It's annoying, isn't it? So many social networks come and go, how can a Reproductive Endocrinologist and her practice manager be expected to be fully engaged in a dozen social media platforms? The task becomes much less daunting when we reverse engineer our patients' attention. We don't have to be experts of every social network, we just need to know on which our prospective patients spend the most time.
In 2017, I may well have new recommendations regarding into which platforms you should invest your time and resources. Through 2016, however, the two social media networks on which every fertility center should be present are Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook is by far the largest, and most widely used social network in the world. 70% of Facebook users check their accounts daily, with 43% of users checking every day .
There are 49 million women between the ages of 25 and 45 on Facebook in the United States and Canada. The ad targeting capability on Facebook is unparalleled to any other medium, period.
Yet, on their own, none of these are reasons for your fertility center to be on Facebook. The reason fertility centers need to be active on Facebook is because content of babies and children is central to the DNA of the platform. 97% of US mothers who use Facebook every day, post pictures of their children . If your practice is active on Facebook, you know that former patients will post pictures of their children from every occasion to your Facebook timeline, sometimes on the day of delivery.
Facebook is also a meeting point for peer support. The Infertility Inspirations community has over 13,000 members for example. Dozens of other closed groups account for thousands of members each.
Instagram has surpassed Twitter to become the second largest social media network in the world . It took Instagram only eight months to reach 100 million photo uploads. The growth rate of Instagram is astonishing. But again, it’s not Instagram’s massive numbers that make it a necessity for fertility centers. Like Facebook, baby pictures and inspirational content are inherent to the platform. The popular #ttc (trying to conceive) hashtag on Instagram counts for more than 300,000 posts. Related hashtags, #ttccommunity and #ttcsisters account for more than 25,000 and 67,000 respectively.
The number of emerging social networks can appear overwhelming for an already swamped RE and practice administrator. But your practice does not have to be, nor should be, involved in more than a few. Social networks require a commitment of time, energy, and resources. One should be reliably served before beginning an additional. Priority is determined by the social nature of the network and the attention of the patient. In 2016, Facebook and Instagram are the two most important platforms for fertility clinics to utilize.
In taking my own advice, I have admittedly neglected Pinterest. Is your fertility center active on Pinterest? Please tell me about it, I would love to hear what you've found.