With social media services and features debuting weekly (or at least it feels like it), it’s easy to become caught up in the hype when marketing pundits are proclaiming, “If you’re not marketing on this new digital platform, you’re missing out!”
However, in your efforts to promote your practice, if you focus too much on the digital “media” side of social media marketing, and you risk missing what truly makes it effective: the “social” side.
No matter the platform or tool you use, the foundation of your social media presence is what happens in your practice: face-to-face interactions that build relationships with patients and team members. And through those relationships, you can create content that grows your reach, builds trust, and gives potential patients a genuine look at your practice culture.
Social media marketing tools like Facebook and Instagram are meaningless unless they are consistently populated with compelling content, and compelling content flows naturally from documenting the ways that you strengthen relationships in your practice.
How to Get Everyone Involved in Your Social Media Efforts
My Social Practice has helped thousands of dental practices transform and grow through social media marketing (Oh and we're a Solutionreach partner! You can find us on the Solutionreach Marketplace by clicking here), so we know that reading about social media strategy and actually getting team members and patients involved are two completely different things.
Remember that participation in your practice’s social media comes down to two things:
- It has to be easy.
- It has to be fun.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Make Participating in Social Media Easy
In a dental practice, sticking to your schedule is critical, and patients are looking to return to their busy lives as soon as possible, so make sure that any in-practice social media activity you plan for team members or patients takes two minutes or less.
It might be taking a quick photo with a patient (and getting HIPAA-compliant authorization to share it), inviting them to enter a giveaway, or asking for a review.
Train all of your team members on how to show patients the easiest, simplest way to do whatever social media interaction you choose. You could even have displays or cards on the front desk and in treatment rooms that explain it visually, such as simple steps to like your page on Facebook.
Make Social Media Fun
Another way to phrase this might be, “What is the patient getting out of this?” Little incentives go a long way. Whether they’re snapping a selfie to support a good cause, liking your page to get the doctor to perform a funny social media challenge, or writing a review for a chance to win a prize, make sure there’s something in it for the patient.
Instead of trying to utilize every new every new digital marketing tool, select just a couple that are right for you (we recommend Facebook and Instagram), and remember that great social media happens naturally when you make it a part of building in-person relationships. Do this consistently, and you’ll see how easy it becomes to attract and retain patients online and strengthen your practice’s social proof.
For more tips on becoming a social media master, take a few minutes to look over this infographic, "See the Power of Social Media and Online Reviews."