Is Social Media Good For Your Practice?
In speaking with many general practitioners, doctors and practice managers, social media is still considered the unknown marketing frontier. However, within the fee for service, cosmetic and aesthetic industry, social media has effectively galvanized the power of social brand building and lead generation. Not only that, but many now use social media as an effective alternative to pay per click advertising via search engines.
With effective use of Social Media tools you can give your business and practice the best chance to increase its revenue through new patient acquisition with using one or all of the following:
1. Monthly and weekly topics
2. Offer the latest in office specials
3. Offer online specials
4. Relate your topics and specials to your most popular products and service
In our last newsletter, we discussed how social media has produced a more consistent marketing result that includes many complimentary features and updates to better measure and monitor the effectiveness of social media programs. This article will provide a compressed overview of a few of the main social media networks and their functionality.
How to choose the best social media tools for your practice
Determining which social tools will work best for your practice is key to getting the best from your social media outreach. Having a strategy and working that strategy consistently is paramount to your success. Typically it takes about two solid quarters before the full impact of your social branding and outreach can catch hold and show real results. But it is a significant part of brand building and brand awareness.
Facebook provides the most flexibility as you can upload videos, images of products, share press releases, current blogs and download or print online specials. Facebook also lets you sort your demographic by age, gender, location, product interest, and more. Facebook’s ultimate goal is to create an all-encompassing communication platform and access channel for products and services, so you never have to leave their website.
Is a stand-alone Facebook App which used to be part of the internal communication within your Facebook page. Because of the sheer volume of messages, Facebook created Messenger as a stand-alone which is becoming the communication tool of choice outside of any Facebook account. Using this format you can have text conversations with individuals or within a group of your contacts.
Is another stand-alone communication device owned by Facebook.However, the difference is that this tool not only lets you text messages, but it also allows you to send images, pictures, video chat, and make free international phone calls across the Facebook platform. WhatsApp has also encrypted all messaging to ensure privacy which may or may not be for Messenger.
Twitter on the other hand provides a more rapid-fire response to topics. It provides a very natural occurring process. It presents and sources your selected topics to those who have spoken about or liked the same product or service. It also gives you the ability to follow those individuals who have similar likes or interests. This can provide a wonderful, extensive network of potential consumers who want to purchase your services or establish you as one of a group of experts within a topic. It even gives you the ability to send a private message for conversation or for e-selling to prospects.
Instagram serves to satisfy our visual interest and desires, while allowing us to showcase our own individual interests at the same time. Instagram lets us explore visually what we might like to see, need or desire, but it also sources our wants and needs. It does this by identifying and presenting additional imagery or videos related to people, places, or things based on what we’ve uploaded or selected to view. You’re also given the ability to connect with like-minded people which provides a wonderful opportunity for engagement.
Google My Business
Google My Business can be integrated with your Google account. It allows you to upload email contacts and segment them by interest. You can communicate about your products or services. Much like Facebook, you can upload photos, videos, and online specials. The more original content you post, articles, and blogs the better your organic placement within Google’s search platform and ranking will be. While Google My Business has yet to take off like Facebook in terms of the user interface, it does play a significant and vital role in your digital footprint and organic online ranking among other social signals.
Pinterest provides a wealth of imagery as well as fabulous infographics that visually show off and display an amazing array of content that is compressed for easier understanding and appreciation of any topic. Much like Instagram, it serves its users by linking their likes to similar topics in which they have expressed an interest. Interestingly enough, some of these companies have begun to partners much like Google and Twitter. One providing access and services that the other lacks. Usually, those partnerships lead to mergers.
So as you can see the world of social media is much more than just chatting.
- It’s a place where your business digital footprint is on full display to attract consumers.
- With social media, you can find, promote, talk about, advertise and buy goods and services.
- Followers can also find out the latest information of the day on brands they follow.
- Select the topics which they prefer or that meet their needs.
- Research shows that people are making buying decisions after obtaining product and/or service reviews from testimonials via social media.
- Last but not least, social media is a great place to build up or manage your reputation which adds to consumer confidence.
This is a tool mostly used by the younger generation but provides real-time images or video which can be viewed from five to ten seconds at after which the images dissolve from view. It also has a detection program that tells you if someone has copied the image. What is unique with SnapChat is that it uses facial recognition and it allows personal messaging of more mature images regardless of content but dissolves within ten seconds.
Being on your best business behavior as well as personal when using online media is vital. There are no secrets with social media and the internet is always watching for new information to provide to the public. So it is paramount that your social footprint is honest, clear, consistent, informative, and engaging. The future is now for social media and it should be an integral part of both your practice and business development.
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