Getting real about social media marketing for the dental practice
In our digital world, effective social media marketing can make all the difference in a dental practice's success.
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in social media trends, SEO strategies, website optimization, online reputation management and more.
This month, he sits down with social media expert Rosalea Peters from WEO Media, to talk about social media marketing in dental practices.
We read and hear quite a bit about social media in dental practices. What’s new in social media?
Facebook is still on an active growth trend. It’s still the most popular social network worldwide, bringing the total audience to 1.71 billion users. More than 90 percent of Facebook’s users are on mobile devices, which makes it even more necessary to ensure content you are linking to on Facebook has been optimized for a mobile platform (e.g. your website). Twitter has had its ups and downs this year, and is still trying to find even footing with their advertising options, but can be a great place to network within industries and participate in a deeper Twitter community. Instagram and Snapchat are still moving upward, with Instagram adding their story feature to compete with Snapchat, and more and more businesses are using Snapchat stories to reach younger consumers that trend away from using Facebook.
What should dentists and practices keep in mind when they approach social media marketing?
Social media should be one part of their overall practice brand, and it should be a mixture of professional and fun. Social media IS social, and if people aren’t engaged and interacting with your posts, it can actually be quite detrimental. Not every post is going to pull 100 likes and comments, but the overall trend of your newsfeed should show fan/business interaction. It’s important to remember that social media didn’t start out as an advertising tool, it was originally started to build and facilitate community; and that is still where the highest success lies.
Social media seems pretty complicated at times. One of my favorite comparisons when speaking about SEO is going to find a book at Barnes & Noble. Is there a similar comparison we can use for social media?
Let’s use Facebook as our example, since that is where dental practices will likely spend most of their time. Think of using facebook the same way as you might approach preparing to go to a party. When you’re getting ready to go to a party, you walk into your closet and you think about what to wear. If you’re going to a business function, you’ll probably dress more conservatively. If the invite is to a friend’s holiday party, you’ll be looking for something festive and personal. If you’re labeling Facebook as a type of party, with a specific type of audience, it will tend to skew more towards festive and personal, rather than strictly business. However, in both cases, the way you dress and present yourself usually reflects your personality and values. In the same way, putting together your Facebook branding and newsfeed posts should reflect your personality and values, while remembering the audience (type of party) you’re trying to engage with. Do you want your page to be the one at the party droning on about his latest investment? Or do you want to be the one who can mix it up with witty banter and insightful comments?
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