July is Social Wellness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of the health and wellness benefits of having a strong social network.

Authorities including the Archives of Internal Medicine have observed a link between a patient’s social connectedness and their health. Many articles have been published about the significance of loneliness in an individual’s health, raising public awareness of this issue. By addressing concerns and opening conversation in your digital marketing during July, you can increase online engagement and your practice’s reach.

A few ways to get the conversation started:

1. Post on Facebook and ask people to share their social wellness stories and tips.

When businesses, including those in the healthcare field, invite their customers to contribute their own stories and experiences, they are more likely to participate. Diabetes management company Medtronic Diabetes introduced a Facebook app called Share Your Story in 2012. According to Social Media Examiner, the highly successful app has given them a two to one return on their social media marketing investment.

2. Share relevant news stories about social wellness.

During the month of July, many news outlets will be publishing stories and tips about ways to increase connectedness and the health values of social wellness. Share these stories with your fans and followers. When you share information that is helpful and relevant, you can increase the chances that they will, in turn, share that content with their friends and family. When your posts are shared by individuals, you gain access to audiences who may not otherwise have seen your work. You also get the benefit of social proof, since a portion of the trust your current fan has transfers when they share content with friends and family.

3. Post under relevant hashtags.

Check the networks where you are active to see which hashtags are being used most to promote Social Wellness Month. By incorporating these tags into your work, you will get a chance to share your content with people who click these hashtags to look for content.

Take advantage of hashtags

4. Create a social wellness giveaway.

Longform content like ebooks offer a great opportunity to connect with new audiences. If you create a handbook on increasing social wellness, you can offer it on your website. Offering something for free creates goodwill and also an impulse toward reciprocity. Both of these can help boost your chances of a prospect picking your practice over other choices. Gate this content behind a form so that you are able to collect valuable demographic and contact information from the people who want to read your offering.

5. Take the opportunity to humanize your healthcare brand.

Often, people can feel like healthcare companies are intimidating and impersonal. Demonstrate to clients that you are a business full of people who care about their patients. Hosting the stories that your clients share, offering tips to help people with their level of social connection, you show that you care about your patient as a whole. This sort of friendliness can help increase your chances of winning a new client or keeping a current one.

6. Offer daily or weekly tips to increase social wellness.

This can be done through your social media channels or through an email newsletter. Frequent and regular content keeps your brand at the top of people’s minds. When it comes time for them to schedule an appointment, they are more likely to remember and give you a call if you keep awareness of your practice and their general health active.

Throughout the year, there are a number of health-related awareness days that give you a simple and timely focus for your healthcare marketing. By taking advantage of these and creating great content and an ongoing conversation, you can keep your healthcare brand an active part of your clients’ lives and help increase the chances that they will continue to come to you for their health and wellness needs.