Social Media Tips and Tricks, Part 2

In last week’s post, we reviewed some basic strategies to help guide a successful social media campaign. Today, we’re revisiting that topic and adding a little more fuel to the fire. As it turns out, your practice’s social media presence has a few things in common with a personal page. And while business is still the name of the game, social media can give your practice a personal, relatable touch that’s attractive to new and current patients alike.

6. Keep Your Photo Albums Full.

Whether the page is your practice’s or your own, the photo gallery on a site like Facebook is one of the first places visitors look. Pictures really can be worth a thousand words, and people are inquisitive; they like being able to see your practice for themselves. A well-stocked photo album serves as a miniature behind-the-scenes tour, and helps make your practice appear friendly and inviting. A little familiarity goes a long way, and while you don’t need a detailed photographic essay, it’s a generally good idea to include a view of your rooms, your equipment, and especially your smiling staff.

7. Be Timely

One of the main reasons for having a social media campaign, aside from the obvious marketing benefits, is to make your practice feel more personable and welcoming to new patients. If you want to convey that message naturally, showing your lighter side is a good way to do it. For example, when holidays roll around, feel free to show your more festive side. Decorate your practice, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day – however you decide to celebrate is fine – just be sure to take plenty of pictures! So long as the majority of your content remains professional, letting your hair down every now and then will only be seen as a plus.

8.  Write like a Person, not a Brand

This one can be tricky.  True, when all is said and done, your social media efforts are part of your marketing. Even so, that doesn’t mean your posts should all be recognizable as advertising. Your followers didn’t sign up to be peppered with your ads, they signed up to stay in touch with your practice. They expect to be treated as people, and not merely consumers. When your content is entertaining, engaging, and educational, you’ll project the proper voice to ensure that when you do post something more like an ad, your followers will pay attention to it.

9. Don’t Preach, Converse! – Social media is a great outlet for information and opinions of all kinds, especially your own. But it isn’t a one-way street. Social media, as the name implies, is meant to be used to engage with people, and that means talking with them instead of at them. Keep up with what your patients say on your page, and whenever you have the chance, respond. This kind of relationship-building makes them more likely to return, and to recommend you to their friends.

10. Maintain a Blog and Keep it Visible – Content is king in social media, and blogging is the single most effective way to maintain a steady stream of content for your Web Presence. A blog allows you to talk about the most recent topics in your field, provides an opportunity for education and engagement, and even helps build valuable backlinks to improve your search engine ranking. Keeping your blog linked up with your Facebook and Twitter pages helps you project a unified message to more people.

Social Media Tips and Tricks

Social media is an essential part of every healthy Web Presence. You’ve probably heard that by now, especially if you’re reading this blog. Despite the repetition, sometimes it can still feel like an empty claim. But it’s far more than a fad. It’s bigger than ever, and the business world knows it.

In 2012, 75% of Fortune 100 companies were on Facebook, and 87% were using at least some form of social media[1].  Those companies get over 10 million social mentions every month, so it’s obvious that the strategy is successful. But social media success isn’t reserved exclusively for big businesses; healthcare professionals can and should be jumping on the train at the first chance.

Having a website is the equivalent of brushing your teeth – it’s just something you need to do. And if that’s the case, then having a Web presence with social media is like flossing. It’s obviously important, but not enough people do it properly.

So. With that in mind, today’s post will go over some basic guidelines on how to “floss” with social media.

1. Post Good Content, and Post it Often.

The whole purpose of social media is to share with people. The people following you want to know what’s going on with your practice, and they expect you to keep them updated. By posting regularly, you fulfill your patients’ expectations while keeping your practice fresh in their minds.

The best way to do this is by posting strong content, and the best content can be summed up in the “3 E’s” of social media: Entertainment, Engagement, and Education. If you can post content that hits all three of these points at once, you have the makings of a very successful social media campaign!

2. But Don’t Post too Much.

There is such a thing as being too active with your social media outlets. A consistent presence is good, but if people feel like you’re flooding their news feed, then your messages can start feeling less like content and more like spam. So, like all good things, social media is best when used in moderation. Aim for at least one solid post a week, and try to avoid the temptation of too many posts in a single day.

3. Post when Traffic is Highest.

Prime time doesn’t belong exclusively to the world of TV; social media also sees similar usage peaks at somewhat predictable intervals. For instance, it’s generally better to post on a weekday than on a weekend. Facebook sees particularly big spikes on weekdays at 11 am, 3 pm, and 8p, eastern time. Naturally, if you want your content to reach the widest possible audience, it’s a good idea to aim for these times.

4. Don’t Beg for Likes.

Likes mean people are paying attention to your practice and feeling positive about the content you deliver. It’s hard to say exactly how that will impact your bottom line, but one thing is for certain: it’s definitely not a bad thing. Getting likes feels good and makes your practice look good, but being too eager for them can become unhealthy.

Status updates beginning with prompts like “like this post if…” are okay every now and then, but relying too heavily on that strategy can make it look like your practice is pining for attention, and that, eventually, just becomes annoying. Think of “like this post if” statements as the fast food of social media: quick, easy, and temporarily satisfying, but not a healthy long-term strategy.

5. Do Ask Questions.

The open sharing of ideas is one of social media’s central pillars of success, so making your Facebook page a place of discussion is one of the best ways to get your patients actively engaged with your brand.  Your patients want to speak their minds. You can give them a platform to do so by using questions for your status updates.

Something as simple as: “How old were you when you lost your first tooth?” can prompt a flood of likes and comments just because people enjoy sharing their stories. Social media allows you to leverage that desire and turn it into brand exposure. Just be sure to stay away from divisive issues like politics or religion.

Stay tuned for more social media tips coming your way soon!