How to make your health and wellness brand stand out online: Social media marketing

Digital marketing tips to boost the profile of your health & wellness business: part three

You’ve built a brilliant website and populated it with great content that is optimised for search engines. The core of your health and wellness business’ online presence is all set up. Which means it is time to start telling people about it.

Marketing your business on social media might seem daunting if it isn’t something you’ve tried before. Even if you are used to social media platforms from personal use, boosting your wellbeing brand’s presence is a whole different board game.

The great news for small wellness businesses is that people are keen to consume health and wellbeing advice on social media. That gives you a ready-made audience, and the potential to grow without too much effort. If you are providing genuinely helpful, quality content, you should see a good return from social media marketing. Let’s have a look at how to get started.

1. Know your audience

Again, before you start creating any content, go back to your original audience research. This should have given you a good idea of which social media platforms your potential customers use and the type of content they engage with online. With luck, you’ve also gathered some ideas from how bigger health and wellness businesses interact with their audiences that will help you get started.

There are a lot of different social media platforms that you could promote your health and wellness brand on. Doing all of them well is possible, but probably not if you are doing everything on your own. If you have a team behind you, then you will be able to do more than if you are a sole practitioner.

If you are limited in your time and resources, it is better to do one or two platforms really well than to spread yourself too thin and not be able to post consistently or engage with your audience. Choose where to concentrate your efforts based on where your target audience hangs out.

According to stats published by Sprout Social, this is where you can expect to find people based on their demographics (in 2020):

The table shows the percentage of each age group using the platform.

You’ll notice TikTok is missing from the list – as the fastest growing platform in 2020, there’s not as much data available for TikTok yet, but its users are tending towards being younger – according to Omnicore, 50% of TikTok’s users are under 34.

Facebook remains the best all round channel and should definitely be your focus if you are targeting an older audience. But younger generations tend to be early adopters of new channels, as TikTok’s figures show. So if your target audience is the under 25’s, being a savvy user of new social media platforms will put you ahead of the competition.

You also need to consider the type of person your wellness services or health products target. If you are mainly offering business to business (B2B) services such as employee wellbeing sessions, or need to find stockists for your products instead of selling directly to the public, LinkedIn will likely do your business more good than Instagram. If you are targeting individuals, Facebook or Instagram might be a better bet.

Note that it is harder to drive traffic to your website from Instagram at first – you can only put one link in your bio and have to have 10,000 followers before you can get the ‘swipe up’ feature to link your stories to your website. Alternatively, you can put some money behind Instagram advertising to get the same feature.

I’ve not included YouTube in this, just because of the amount of time it takes to create good content and promote it. Plus, I’m a content writer, rather than a videographer, so if you are interested in getting started with YouTube, I’d suggest getting advice from someone who specialises in video content. Words, I can help you with. Video… not so much. That said, YouTube can be a great platform, especially for fitness or healthy eating brands, so don’t discount it from your marketing plan.

2. Create content that fits your brand

The key to standing out on social media is to have a consistent voice and to pay attention to your branding. As you develop your channels, your audience should know instantly that they are looking at content from your business.

This doesn’t necessarily mean slapping your logo on everything you use, although that can help. But it does mean using a consistent tone, sourcing images that fit together well, and thinking about how you’ll use hashtags and links in your content. Create some brand guidelines and use them to inform your content.

If you are using more than one social media platform, it can be tempting to use the same content on each one. If you can find the time, adapting each post to suit the channel you are posting on will help your content gain traction. Use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to help you manage your different platforms all in one place.

You also want to build trust, so that your social media audience will genuinely benefit from interacting with your health & wellness business. Post content that is helpful and offers insight that they can’t get from others. The more you can establish yourself as a trustworthy authority in your wellness niche, the more likely it is that your followers will become customers or clients.

3. Use visuals for impact

Instagram is well known for its image-focused content, but pictures work well on other platforms too. You’ll likely see better engagement on posts that include images than those that are text alone. Even better, use video to up your engagement levels on your most important posts. In a test of some social media messages I did recently with colleagues, the post with a video had 3 times as many shares as the one with a static image alone.

