The 3 Major Advantages of Social Media vs. Traditional Print Advertising

The 4 Major Advantages of Social Media vs Traditional Advertising_DigitalMed Blog Post

Social media has become a must for private practice medicine. It enables doctors to brand themselves, get exposure for their services and reach a more targeted audience than traditional print advertising ever could, at a fraction of the cost. It’s also one of the most common sources of interaction among internet users today which makes the potential reach staggering. For these and many other reasons, social media is fast becoming the default choice for marketing and advertising for physicians. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the top 3 advantages social media advertising has over traditional print advertising.

  1. Affordability:  Albeit not completely free across all social media platforms, advertising on social media is still very affordable.  As one example, let’s compare advertising on Facebook to advertising in a magazine.  New York magazine is a reputable and trusted publication, particularly in the New York metro area.  While a 1/6 page ad (the smallest ad size available) in one New York magazine issue could run you into the thousands[i], you can run an ad on Facebook, continuously for a month, for substantially less than that.  One of the key advantages to running ads on social media vs. print advertising is that you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.  So, your cost varies as it’s dependent on the amount of interaction your ad gets.  As an example, a particularly successful ad we recently ran for a client had a cost per website click of $1.71 and a total monthly cost of approximately $125.00. This pay-per-click model is a huge benefit which can increase your R.O.I.  For instance, just because someone subscribes to New York magazine, that isn’t a guarantee that they will see your ad, let alone act on it.  With Facebook, this isn’t a concern as you’re only paying when users take action.  You also have full control over your spend on Facebook ads.  You can edit the end date of your ad at any time, and you can cap your daily cost so you don’t go over budget. If $125.00 still sounds too expensive, don’t fret!  There’s another option.  Instead of creating an ad, you can ‘boost’ an existing  post.  This is yet another advantage of social media, as it’s not an option in print advertising.  For this option, you choose what you want to spend* for a one time ‘boost’ which will give your post more exposure for a 24 hour period.

*The more you pay, the greater the reach.  For example, a $5.00 ‘boost’ on Facebook has an estimated reach between 450-1.1K users, where a $100.00 ‘boost’ has an estimated reach between 12.2K-32.2K users.

  1. Interaction:  In social media, the name of the game is engagement.  This is something that you just don’t get with print advertising.  For example, on Facebook, the most effective posts and ads are ‘liked’, commented on and shared, which translates to increased exposure for your practice.  A savvy social media manager will create content for you that garners these results. This type of exposure is akin to a referral network, so is also arguably more effective than traditional advertising.  After all, wouldn’t you be more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend or family member than from an ad you read in a newspaper or magazine?  Interaction is also a great way to get to know your patients.  You can learn a lot about your audience by keeping track of which posts get the most attention.  This can help shape the content and organization of your website and future ads, as well as create ideas for hot topics for your blog.
  1. Targeting:  Another advantage of social media advertising over print advertising is the enhanced capabilities afforded by a digital medium.  This translates to more power when it comes to customizing audiences.  In print, you really have very little control over who sees your ad.  For instance, a magazine can provide stats on their demographics, but you can’t pick and choose who sees your ad.  With social media, you can.  Facebook, for example, lets you target your audience by age, sex, geography and specific interests.  Your ad spend can be completely customized so that only your targeted demographic is shown your ad, which can lead to more effective advertising campaigns.

We’re not suggesting that you completely abandon traditional advertising.  It certainly still has its merits.  In fact, as a physician, if you had to choose just one publication a year, New York magazine’s Best Doctors Issue would be our top pick.  Most companies use social media advertising in conjunction with print advertising, for a more comprehensive strategy.  However, for those physicians that are just getting started and simply can’t afford traditional advertising, social media is a great place to start. It’s a very effective way to brand your practice and get the word out without spending thousands of dollars.

 

[i] http://mediakit.nymag.com/

Categories: Social Media

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