In order to cultivate online conversation, it’s important to be consistent in your message and be interesting – it’s hard to listen to silence, and difficult to engage with ‘boring’ – so why would you do so on social media sites? Being remarkable and sharing in the way described below will help your team become more personable and approachable – remember, people ‘buy’ people.
Here are a few ‘ice breaker’ ideas to keep your social media pages interesting:
Photos are best used for Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. It’s good to note that Facebook’s edgerank algorithm favours photos, making them more likely to appear in your follower’s timelines than a standard text status update. With Pinterest you can be a bit more quirky, think outside of the box and pin photos of old fashioned dental surgeries, for example.
More photo ideas could be:
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are probably the best platform for sharing news about the practice, here are a few examples:
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are great for promoting your latest special offers – and it’s good practice to add ‘value’ to the patient by rewarding them for following your posts.
Discounts, free consultations and whatever else are personal preference – some love them, and others hate them. If you do decide a promotion is right for you, be mindful not to over sell; you wouldn’t walk into a party full of people you’ve never met before and force your business cards into their hands. The same thing is to be said for social media promotions, you will have a rapport with some, but not all, be forceful and your followers will very quickly find the ‘unfollow’ button.
It’s important not to be too informal on social media sites and you’ll need to strike a balance. After all, you are representing your dental practice – a professional and trusted establishment. It’s good to add a few updates about dentistry in general to showcase your knowledge and how your practice is keeping up-to-date with modern techniques etc, in between your more sociable updates. Twitter is a fantastic medium for this and it’s also appropriate for Facebook, here are some ideas:
Sharing/ retweeting interesting articles
Keep it local. 99% of your business is likely to come from the local area so try and engage with local businesses by commenting and sharing their posts. Do the same with local events, show an interest, ask questions and engage – if you share other’s content, local businesses are more likely to return the favour by spreading your message much further than just to your own followers. It is also worth sharing local news stories, the weather forecast, even traffic alerts!
Show that you care by taking part in charity events! Charity always pulls at the heart strings of patients and beyond, so if you’re involved in a charity event of any description, take a picture and share it across all of your social networks – not only will you raise awareness of your cause, you could also gain some extra donations!
Social media is a fantastic customer relations tool, so make sure you listen in to what others are saying about you and protect your brand by replying to comments and reviews. Big fast-food players like Pizza Hut and Dominos do this exceptionally well. Whether the feedback is good or bad, you can soon turn a positive into a negative, simply by responding. There are a few inexpensive software tools which can help you do this, so that you don’t have to trawl through the web yourself.
If you are prepared to invest your time in social media, there are great gains to be had. If not, please remove the links from your websites! My advice, take note of the suggestions above and stick with it – the benefits will follow – and I dare say you might become a fan!
If you would like any advice on setting up social media pages or, would like us to manage your social media profiles, give us a call on 01202 677 277.