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    Marketing your pharmacy through social media

    Independent pharmacists offer health advice and guidance. They serve as valuable members of the community. Yet when they try to market themselves via social media, they may fail to engage.

    “Use the internet to reinforce what you already are to your community,” marketing guru Elizabeth Estes, chief idea officer at Ebus Innovation, told a crowd at the McKesson ideaShare confer-ence in San Diego. “In today’s social media spaces, your message can’t always be, ‘I have this sale going on.’ You have to connect.”

    How can you do this? Congratulate the local high school team on a big win. Put community photos on your Facebook page. Be a clearinghouse of health tips, useful information, and friendliness.

    Rules of engagement

    What about reaching new customers? Estes offers these tips:

    • Google will soon be lowering the search rankings of websites that look weird on a smartphone or iPad-style tablet. Make sure your website is properly “optimized” for mobile.

    • “Claim” your business via www.google.com/business and get a free digital listing to help your pharmacy stand out.

    • Go on Yelp, the business review site, and vet the listing on your pharmacy for accuracy. “Google is placing a big emphasis on reviews, and they’re starting to rank Yelp higher,” Estes said.

    Ask people to write reviews, Estes said, and tell them, ‘I’m glad
     you had a good experience. This is what we pride ourselves on.’”

    • Use Facebook advertising to target potential customers, such as new moms or diabetics, by zip code, and offer them special deals or sign them up for newsletters. You could even target fans of other pharmacies and offer them details about transferring their prescriptions.

    “With Facebook,” Estes said, “you can narrow it down and have much less waste. It’s a really powerful tool.”

    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga is a medical writer based in San Diego, Calif.

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    • WASIMABHASSAN
      Marketing is the most major thing not only to support sale but also cause to increase awareness among people.
    • MarkBurger
      I would add: 1) on FB: Post weekly; 2) make your own sttatements and back it up wioth a link to a solid reference ... don't just post the pablum from RxWiki, cartoons about pharmacists, etc. ... cartoons are OK once in a while; 3) give your FB fans real, breaking, solid information from the literature. Put YOUR thoughts into the posts, not just (again, that word) "pablum". You have opinions, express them. Don't worry about offending somebody, they aren't your customers anyway. You don't want everyone as your customer. You want people with open minds, that are willing to commit to wellness, and put some thought into the process. Most people are going to The Low Price Pharmacy because they value price over Quality. You don't want those people. You want people who won't go to the lowest common denominator to save a dollar. Let them go. Aim your posts to a more thoughtful, selective, intelligent audience and you will draw THEM to your store. Be smart.