Two weeks ago, thousands of people gathered to learn from experts in the major social media platforms at the 2018 Social Media Marketing World Conference. Days filled with selfies, speakers, classes, and releases of new tools and features. It was a sprint to keep up and I was glad to get into my seat on the plane and head back to Solutionreach HQ. But, on the plane home I found myself being asked a rather simple question by a woman named Jane in the aisle seat next to me: “Why would a practice need social media?”
I am sad to say my answer wasn’t a great one. But as the plane headed for takeoff the question was quickly forgotten, at least by her. For the past two weeks this question has been on my mind a lot because I wasn’t able to give Jane a great answer. Now that I've had time to think it over, here are three reasons why social media should be a priority for your practice.
- Social Media is Branding: Does your practice have a brand? Absolutely, your brand is your personality. Social media is without a doubt the best medium to show and share that personality with the industry and world around you. How? Tell your story, share who you are, and be authentic with your patients. People don’t buy services and products, they buy YOU. As our 2017 survey showed, patients leave providers not for lack of services, but for a lack of satisfaction. Social media provides a cost effective, mobile way to bring your brand out of hiding to create connections and increase that satisfaction in ways patients everywhere respond to.
- There Is No Such Thing As An Offline Customer Experience: It is 2018 and the age of smartphones has made it so everyone has access to online resources. Neglecting your online presence on major social media platforms means you are giving up your role in that online community where patients are searching for help. At the start of 2016 Facebook reached an unheard of 1 billion active users. However, at the end of 2017, Facebook reported that it had surpassed the 2 billion active user mark, and in addition to a high user count, they also reported numbers showing 78% of users report using Facebook as a search engine to find businesses in their communities. Online reviews, video apps, and live streaming are features that are dominating the social media world. They can be useful to help your practice create an online experience for your patients that enhances the experience they receive in your office.
- Find Your People: Social media can be portrayed as a cold, isolating way to communicate and connect. However, it doesn’t have to be. Using features on platforms like Facebook Groups, or Twitter Chats, you can connect with real people who are like you using online tools! The networks you can connect within are so helpful in countless ways. Having a group, a place where like-minded people can converse and understand, is a healthy way to live. Meetups cannot always happen in our local areas, but they can happen over Facebook Live or Instagram stories. Your people are out there waiting, go find them and build lasting professional relationships. It will take the large world we live in and shrink it down to a more manageable size.
Social media is not instantly easy for everyone and, as there is with most things in life, a balance is needed. But that group I mentioned before? The one you need for support? Well, here we are. Welcome to Solutionreach, our online platforms are for groups of support for all who need them. Come, join us, support each other.
Why social media? My response is this: Why not social media?
#SeeYouOnline #SMMW18 #Solutionreach #ThanksJane