It is no secret that social media can have a great impact on your on-line presence and contribute to the growth of your practice. The trick to making it work for you is to invest in it. This means hiring a digital marketing expert—a professional who will work with you to seamlessly develop a plan that can be adapted along the way.
Social media is the fastest and cost-effective way to reach new audiences and potential patients. Stats show that 71 percent of consumers who have had a good social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Think about that. If you can appeal to people on social media, you will reap ancillary “friends and family” benefits, much in the same way you do when you encourage patient recommendations. Except this method of sharing is a lot easier.
When clients ask me what primary social media platforms I recommend for health care professionals, I tell them my go-to channels are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is a major online influencer, and Instagram is the top social media platform designed for engagement.
One very important thing to note about social media is that it is always changing, with new trends, methods, and platforms. Here are some helpful tips on how to maximize your social media presence.
1 STOP BUYING FAKE FOLLOWERS – Yes, I just screamed that in all-caps. Fake followers are not an effective use of your money. They don’t have any positive impact on your brand or the growth of your practice. As a health practitioner, you provide services to your local area. Having followers from 100 kilometers away follow or like your post is not going to translate into new patients. Don’t make growing your audience the primary focus. Make it more about engagement and interaction with the pool of people who are already your followers.
2 PROMOTIONS AND ADS – Most people think social media marketing is free, and it is, for the very basics at least. But, as with everything, you get out what you put in. Bottom line here? Invest in paid promotion. Paid promotion allows you to be very specific about your goals and target audience. It is message oriented and will focus on engagement, which in this case means comments, shares, or driving traffic to your website to check out your services.
3 GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Set up a Google analytics account to help you measure your efforts. Use the new social reporting features to help you measure the results of your marketing campaign.
4 CONTENT PLANNING – Brands that are successful on social media plan their content ahead of time and adapt as necessary. Creating a content calendar makes it easy to map out what will be published to your channels as well as when.
5 WEBSITE IMPLEMENTATION – You’ve already got social icons and links on your website. Add easy to implement social share features, and make your content more popular by including the Facebook like feature.
6 GO BEHIND THE SCENES – People like to look at images and know what’s new and happening. Give your followers a glimpse of what goes on inside your office by sharing office and team news.
7 TAKE HOME ADVICE – Share useful tips that your followers can apply at home. Trust me, your patients want expert “insider” advice. It saves them time and they will appreciate you not always “selling” them something. They are also very likely to share it with family and friends with similar interests.
8 PARTNER WITH A LOCAL BUSINESS – Consider partnering with another local business to cross-promote your services. How about a Facebook live session where you interview one another? This will help grow both of your business audiences.
9 HIGHLIGHT A MISTAKE – Showcase a common myth or mistake that people might not be aware of. Talk about its impact, and offer suggestions for changes that should be made.
Running a busy practice likely doesn’t allow for extra time to produce social media that’s saavy and works for you. It’s worth your time and money to invest in a digital marketing expert who can take your social media game to the the next level—and help your practice grow.