Facebook and other social media outlets are quickly becoming a new outlet for sites to recruit patients. Like TV, radio, or any other channel, there is a lot you need to know before you simply create a Facebook page for your site and start advertising your trials. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to help you start your social media recruiting on the right foot:
Understand the Requirements
Some people may think by having a Facebook and posting your studies that are currently enrolling will draw people in. Simply put, this is not the case. As a site, you need to need to make a plan that lays out company policies on posting frequency and dealing with negative comments from users. What’s more, everyone involved has to understand your company’s voice, so your messages come off in a tone that always sends the same message. You and your team also need to define success for your social media recruitment plan. If new to this realm, expect a smaller number of screening candidates, or maybe focus on increasing your reach and building your follower base early on before expecting a lot of interest from your followers.
Lastly, once your strategy and goals are clearly laid out, you need to make sure they conform to all regulatory guidelines and that you have IRB approval. The last thing you need to do is fall out of compliance because of social media recruitment.
Emphasize the Human Element
What social media allows you to do more than any other channel is interact with potential patients in a human way. With traditional media channels, communication is one way – from the provider to the consumer. Social media facilitates a two-way interaction where potential patients can ask questions, compliment or criticize your posts. In turn, your site now has the chance to engage in a dialogue with your community. This communication makes your company appear more trustworthy and will help you build your follower base and ultimately enroll more patients from social media. Without utilizing the human element on social media, your campaign will quickly be rendered ineffective.
Don’t Forget Design
It is important to regularly post your enrolling trials and any necessary information to your followers frequently, but what many organizations overlook is the design portion of the post. Users will see posts will typically see your posts on a “wall” of assorted posts from friends and companies they also follow. If your post is not eye catching or too confusing, it will quickly get overlooked. It is important to create posts and images that strike the optimal balance of information and design. This balance will shift based on demographic factors of your target audience, as well as the complexity of the enrolling trial.
Grow Your Audience
You will never sustain enrollment success advertising to the same group of followers. You should always have the goal of increasing your number of followers. Here are some quick ways to do that:
- Invite friends to follow your site’s page and see enrolling trials
- Ask your followers to share your posts to their wall (allowing their friends to see)
- Set a budget for Facebook advertising and find followers based on demographics
- Attach images and QR codes on other ads and printed materials that bring people to your page