Social Media 101: Posting For Impact
What was purely social just a few short decades ago has now carved out a home in the world of business. Social media is definitely here to stay. But it’s youthful guise and ever-changing algorithms are nothing to shy away from. In fact, the benefits that these marketing giants have to offer can’t be ignored. At least they shouldn’t. SmileMakers explores why.
Free advertising is the greatest perk of today’s social media platforms. It costs nothing to sign up for the majority of these sites, yet they have incredible reach. As of 2017, 81% of Americans have a social media account, making a social media presence one of your wisest investments. It also makes patient interactions easy by providing a public space to answer questions, resolve complaints, and keep in touch with your patients.
The posts themselves will also have a great impact on your practice. This is because social media is built for the way humans absorb and retain information. We learn more when content is accompanied by an image. So with platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which are heavily driven by videos and imagery, we can capitalize on the easiest ways to get patient’s attention. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it might just generate a few good leads, too.
There isn’t one perfect strategy that applies to all social media platforms. All these sites have different methods to capture the attention of their audience. But here are a few tactics for the most popular platforms to get you started.
If you don’t have a business page yet, set one up now. Not every site offers this, but with this social media giant, a business page means one more avenue for patients to discover you. It also opens the door to Facebook Targeted Ads. Facebook collects user information that businesses can use to target their marketing efforts by way of paid advertisements. These ads are perfect for any size marketing budget because you can set up campaigns so they don’t exceed your spending limit. But they’re most helpful for practices that have a clear idea of who their audience is.
Instagram and hashtags are nearly synonymous. And that’s because the search functionality relies on hashtags which bolsters a user’s reach when searched by a like-minded user. Diverse and trending hashtags increase your visibility, but there’s nothing like staying relevant to your niche. The best strategy is to include a little bit of everything. Stay up to date on what’s popular to the public (#tbt), search a few hashtags you think might apply to your practice (#smilemakers), and then try to get really specific by tagging your location or practice name.
Asking for reviews from your patients is critical to the growth of your business. These reviews act as posts on Yelp! and will help drive SEO. Your response to reviews is equally important. Each response you give is registered and helps promote your business.
Google Reviews may very well be the first thing people see of your business because they’re linked to your Google My Business page. The best way to grow your impact is by synergizing with Google’s other services. Ensuring that you have a full Google presence will help drive patient engagement.
Tips on what to post
If you’re getting stuck on what to post, a good initial strategy is experimentation. You can always curate once you’ve determined what your audience responds to most. Another great strategy is to explore the social media platforms of small businesses, brands and other practices that you like. What are they doing that’s successful? How are they engaging their audience? Good artists borrow, great artists steal.
Here are some other tips to help you get started:
- Don’t overthink it. Write what you know.
- Be specific and relevant. The right audience will find you.
- Let your passion shine through. Social media doesn’t have to be formal.
- Keep photos and videos focused on your practice.
- Consistency is key. Create a weekly or monthly posting schedule and stick to it.
- But remember, quality over quantity.
Looking for Inspiration?
Statista (2017) Percentage of U.S. population with a social media profile from 2008 to 2017. Retrieved From: https://www.statista.com/statistics/273476/percentage-of-us-population-with-a-social-network-profile/