If you don’t have a good bank of images to use for your business, consider other ways of creating eye-catching graphics. Even the free version of Canva has some great tools for making infographics, or combine stock images with text and colourful blocks to make them your own.

4. Remember it is a conversation

Social media is a two-way street, even for businesses. To grow your audience and retain followers, it isn’t enough to just post great content. You also need to make time to respond to comments and messages and, ideally, comment on other people’s posts too. Social media is all about relationships. Growing a strong community takes both time and commitment.

5. Post consistently

We touched on this briefly earlier, but it is worth saying again. It is better to post consistently on one platform than sporadically on all of them. You are more likely to build an engaged audience (and show up in their feed) if you post regularly.

Use tools to help you – both scheduling tools like Hootsuite and a content calendar that will help you plan your activities across your website and social media channels.

If you have taken my advice and are publishing regular blog posts, you can build your social media activities around each new post. This helps with coming up with content ideas and makes sure you stay consistent.

6. Use calls to action

Just like on your website, you should have an idea of what you want people to do as a result of reading your social media post, and incorporate a call to action. It won’t always be to buy your product or book a consultation – sometimes you might just want to ask them to share, or comment. Or perhaps take a small action to improve their own health.

Where appropriate, include links back to your site. Choose which page you link to wisely – if you are encouraging them to click to get more information, you want to follow up on that promise with a link to a blog post or your services page, not a contact form. But if the call to action is to buy now, don’t just dump people on your homepage. Link them to the specific product so they can buy easily.

Go the other way too and make sure you promote your social media channels on your website. It becomes a circular arrangement – your social media usage drives visitors to your website and your website grows your social media following. This way all your audiences grow and your health and wellness brand’s online presence becomes stronger all round.

7. Paid for social media marketing

So far in this post I’ve concentrated on how to grow your social media presence organically, which also means for free. If you have the budget though, putting some money behind your social media posts can help to raise your profile, drive sales, and grow your audience.

There are two main types of paid-for social media content. Ads and influencer-led content. Ads are simpler in many ways – you simply create an ad campaign on the relevant social media platform, set your targets in terms of budget and audience, and away it goes. It is a good idea to test your messages on your existing audience before putting money behind them to make sure you get the most impact. Pay attention to how your ad campaign performs too so that you know whether it is worth repeating in the future.

Working with influencers is more involved, but also has great potential for boosting the reach of your health & wellness brand. Be realistic about what you can achieve – many influencers are professionals, and they charge fees to work with them. It is rare now for people with big audiences to work in exchange for just free products or services. You may still be able to find smaller influencers who will though – don’t discount them, as even someone with a more limited audience can help you build your brand.

Choose the influencers you work with carefully – you want someone whose ethos and audience fits well with your own. Especially if you are a small, local business, you can gain more traction from working with someone whose audience is smaller but has a big overlap with your own than you can from paying a lot of money to a big influencer whose followers aren’t interested in your brand.

When approaching influencers to work together, be clear about what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay in exchange. Ideally pay in money rather than freebies. Treat it as a professional relationship (because it is) and put in writing exactly what the deliverables are – a story, a post on their feed, a blog post etc.

Don’t send generic messages to lots of different influencers either. You are more likely to have a positive response if you address them personally and show some familiarity with their work.

This, in a nutshell, is how to use social media to market your health and wellness brand. Like any new activity, it takes a little time to grow your audience and start to see a return on your time and effort, but I promise it will be worth it in the long run.

Tomorrow is the final post in this series – we’ll be looking at email marketing and how to use email newsletters as a powerful marketing tool for your wellness business. I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can catch up with the rest of this series on digital marketing for health and wellness brands here:

  1. Understanding the target audience for your health and wellness brand
  2. Building a fantastic website to boost the online profile of your health and wellness services
  3. Understanding the basics of SEO to get your health and wellness business found by search engines

Published by Lucy | freelance writer

I am a freelance writer specialising in creating compelling content for ethical businesses and health & wellness brands. I've worked for years in the non-profit sector and now use my experience as a professional fundraiser to help brands build their online presence and attract new clients.

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