Why one person can’t and shouldn’t do it all.
By: Misty Absher Clark
With social media on the rise, most people have come to accept that it is not going away. It is here to stay! You may have figured out (if not, now is a good time to do so) that social media is a GREAT way to build relationships with your patients and get your message out to a whole new group of potential patients. The rewards will be greater patient retention, increased ROI on marketing efforts, and a better educated patient.
Knowing this, many practices have felt that the best way to keep up in this fast paced, ever changing world is to a) have one person WHO is SOLELY responsible for social media content, development and engagement OR b) to outsource it to another company. The challenge with either of these solutions on their own leaves a social media strategy full of holes.
Having a “Who”
Do you have a WHO? One person who comes up with the ideas, writes the content, posts the pictures and updates, checks for comments by others, and replies to all comments? This person sits down at his/her computer every day, looks at a blank screen, and then decides what to write. Most times in a practice the end result is a Facebook page that starts out with several posts in a week. Over time, the posts will dwindle to one or two a week, then one a week, then once a month, to MAYBE once a year! It is tough to be solely responsible for the content creation. Even Jimmy Fallon has a team of writers to help him create material on a daily basis. It is long proven that teams work better together to create content that is creative, engaging, and relevant.
Many practices choose this method after having a “WHO” doesn’t work. The idea is to pay someone else to post for you. There are many great companies who do provide creative content and good ideas for social media posts. To the practice, this is the perfect solution – set it and forget it. The challenge here is multifold. First of all, social media users are SAVVY. They KNOW when it is third party and when it is the practice. If they see a page that is only third party, then the viewer doesn’t feel like they are getting to speak with the practice. That element of building relationships is missing. Social media is SOCIAL after all. Also, many times the practice isn’t aware of what is being put on there so they miss great opportunities to engage with patients and reply to comments. In addition, patients may mention a post that the practice isn’t aware of, which can be potentially embarrassing to the practice and reveal to the patient that the practice isn’t represented at all. Finally, many (if not most) of these third party apps are unable to capture the community aspect and support many local causes. Participating in the community through social media is a great way to build a network.
The best answer is all of the above plus some. Do we like third party apps? Absolutely - when they are coupled with the practice being fully engaged. Social media apps can provide access to great creative you may not otherwise have access to. In addition, you need a “Who” - AKA the social media champion. This person is responsible for RALLYING the ENTIRE TEAM to create content and ideas. He/She can do this during the monthly team meetings. Your social media champion drives the meeting and brainstorming session. Then he/she will divvy out the ideas for different people to fulfill. The social media champion ultimately plans out the posts, activities, holds others accountable for getting the pictures/video clips, and then makes and schedules the posts. Ideally this person will invest on average 2 hours each month and 15-20 minutes per day implementing the social media strategy. When done strategically with the entire team, you can have a WINNING social media strategy.
Misty Absher Clark is Vice President of Creative Services for Jameson Management, an international dental management, marketing and hygiene coaching firm. Incorporating her expertise in branding, marketing strategy, social media and customer service, Misty brings energy and information to dental practices nationwide. For more information on Misty, her webinars or Jameson services, log on to jamesonmanagement.com or call 877.369.5558.