Greetings, and welcome back to our series on “How to Market Your Practice.”
In case you didn’t see or read the previous articles here are the links to get up to speed fast.
- Part 1 “How to Market your Practice to Attract a Steady Stream of New Patients.”
- Part 2 “Three Questions to Ask Before You Start Marketing Your Practice.”
- Part 3 “Three Proven Strategies to Market Your Practice Online.”
But now, let’s talk about how to tap into social media marketing to grow your practice.
So what is social media marketing?
It’s a way to market your practice by sharing content across social media platforms. It may entail posting text (snippets or articles), images, videos, infographics, and sharing links of content that may be of interest to your followers.
And of course, social media marketing includes placing paid advertising, such as Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter ads.
I don’t need to tell you social media is huge. There are a host of platforms to choose from, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, and more.
Some users prefer to stick to one platform, but many participate across multiple platforms.
What does that mean for you; what are the implications for marketing your practice?
Should you limit your marketing to one social media platform? Or would it be more effective to market on most, if not all of them?
Well, it depends…
It depends on your market. More specifically, it depends on who are the people that make up your market.
Who are you trying to reach? Who are the patients you want to reach with your marketing message? Which social media platforms do they frequent?
Until you know this information, social media marketing may not be of much use. It would be like going for the bullseye with a blindfold across your eyes.
According to a March 2018 report by the Pew Research Center the “majority of Americans use Facebook and YouTube, but young adults are especially heavy users of Snapchat and Instagram.”
Here are a few points from the report:
- While Facebook is used by most Americans across a range of demographics, other platforms are used by subsets of the population.
- Pinterest is more popular with women than men.
- LinkedIn is more popular with college graduates and high-income households.
- WhatsApp is popular with Latinos in the US.
Go here for a breakdown of social media use by demographics.
To effectively market your practice via social media, it’s crucial you know who you want to reach with your marketing. Be sure to use the platform or platforms frequented your audience.
While it may be tempting to participate on a number of platforms, I suggest you choose wisely. Social media marketing, like any marketing, takes up resources. It takes up your time, money, and effort to implement a social media marketing strategy.
That’s why it’s important you focus your efforts to one or two platforms instead of trying to be everywhere; you don’t want to be spread too thin exhausting your resources.
Once you’re clear on your audience and where to find them, it’s time to think about your objectives, your goals.
What is it you’re trying to accomplish with your social media marketing?
- Introduce your practice to potential new patients?
- Stay in touch with your current patients?
- Raise awareness and educate patients?
- Build engagement with your followers?
- Move social media visitors to your website?
- Convert social media visitors to subscribers of your practice newsletter?
Regardless if you have one or more goals for your social media marketing, you’ll want to structure your marketing efforts accordingly. But to do this effectively, you need a plan.
Creating a social media content plan makes it easier to stay on top of your marketing. Decide what content you will share on which social media platforms and how often. And even if you can’t or don’t want to post every day, you want to post with consistency.
Make sure you share information that’s valuable and of interest to your readers; share content that likely attracts more followers, your ideal patients.
- If you publish articles on your website, share a link on social media.
- If you find a valuable piece of news, share that too.
- If there’s a newsworthy event in your office, put it on social media.
- Look for valuable resources you can share with your readers.
And don’t limit yourself to your own content. If you find valuable articles, videos, infographics even if published by someone else, share it with your readers.
Even though social media is a long-term approach to marketing, things happen and change fast on the platforms.
It’s essential you monitor what happens on your social media page. Respond when someone reaches out or asks a question. Be willing to engage and deliver the best social media experience.
Keep in mind, you don’t control what someone contributes, how someone responds, or what feedback they may leave. Make sure you monitor what goes on your page and respond appropriately.
Interaction via social media tends to be more informal. While on your website you’ll “write” more to your audience, on social media, it’s more like a conversation you’re having with them.
Social media tends to be more fluid, is faster, people are more engaged, and the entire interaction calls for a different, more informal tone.
Keep your readers engaged by being interesting and mixing up what you share.
Social Media Tools
There are plenty of tools available that can help you with things like scheduling content, sharing on the fly, posting on your behalf and more. Many of them will help you with analytics so you know what’s working and what’s not.
Here are a few you may find helpful:
Like all other marketing, social media marketing is driven by goals and objectives. You must know what you want to accomplish before formulating a sustainable and effective strategy.
Unfortunately, too many small business owners don’t take the time to think it through, only to proclaim that social media marketing or marketing, in general, doesn’t work.
But once you’re clear on your goals, you’re ready to implement the strategies and steps to put your marketing into action.
Let us know how you use social media to market your practice. It’s simple, just leave your comment below the article.