Friending – Tweeting – YouTubing…do you know what these terms mean? Do you think 5 years ago these terms had any relevancy to you? They are, of course, referencing the social media sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Social media is a hot topic in dental marketing these days, and it seems like everyone wants to “be on social media”.
However, it is not enough to simply have a presence. Engagement is the name of the game if you want social media to work for your dental practice. No longer is it good enough to just have a website. In fact, it is bad practice to have a Facebook page for your business if you never update it or engage. Times have changed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get on board.
Here are a few key ideas to keep in mind:
Social media is not an event – it’s not something you should do once in awhile. To really utilize social media effectively, it should be integrated into your marketing plan. Just as you have your front desk ask every new patient how they heard about your practice, you should also have a dedicated team member updating and interacting online via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites.
As with anything, developing a strong following on social media takes time and effort. We like to tell our clients social media is not a sprint – it’s a marathon. Building a Facebook page alone will not generate results. Encouraging your patients to Like your page, consistently updating your page regularly with informative and relevant status updates, and interacting with patients and colleagues online – these are the tricks of the trade that will boost your following and turn social media into a relatively easy – and fun! – marketing effort for your practice.
Here’s a great article from My Social Practice offering some questions to ask yourself as you dive into this social media world.
There are countless ways to get involved in social media. As long as you view it as another important piece of your marketing plan, and dedicate time and effort toward engaging, social media can be a fun and rewarding way to increase the awareness of your practice throughout your community.
Does your practice utilize social media? How has it worked for you? Please share your thoughts and comments with us!