Support Your COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts with Your Marketing Strategy

Local health systems have a major role to play in not only providing Coronavirus vaccinations but also in combatting misinformation. In May, the Associated Press and the University of Chicago released a study showing that 50% of Americans were either hesitant or unwilling to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Couple that with the fact that Americans trust their local healthcare organizations more than ever before, and your hospital is poised to be a key player in answering your community’s top vaccine-related concerns.

Join David Sturtz, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, along with experts Stella Hart, Web Content Strategist & Writer, and Tim Lane, Director, Digital Marketing, for a timely discussion to help your marketing team hit the ground running. You’ll walk away with expert advice on battling general mistrust around COVID-19 and vaccinations and effectively sharing accurate information with your community.

Attend this webinar and learn how to:

  • Develop the most effective messaging for your target audiences, including internal
  • Keep empathy at the forefront of your vaccine-related messaging
  • Write compelling web content and FAQs to aid site visitors in vaccine research
  • Identify different communication vehicles and channels to reach different audiences, including blogs, email newsletters, and social media
  • Utilize organic and paid search to connect with health consumers and get answers to them when they need it most

Tips for Using Social Media During COVID-19

More Eyes on Social Media

During a public health crisis like the COVID-19 virus pandemic, people want to learn how to stay safe and healthy, and how to get care when they need it. Many are turning to their local hospitals and health systems for that information.

In fact, a Geonetric consumer survey, 33% said their trust in their local health system has increased or strongly increased during the pandemic.

Part of where this information seeking and trust is happening is on social media.

According to a New York Times analysis, social media, in particular, has seen a rapid increase in use during the social distancing, shelter-in-place, and self-isolation of the pandemic. More specifically, Facebook has seen a 27% traffic increase in desktop users and a 1.1% traffic increase in Facebook app users.

Answer Your Audience’s Questions

Social media gives your team a direct-to-consumer channel to engage audiences. Tools like Facebook and Instagram let you use images, videos, stories, and text-based posts to connect in real-time with people who have questions and concerns you can address.

As you engage your audience on social, keep an eye on the trending questions and concerns from your community, such as:

  • When to wear a face mask or use protective gloves – and how to use them correctly
  • Where testing is available
  • What common symptoms are
  • Healthy foods to make from pantry basics
  • How to exercise safely and effectively when quarantined

Questions coming from real people also open doors for other content marketing for your audience, and provide a supportive, educational perspective that people need.

If you aren’t sure what to post, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has created a free social media toolkit with copy, images, and infographics to share with your followers.

Lend an Empathetic Ear — and Voice

During a crisis like this, your community and colleagues are facing uncertainty and anxiety. This puts you – as a healthcare marketer – in a distinct position to guide, educate, and help. In times like this, it’s more important that you act as a neighbor, not as a brand.

Beyond sharing health and wellness tips, evolving updates, and other newsworthy information, you can foster empathy with social media marketing by sharing stories inside and outside your walls, including

  • Donations and gifts to your staff and front-line clinicians
  • Celebrations of your colleagues and patients in the hospital
  • Stories from doctors, nurses, and staff who are helping your community
  • Stories from patients and families

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, shared photos of staff wearing donated masks across their social channels. The posts also linked to their website for more information about making donations.

Delivering Content with Empathy

The language and images you use in your posts are important to your audience. Engage tips on how to write for the web and use social media, and apply them to your posts:

  • Write in plain language and avoid jargon
  • Keep posts meaningful, write in the present tense (if possible), and use short paragraphs to make the posts easy to read and scan
  • Use empathetic images – even if they’re stock photos – that avoid anxiety and convey empathy and healthy tips
  • Cross-link to relevant content on your website, such as blog posts or content marketing, service line pages, or your crisis resource hub
  • Make posts actionable, to lead people to helpful information or next steps

Strategize Your Social Media

According to a study from Sprout Social, the optimal day and time to post vary by platform. It’s important to note that these recommended times to post on social platforms are based on pre-pandemic circumstances but can be used as a good benchmark to begin with and optimize as times proceeds.

Such benchmarks can help you reach more people by posting on the right channel at the right time – and take advantage of specific features and tools.


For the healthcare industry, Facebook sees the most engagement on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The typical business workweek also gives reliable times for engagement from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Facebook implemented features for business pages to publish business hour updates and service changes. As Google My Business and Bing Places have done, Facebook lets businesses make updates including:

  • Making temporary closures
  • Offering online classes
  • Offering telehealth services


The best time to post on Instagram for the healthcare industry falls on Tuesdays at around 8:00 a.m. Incorporate trending crisis-related hashtags, such as #flattenthecurve, #stayhome, and #quarantineandchill, into your content in an appropriate and tasteful way.

