheduling, monitoring and listening tools, and in-depth analytics. They tout their customer support as the “best in the business,” with fast response times and high customer satisfaction scores. (Paid with free trial option)
- Meet Edgar – Meet Edgar is another popular scheduling and posting platform with a bit of a twist. It can automate recurring posts and build a library of evergreen updates for your social accounts. For solo marketing teams or busy social media managers, Meet Edgar can help cut downtime you spend scheduling posts to fill your feed. (Paid with free trial option)
- Socialbakers – This AI-powered social marketing platform helps you dig into what type of content your audience likes and the social influencers they look to for inspiration and advice. Then, you can use this data to create content and connect with users who can help evangelize your brand. (Paid)
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Social media content calendar tools
- Google Sheets — Part of the Google suite of tools, Google Sheets is an easy way to share a content calendar across team members and departments. We like using Sheets for internal editorial planning in all forms — blogs, email and, of course, social media. (Free)
- Trello — We’ve talked before about how we love Trello for project organization and content marketing. It’s easy to use and allows you to quickly visualize content in either a list (“board”) or on a calendar. You can also label and color-code items based on channels, campaigns or whatever category your heart desires. (Free)
Social listening tools
- BuzzSumo – BuzzSumo allows you to look for top-performing content based on keywords or a domain. You can track engagements across different social channels and how many times a piece of content has been shared or linked to. BuzzSumo also lets you track top social media influencers based on keywords. (Free version has limitations, but paid version unlocks full features).
- Keyhole – Keyhole includes brand listening tools that help you track your organization’s mentions on social media as well as specific keywords, hashtags and influencers. It also includes an AI-driven sentiment analysis tool that shows how social media users feel about your brand and your competitors. (Paid with a free trial option)
- Mention – With Mention, you can set up alerts on specific keywords or brand names to help you track conversations on social. You can also customize these alerts to filter out certain sources to make sure you’re only getting the information you need. Mention also provides analytics and publishing tools on top of its listening resources. (Paid with free trial option)
- IFTTT – At its core, IFTTT (which stands for “If this, then that”) is a tool that helps connect different apps and devices. With IFTTT, you can easily set up searches and notifications so you can track specific keywords or accounts on social media. (Free with option to upgrade for more features)
Other great social media tools for health marketing
- Canva – Do you lack a graphic designer on your team? No problem. We love Canva for creating custom social media images. Plus, they recently rolled out an option for creating GIFs and videos. (Free with option to upgrade for more features)
- Kapwing – Video reigns supreme on social media these days, but who has the time or budget for complex video editing software? Kapwing is an easy-to-use video editor that can help you craft GIFs, videos and images for your social feed. We love using Kapwing for editing the Instagram versions of our Word of the Week videos! (Free with option to upgrade for more features)
- Quuu – If you feel like your social feed needs some more variety, Quuu can help. This tool curates content for you based on specific topics. If you want, you can even automate this content into one of your social scheduling tools (like Hootsuite). Plus, Quuu has humans reviewing each piece of curated content to help ensure you’re getting quality articles to share with your followers. (Free with option to upgrade for more features)
- RiteTag – Have you ever wanted to add a hashtag to your post, but you’re not sure which one is the best to use? RiteTag is the tool for you. Part of a suite of social media tools called RiteKit, RiteTag provides hashtag suggestions based on real-time hashtag engagement. You can get hashtag recommendations for both text and images and see data for hashtag use on Instagram and Twitter. (Free with option to upgrade for more features)
What are your favorite social media tools for health marketing? Share them with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter! We’d love to hear how you make your healthcare marketing to-do list more manageable.
Need a hand with healthcare social media marketing? WriterGirl has a team of social media-savvy writers who can craft content that fits your voice and message so that you can reach more patients on more channels. Drop us a line to learn more about how we can help you meet your marketing goals.
Editor’s note: This blog post was updated on April 21, 2021. It was originally posted in August 2018.