A simple private practice social media marketing strategy will enhance your marketing overall. For the uninitiated however, it may take some time to understand the benefits and how best to use it.
All businesses need a strategy to maximise their online presence and a set-and-forget website alone simply isn’t enough. In order to drive traffic and enhance awareness for your practice, you may need to embrace social media. As a local business, it is a fantastic avenue to be seen by prospects and patients, with a valuable opportunity to engage.
Here are some tips to get started, and keep it simple…
Understand why you are doing it
Firstly, a presence on social sites like Facebook provides an opportunity for people to see you. The more exposure they have to you, more likely they are to consider using your services. This provides the benefit of more traditional marketing but at no hard cost.
Secondly, the ability to engage with patients and prospects is significant. They can find out more about you and see how you approach things. If they see that your practice deals with questions and concerns via social channels, your clinic looks personal, modern, helpful and friendly. This helps sales.
Thirdly, a strong social media presence enhances your website’s SEO – i.e. you are more likely to appear higher in search engine results. This is valuable and should always be a priority.
Also imagine that your local competition was to master social media; where would that leave you 12 months from now?
Understand what “social” means
Social media is not a platform to spam people with your offers. With limited attention spans, no one cares about you or your offers. If you go to a pool party, you wouldn’t turn up in a suit and briefcase. First, you need to fit in and start conversations. Be sociable and earn the attention and right to introduce your business.
Always make sure that what you share on social media offers value to your followers. This means sharing interesting news or insights into your treatment. Avoid dull, repetitive or irrelevant posts and content.
Think of some businesses you enjoy following online – what are they doing right? Chances are they have a good mix of valuable information, news and humour in their posts and use a blend of mediums such as photos, videos and download links. Also I’d bet that they are regular contributors.
Use different sites
There are a number of social media sites and it is important to use a variety to maximise the number of people you engage with. A solid starting point is Facebook and YouTube. With experience you will learn the different ways to maximise engagement according to each platform. YouTube is a fantastic way to upload quality video content on your speciality, giving viewers a visual insight into you and your expertise. Twitter on the other hand may not be best value, unless you’re already killing it in other social media channels.
Give it a fair go and see what works for you.
Attention spans online are incredibly short. If you dabble in social media, your posts will be missed. You need commitment and regularity to get noticed. You can’t hope to build a large following if you post something once in a while. Aim to post something to your business Facebook Page a few times a day. There are lots of studies done about frequency and best times of the day to post. Just google for ideas. There are many tools available to help you schedule posts in advance, so you can make this a weekly activity.
Constantly engage and interact
Besides posting useful stuff that visitors enjoy, make sure that you are also responding to messages and comments. Social media can only engage people if there is enough activity to catch peoples’ attention – so drive interaction and engagement. An abandoned or poorly maintained account looks unprofessional and will help your business.If you receive messages, always respond. If your clients complement your services, always thank them. Not replying can seem cold and impersonal. Reaching out to people and establishing a connection is what makes people return and gets referrals and social media is an effective way to do that outside of the clinic.
Let your patients do the talking – if they are happy with your service many will tell you on Twitter or Facebook, available for thousands of others to see. This is a hugely valuable marketing tool that should be an important your private practice marketing strategy.