Use Instagram to provide educational content that points viewers to your website for up-to-date and credible information. Don’t shy away from using Instagram to share inspirational content to give viewers that glimmer of hope they need.


Top times in the healthcare industry to post on Twitter are on Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Other weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. have also proven to show reliable engagement.

Twitter recommends using images and videos to attract users and reach a wider audience. Consider using threads for status updates and restrictions that just don’t fit into Twitter’s allotted 280-character posts.


With LinkedIn’s target audience being primarily professional users, the best times to post occur during the workweek, Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, LinkedIn has increased efforts to assist organizations and communities dealing with the impact of the pandemic, including offering free job postings. This service — available through June 30, 2020 — receives additional promotion from LinkedIn to highly relevant candidates through the “Urgently Hiring” job category.


The best time to post on YouTube falls during weekdays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Views tend to peak during the weekday evening hours, so by posting in that window, you’ll have plenty of time for your video to be processed and indexed by Google.

Optimize your videos with accurate titles, descriptions, tagging, and transcription. When possible, include relevant keywords in the video title and description to attract search users.

Video content that is educational, inspirational, and helpful is a great resource for viewers.

Monitor Your Social Traffic

Posting on optimal days and times is a good starting point for any organization to engage on social media. After you’ve built a solid foundation of followers and engagement, check your channels’ insights and analytics.

These data points help you analyze when your page’s target audience is engaging most with your content. This strategy is especially important to utilize during the COVID-19 virus. With limited data right now on optimum times to post, it’s more important than ever before to look at your own social media metrics. Take these findings and adjust your schedule and content calendar.

Social media marketing metrics you should measure fall into three primary categories:

  • Audience – Shows gender, age, location, and other demographic information to help you determine who’s engaging with your content
  • Content – Allows you to spot patterns in engaging and less-engaging posts, including link posts, images, videos, and text-based posts
  • Engagement – Provides benchmarks to gauge performance, including likes, comments, clicks, shares, views, and more

You can typically find this information through each social platform’s insights/analytics tool.
Tools like Google Analytics and UTM parameters aid in tracking how social media drives traffic to your site. UTMs allow you to tag links to track which social platform is bringing the most visitors and how those visitors are engaging with your site.

The Most Important Thing is Empathy

Your social media presence can be a source of relief for some or a source of hope for others. Take your position in times like these as an opportunity to connect with your community beyond providing care in your clinics. This is a perfect chance to extend empathy and provide outstanding support during a difficult time for everyone.

If you’re not sure how to set up your social media analytics and tracking, or you need help building social posts and campaigns during the pandemic, reach out to Geonetric to get started.

How UTM Codes Help Healthcare Marketing Campaign Success

What are UTM parameters?

Also known as UTM codes, UTM parameters are snippets of code that are appended to URLs in order to track different sources of traffic to your website from various advertising and marketing channels and tactics. They are extremely useful for tracking the success of campaigns and the various elements that comprise them.

When should I use UTMs?

Google Analytics automatically categorizes different types of traffic to your site into broad categories such as organic, paid, social, email, direct, referral and others. This is helpful information overall.

But often you need to get a granular understanding of which mediums and sources are driving traffic to your campaign landing pages or other pages on your site to understand your campaign’s success. UTM parameters can help!

Using UTMs for each of your various campaign components lets you see how much traffic each one of them is generating, and how valuable that traffic is.

This means that if you have Google Analytics Goals set up on your site, using UTM codes lets you see what rate traffic from different campaign sources is converting on your site. For example, you can see how much traffic your radio ad is generating vs. a display ad for the same campaign, and of those two, which one is generating the most conversions (i.e., a specific campaign goal, or high-level site goals such as online appointment requests).

What else can UTM codes do for you?

For purposes of example, the fictional Benefit Health heart care team wants to track the various traffic they’re sending to their heart campaign landing page ( Our campaign elements include:

  • Facebook ads
  • Display ads
  • Direct mail
  • Radio

Creating a UTM code for each ad type allows us to understand which ones are generating traffic for the website, as well as the most conversions. How? We’ll need to add UTM code to the end of each landing page URL.

For things like direct mail or on-air radio ads, a vanity URL will redirect to a specific UTM code so they can be appropriately tracked. Vanity URLs are simiple, easy-to-remember, and brand-friendly URLs that redirect to a specific page, like a campaign landing page, of your website.

