The Rules of Social Media

24 July 2015 | | Blog

Whether you’re just getting started with social media, or you’ve been doing it a while, the way you conduct yourself through your social media accounts is a direct reflection on your practice. Social networking through sites like Facebook and Twitter is changing the way customers and businesses interact. To nail social media its usually a bit of experimenting and a lot of trial and error.

Social media seems easy especially because the barrier to entry is low. You can be up and running on any social media platform in minutes, and usually for free. In reality, social media is hard for exactly the same reason. When the barrier to entry is low, the barrier to attention is high.

As patients come across your social sites and comments, they are going to expect the practice to be social as well. The key to succeeding with social media is to consistently contribute meaningfully and engaging content. Here are several unwritten rules of social media:

DO:

  • There are hundreds of social media platforms so take the time to see which ones are best for your practice
  • Fill out your online profiles completely with information about you and your business
  • Know the best times to post throughout the day
  • Update your page or delete it – share several times a day but space them out every few hours
  • Use analytics – there are hundreds of tools to analyse your social media’s success and failures
  • Build up a relationship and engage with them, don’t just talk at them
  • Solve problems for people who talk about you, even if they don’t address you
  • Always respond to all comments as quickly as you can
  • People are becoming more attracted to imagery/videos, “A picture is worth a thousand words”
  • Know the art of the hashtag – 1 hashtag is fine but 10 hashtags are not
  • Always keep the 80/20 rule! Entertain and inform your patients first, sell to them second
  • Think past vanity metrics like followers
  • Its all about quality, not quantity
  • Use first person plural when talking about your company brand (We, Us)
  • Embrace negative content about your brand and respond to it in the correct way
  • Social is 24/7, not a one-time stunt

DONT:

  • Try to be clever, be clever
  • Like your own post
  • Just pump out content, optimise content
  • Post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission
  • Tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to your post
  • Use Ads to prop up boring content, use Ads to accelerate successful content
  • Let social media exist on its own, make traditional media and social work together
  • Talk down to your followers
  • Ask for likes, comments, or shares
  • Use contests and sweepstakes unless you just want to encourage short relationships
  • Just sell to patients, people don’t want to shop where they socialise
  • Get bored by social media, if you do its because you’re trying to get more value than you create

It’s one thing to tweet and post on Facebook a few times a week and write a blog post once a month but it’s quite another to be active on a handful of social media channels on a daily basis.

Before you dip your toes into social media, just make sure you have enough original, quality content ready and waiting so that you are able to offer news, information and opinion for an indefinite period of time, otherwise patients will simply disengage. Quality content engages audiences, is shared across multiple platforms, and gains more interest in your practice.

If you would like any further information then give the Dental Design team a call on: 01202677277.

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