Social Media For Dentists Done Right: 4 Things You Can Do This Week
Social media for dentists; how well is your practice performing? What grade would you give yourself? No matter how you feel you are performing, chances are, there’s room for improvement. Hopefully by now, you’ve set up your social media profiles. Have you? You know, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc….
Once you have established your online presence and have built and optimized your social profiles, you will want to engage with your audience. This activity should be ongoing and frequent.
Utilizing social media as a marketing tool can be extremely beneficial to growing your dental practice. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway.
Facebook is the leader of the pack with 1.6 billion users. Twitter boasts 310 million monthly active users, and LinkedIn lists 400 million users.
The majority of your existing and potential customers likely engage on social media every day. You want to be a part of that activity.
You should establish and utilize your accounts on each of these social media outlets. Following are a list of 4 weekly activities that will help solidify your marketing strategy.
1. Maintain A Regular Presence
You will want to designate a point person to help you manage this activity. Find one of your staff members who likes social media and work with them by sharing articles like this one to help them understand the type of content to post.
Sprout Social says customers expect a response to their online content within 4 hours. However, the average response time is 10 hours. Further, an astonishing 89% of social messages go ignored. Doing so is detrimental to your business as one out of three people will be more likely to switch to a competitor when this happens. When a customer retweets your tweet or comments on a Facebook post be sure to “like” their comments and reply.
If you have a blog or post content elsewhere, then consider sharing that content regularly on social media. If you don’t have a blog, we would highly encourage you to start one.
Regarding the content itself:
- Actively engage with your audience. As the infographic above shows, engage with your audience regularly. You'll want to reply to everyone and like their comments and mentions as appropriate. Thank someone if they retweet your tweet.
- Tweet content that is interesting and relevant to patients. This includes content that may not relate to your dental practice.
- Keep your posts on LinkedIn more on the professional side. Remember, LinkedIn is a business/professional site. You will want to post your blog posts here but not so much the cute and funny content.
- Create your social media content that elicits engagement. Through time, you will get a knack for what works and what doesn’t.
- Provide links to your website and/or Facebook page. Cross-marketing between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will help you grow followers in each of these venues.
- Post content that is helpful and informative. Check out the profiles of your competitors and other dentists in general. You will want to post this type of information frequently.
Cross-marketing between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will help you grow followers in each of these venues.
- Post information about staff accomplishments. If one of your dental hygienists achieves a new certification post it congratulating them.
- Post real life content. Post a picture at major holidays of employees or office decorations. If one of your staff is getting married, you can include that as well.
- Especially on Facebook and Twitter, make some of your content lively and fun. Think of this in the same way you would on your personal account. You want to show your audience that Dentists and their employees are real people too.
- Monitor your newsfeeds for stories that relate to the field of dentistry. Try to find general posts and are informative, funny or heartwarming. Remember to mix it up a bit.
- Establish your unique personality. You want your audience to relate to you. A portion of your personality will be created from your mission statement. Also, the flavor of your office should come into play here.
2. Utilize Social Media Advocacy
In addition to the point person, you will want to encourage the rest of your staff to get in on the action. Advocacy is when you get your whole team involved. Enable and encourage your employees to share, comment and like. They can also check in on Facebook when they are working or at an event.
While you may only have 2,000 followers on social media, when you combine that with a staff of 10 you will instantly expand your presence by an order of magnitude.
Your staff should be readily willing to do this. After all, they are a part of the team. You may want to let them know how to do this during a staff lunch or meeting.
Of course, there are some guidelines on how to do this.
“Advocacy is born from culture, not technology or marketing.” Convince & Convert Blog.
You will want your guidelines to encourage participation.
Here are some of IBM’s crowdsourced guidelines:
- You are personally responsible for what you publish.
- Know the business conduct guidelines.
- Don’t disclose proprietary information.
- Don’t cite clients and partners without permission.
- Respect your audience.
- Respect others opinions.
- Add value.
Obviously, you will also want to ask them to contact you directly before responding to any negative opinions or posts from your customers.
3. Plan A Portion Of Your Delivery Ahead Of Time
You will only be planning a portion of your content delivery. Obviously responding to comments or retweets is done on the fly.
You may want to review the planned activity with your point person ahead of time. This will provide you an opportunity for input. You can both also evaluate the mix of material.
Planning your delivery could involve using a tool such as Hootsuite. This is a tool to let you create content ahead of time to be posted on the social media networks at some future time and date. This allows your content manager to pre-load the content and have it show up at a later time, freeing them up during the day from this task (when they may be busy with other duties).
It’s also important to know the best times of day to post content. According to Hubspot, the best times to post on Facebook are 12:00 – 1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, 3:00 – 4:00 PM on Wednesdays, and 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays.
On Twitter, post between 12:00 – 3:00 PM Mondays through Fridays and 5:00 – 6:00 PM on Wednesdays.
For LinkedIn, try 7:30 – 8:30 AM, 12:00 PM and 5:00 – 6:00 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and 10:00 – 11:00 AM on Tuesdays.
Engagement rates will be higher during these times.
Again, Hootsuite will help you plan and execute posting during the best times.
4. Keep A Checklist Of Weekly Activities
Make a checklist of weekly activities to include in your social media campaign. Here are some ideas:
- Check your statistics. Tally up how many likes, comments and shares that you have each week. Facebook has excellent built-in tools for this that will show you trends. That will be helpful in evaluating your strategies.
- Create and monitor weekly goals. These could be goals for content posting as well as new connections or engagement. You want to have regular content posted without flooding your audience.
- Hold a strategy session. You may do this with a few key players or during a weekly staff lunch meeting. Bouncing ideas around with your key players will help you keep a continual flow of fresh content.
- Follow back those who follow you. Sometimes when you don’t follow back, people will unfollow you after a while. Remember, this is “social” media! You will want to further establish the connection when you receive new followers. You can also thank them for the follow or like on Twitter and Facebook.
- Actively seek out new connections. Establish weekly goals for this, too. All 3 social media sites will facilitate this activity by searching your email list for your existing contacts.
- Progressively follow as many dentistry-related accounts as you can find. That includes other offices, trade associations, bloggers, and dental product manufacturers. You can retweet or share their content and glean ideas from them.
- Keywords, site links, and compelling content are the key ingredients of a successful tweet. You only have 140 characters on Twitter. Make them count!
- Update your social media ads. This may not be a weekly item, but you will want to do it occasionally. It’s another great example of creating fresh content.
- Engage with influencers. Actively engage with other influencers in your area and profession. For example, if you have a key supplier that is well known, mention them in a tweet or retweet their content.
You could retweet this if they are a key supplier.
To be successful with you social media marketing campaign, it’s important to maintain a regular presence online. Once you have established a routine you should start to see results that you can measure and track. You will build brand loyalty that will reflect in business growth.