You donâ€™t have to be a digital or social media savant to have a productive presence in the medium.
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “The perfect is often the enemy of the good.” I’ve found this expression to be true in many of life’s pursuits, including investing for retirement. It is also true for many dentists who know they need a social media strategy but don’t have any idea how to go about developing one. Many simply default to the idea that being absent from social media is a better option than being active in social media marketing, but terrible at it.
Really, how bad could you be at developing a social media strategy? How much harm could you possibly do by being active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, and other social media sites? The answer may lie not in your expertise, but in your commitment and character. Below are some strategies that can contribute to a successful social media experience.
Every dental practice is unique, just as you and every member of your team are unique. This individuality doesn’t easily come across through your name, logo, or dental practice sign outside your practice. But it can through social media. Starting a Facebook page or a Twitter account for your practice is free and deceptively easy. So is illustrating the uniqueness of your practice. Create posts that illustrate the unique personality of your practice. Include willing patients (with express permission only) in pictures or on your feeds. Have a little fun with your posts.
Give It to the Kid
You don’t have to be digitally savvy yourself to capitalize on social media opportunities. All you need is a budding Steve Jobs on your dental staff. Look for someone on your team who has a little interest, possibly a little experience, and most importantly, some enthusiasm for digital communications, and then give that person a little time and some opportunity to create. Just be sure that you have strict guidelines in place that mirror the public image you want to put forth and that you periodically review any posts before they go live, if possible.
Involve the Whole Team
I have written previously about ways to make your staff feel invested and valued in your practice. Because social media is all about creating an experience for your patients, the more your staff is involved, the more the personality of your dental practice will shine through. That’s the low-hanging fruit of any social media endeavor; it is particularly important for dentists looking to build not only their patient base, but their community.
In a future article, we’ll look at specific social media strategies for dentists that have worked for other practices. The key message for now is that you don’t have to be a digital or social media savant to have a productive presence in the medium. The same rigor you bring to your dental care doesn’t necessarily have to be applied to your social media strategy. Waiting for the perfect strategy may mean missing significant opportunity in the meantime.