Here’s how it breaks down using our heart campaign example:


Display ads (local newspaper)

Direct mail Vanity:

Radio (local station) Vanity:

How do I create a UTM code?

It’s easy! Google offers a free UTM code generator, which they call a Campaign URL Builder. Here’s an example we built with our fictional Benefit Health heart campaign:

Where do I find UTM code data in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, you’ll find traffic that’s tracked with UTM codes under the Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns section. You can track UTM codes with social, emails, advertisements, and more.

Learn more about how to view UTM code data in Google Analytics.

Tips for using UTM codes

When establishing UTM codes for your campaign tracking, it’s a good idea to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Always use a consistent naming convention for your campaign mediums, ie, “radio,” “display,” etc. This allows you to view all traffic from those mediums in totality, instead of just by campaign.
  • Capitalization matters. If you have one campaign medium of ‘PPC’ and another one of ‘ppc’, that data will not aggregate but instead will be two separate data sets.
  • When generating your UTM code, make sure you’re using the URL (or the vanity URL for offline traffic) of the landing page your traffic will be directed to.
  • Make sure to give your UTM codes to agencies, media companies and others who are placing display advertising on your behalf, producing and sending email, etc. so they can attach the UTM link to your ad(s) or email campaigns.
  • Avoid using UTM parameters as a way to track clicks on links on your website. This is because clicking on the UTM parameter will start a new session in analytics, resulting in inaccurate data, such as inflated sessions, increased bounce rate, etc. Instead, use event tracking in Google Analytics to track clicks on links.
  • Don’t add UTM parameters to URLs that redirect, such as a 301 redirect. Redirects will strip out UTM parameters.
  • Keep in mind the purpose of your campaign when evaluating shifts in spending based on UTM data. If your campaign goal is to drive awareness, then focusing less on conversions, and more on the amount of traffic generated by different campaign elements may be better metrics to help you evaluate effectiveness.

Need help? We’ve got your back

If you have questions about tracking and reporting on campaign results, Geonetric’s expert team of digital marketers is here to help. Contact Geonetric today to learn more about our digital services, including website redesigns, content strategy and development, SEO services, and more.

SEO Strategies from SEJ Summit 2016

As you probably garnered from the name, the conference covered all things SEO, but also provided a broader view of today’s digital marketing landscape. This year featured speakers from several leading names in the industry, and our Geo trio was especially excited to hear from two of their favorites: Google and Home Depot.

There was a myriad of great advice and information presented during the nine sessions, but for your convenience, we pared it down into three main points that could have the biggest potential impact on your current and future SEO strategy:

Speed Up Your Site

One of the most interesting statistics shared was that 40 percent of users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. If you’re curious about how your site matches up to benchmarks, check out This is a great resource for departments or individuals lacking dedicated help from their design or IT teams.

Also worth noting in the realm of speed is that last summer (2015) marked the first time mobile searches surpassed desktop. Simply put: if your site isn’t fast, easy to use and engaging on mobile platforms, it’s a detriment to your brand.

And while you’re paying attention to site speed and mobile users, now is a great time to get acquainted with the AMP Project, if you’re not already.

Tell Your Story

For a long time, SEO followed a linear approach to conversions – a search engine result page (SERP) led to a website, which (hopefully) led to a specific action being taken.

Today, it’s not that simple. Organic search space is disappearing and search assistants like Siri, Cortana and Alexa are reshaping the way we find information. You have to assume people are interacting with your brand multiple times on a variety of channels before they get to your main website (if they get there at all). It’s no longer enough to cross-market between off and online; every open channel you manage should be treated as a potential entry, exit and conversion point.

Instead of being overwhelmed, focus on what you can control: your story. Build a consistent identity across your digital channels by appealing to emotion over logic. Think of the famous quote from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The sentiment still rings true in the digital world.

Focus on Searcher Intent

To no one’s great surprise, user experience and page quality continue to be hot topics when it comes to improving SEO. After all: search engines want to send users to quality websites that have a track record of providing value.

Here are some things to keep in mind that help add value to your website:

  • Write strong, useful content that is valuable to the end-user.
  • Remove or repurpose content from pages with fewer visitors.
  • Create shareable content that provides value on its own.
  • Avoid copy or design choices that mislead the user.
  • Ensure pages have useful titles, descriptions and headings.

Remember: if you’re writing for the search engine, you’re doing it wrong.

Partner with Our Experts

If you’d like help with search engine optimization, Geonetric offers several SEO packages to help you improve your rankings and drive more people to your site content.