Latest Healthcare Marketing Insights

Back To Blog Home

Conformity Kills – The Secret to Social Media Marketing for Physicians

April 15, 2014


I came across a very interesting article this morning on, and couldn’t wait to share it with all of our Quaintise agency team members and blog visitors. I quite often talk about the ‘one size fits all’ social media marketing mentality that dooms physicians and healthcare organizations – the mentality that is only perpetuated and maintained by social media specialists to essentially make a name for themselves. It can be a bit infuriating for those of us in the social media marketing industry who don’t care so much about the name but care more about client’s success.

Here’s where this article really caught my attention:

It had to happen eventually, I’m just surprised it took so long. The content guy at Buffer, a popular social media publishing app, has posted The Ideal Length of Everything Online. And yes, it is backed by research – lots and lots of research, studies, surveys … all sorts of data.

The post tells you exactly how long your tweets should be for maximum retweetability, not to mention the ideal length of Facebook posts, Google+ headlines, blog posts, email subject lines, presentations, even domain names.

I don’t have to tell you what a colossal breakthrough this is. Now social media marketers know exactly how to package and market all that mind-numbingly monotonous content.

I’m reading these few paragraphs thinking, “Is this guy for real or is he being overly sarcastic?” Anyone who is serious about social media marketing understands the fallacy of believing one size fits all.

So I read on:

Look, there’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to come out with it. Folks, this is not the way to get rich, get to heaven, or get anything or anywhere else good, for that matter. Not only is all that data-driven stuff worthless, it’s worse than worthless. It’s bad marketing. It’s such bad marketing, it gives bad marketing a bad name.

Ah, this guy is starting to get interesting…

Whether I’m developing and marketing a product, a service, or content for a blog or column, the one thing I’ll never do is what everyone else is doing. Conformity kills. Differentiate or die. That, my friends, is how high-tech marketing is done. It isn’t rocket science, but then, judging by all the crappy content out there, it apparently isn’t a no-brainer, either.


One Size Does Not Fit All

Take Apple (AAPL), for example. If that isn’t the gold standard for marketing a high-tech product, I don’t know what is. Now, Apple is meticulous about how it markets, packages, and sells its iconic products and services. It does everything in a way that’s consistent with its brand.

But trust me when I tell you, nobody at Apple gives a you-know-what about research, studies, or data. And they don’t use focus groups, either. Know why? Because that path leads to conformity and homogeneity, which is the exact opposite of differentiation. And that’s a losing strategy if there ever was one.

Here’s the deal with these reports, infographics, blogs, research and more research – it is useless. They take a broad, overly-broad, approach to marketing and makes it even broader. If you are an OB GYN in Phoenix, AZ looking to improve your social media marketing campaigns, why do you care what 1,500 Facebook users (random ages and sexes) in a study based out of New York are online? If you’re targeting pregnant women in Orlando, Floriday with your social media marketing campaigns, why should you care what 800 women in San Francisco are on Facebook?

All too often these best time to post reports and best length of post reports lead to lazy marketing and advertising within the healthcare industry. And the problem is simple – reeducation. Physicians and local business owners don’t even know they are perpetuating a horrible, indolent way of marketing. Physicians and front desk staff either do not have the time to truly understand their audience, or they truly believe they are implementing winning strategies by adhering to what the social media specialists are stating in these so-called well researched reports.

There is no one size fits all to social media marketing, just as there is no one size fits all in print or television advertising and marketing. In the healthcare industry, every audience is different, every brand is different, and thus every marketing and advertising campaign must be different.

Contact the professionals at Quaintise to learn how to run your own, unique social media marketing campaign.