In Independent Pharmacy, Technology

Running a pharmacy is hard and social media is usually the last thing on your mind. While it may not be as important as placing your drug order or following up on reimbursement payments, you should consider it an important part of growing and maintaining your business.

According to Business Insider, “Nearly 20% of total time spent online in the US across both desktop and mobile devices is on social platforms”. This trend will only continue to grow. And, as stated by Coastline Design Group, “People are constantly connected to social media so it only makes sense for entrepreneurs [i.e., independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners] to take their businesses and products to social media.

Nearly 20% of total time spent online in the US across both desktop and mobile devices is on social platforms.

Just being on social media is not enough to engage and acquire customers. Posting often is the key to keeping your customers engaged on social media. And keeping them engaged on social media is key to keeping them engaged in the pharmacy. However, coming up with content is not always easy and that makes writing new and original posts somewhat of a novelty. So, to make coming up with content easier, here are 5 suggestions on what you can post to your social media accounts:

1. Holidaysholiday calendar

The easiest posts you can make is to wish your customers a happy holiday. While this isn’t always enough to get new attention, your existing customers will appreciate the sentiment. Take a few moments to find a related, eye-catching image to share along with a few sentences about the holiday. Maybe include your holiday hours, how you and your family will celebrate, or even some pictures of in-store holiday items. Take this one step further and recognize your staff
members’ birthdays. Not only will this help build a relationship between your customers and staff members, but your staff will appreciate being the center of attention and getting lots of birthday wishes.

2. Health and Medical Awareness Days

People view pharmacies as a hub of information and resources, and rightly so. Because we are generally pillars of our local community and are well educated and informed individuals, we are a good source of information and resources. We can use that credibility to be a source of positive information and to raise awareness about important causes. This is a great way to improve the health of your community and your customers (and future customers) will notice your efforts.

Posting about awareness days can also be a fun way to liven up your pharmacy and work environment. For example, on national cookie day, you could give away free cookies or encourage dressing the part for “National Two Different Colored Shoes Day.”

To implement this in your pharmacy, I suggest the following link: https://trackmaven.com/blog/national-days-calendar. This site has a list of over 2300 holidays and observances that you can add to your pharmacy calendar. There is also a convenient link to download the calendar to make implementation easier.

See also https://www.whatnationaldayisit.com.

3. Health and Medicine Tips

Health and medical-related tips account for some of my most consistently engaging posts. Keep in mind that attention spans are short, especially on social media. People tend to skim, not read, and they bore quickly with lengthy posts. Short, informative posts like health tips go a long way with people because they immediately see the value in them. Adding an attractive image will make the post even more engaging.

Just a word of caution: be careful with what advice you post. As a pharmacy, anything you post may be interpreted as medical advice. Therefore, you should always double check your posted information for accuracy and should keep it general enough that taking your advice would not harm specific patient population groups. For example, I would stay away from things like “ibuprofen is a great fever reducer” to avoid potential issues in populations that cannot take ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (like patients already on anticoagulation therapy).

Get your copy of my daily health and medicine tips!

4. Products

Another great way to keep your customers engaged is to post about the products you sell. Although it can be over done, most people enjoy occasional (and even regular) posts about products to buy, especially if they are unique or make their lives easier. For example, your customers may be thrilled to know that they can pick up paper towels or toilet paper from the pharmacy without having to go to the grocery store. Of course, they will only tolerate a few posts about toilet paper, but if it is something most people are not aware of, they will appreciate it.

Sometimes you can combine pictures of and posts about your products with health tips from above. For example, just before flu season I posted the following with a picture of some of our OTC vitamin C products: “Some researchers suggest we tend to get sick during winter months because we spend more time indoors and are in closer contact with others who can pass on germs. Consider spending more time outdoors, getting plenty of sunlight, and vitamin c to boost your immune system.”

5. Specials

Because we are in the retail business, we need to let people know when we are running specials and promotions. To some degree, they expect to see some advertising. The occasional promotional ad will not turn customers away. Keep it light, however, and remember that the goal is to get and keep your customers engaged with you online. Too many ads and people may scroll over or unfollow you altogether.

Like other posts, keep your ad text short and use eye-catching images. Also, consider using hashtags like #BOGO or #BlackFridaySale to make your promotions look official and to compete with other retail locations.

Don’t post ads too often nor let your content become overly dense with ads. Make sure to only sprinkle ads in among your other informative and entertaining content.

6. Entertainment

People want to be entertained and they will engage the most with entertaining content. So the best thing you can post to engage your followers is comedy. According to Twitter analytics, the majority of users have selected comedy as an interest. In fact, it is such a prevalent interest, that it actually has 2 categories on Twitter’s analytics page!

I know that being funny online does not come natural to everyone. If this is you, I encourage you to look for funny content to share instead of trying to create your own. Not only will it actually be funny, you will save much time and energy in the long run.

pharmacy waiting for prescription skeleton meme funny

This is an example of a post I used at my pharmacy. It was fairly engaging online, enough so that some people mentioned it during their next visit to the pharmacy. Feel free to use it as you please but be sure to add something like “Why wait hours for your prescription at XYZ Pharmacy? Come see us at ABC Pharmacy for fast and friendly service!” You don’t want people to think you are saying that your wait time is long!

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