Sure, you have heard that social media is a crucial component of marketing your dental practice, but do you know how to even get started with it? With social media, it is easy to get caught up in trends, and it's just as easy to post without much thought after a long day at the office. For the best chance of success, however, a social media strategy should be systematically crafted and executed.
To begin with, you want to ensure that you and your team are aware of what goals you have in mind. How do you envision social media helping your office grow? Are you looking to reach more people to instill brand awareness? Are you looking to make real life connections and network with others? Are you looking to grow your following so much so that you become "known" on social media?
The importance of goals
Decide on one or two specific social media goals for your practice, taking into account that the best types of goals are specific, measurable, realistic, and timebound. If your goals are not specific or measurable, it will be easy to lose motivation and steer off course as time goes on. Having some way to measure your goals with timely deadlines and checkpoints lets you see if your current strategies are working, and also lets you celebrate wins or analyze why you are not tracking as you would like.
Also, take into account the reality of the goals you are setting. Expecting something from you and your team that is not realistic sets everyone up for a disheartening result, which typically ends in a lack of motivation to proceed with social media strategies in the future.
Once you have set your goals, decide which platforms you feel will best help you achieve these goals. Do you already have a high following and level of engagement on Facebook, but you are looking to expand your current reach by diving into Instagram? If this is the case, consider focusing your strategy on building up your presence on Instagram while also staying consistent with the audience you already have on Facebook.
If a goal of yours is to network, making personal connections and even live introductions, then maybe LinkedIn is where you want to start focusing your strategy. With so many social media platforms out there today, you would do best to first develop your goals and then home in on which platform(s) will give you the best chance of success at reaching those goals.
Defining your 'brand voice'
Next, you want to be sure that you and your team have a crystal-clear definition of your brand voice. How do you want your office and your brand portrayed across social media? You can best answer this by first writing down or talking aloud about how you would describe your office. What types of adjectives would you use? What types of emotional descriptors apply to your brand?
One important thing to keep in mind is that you must be sure that you are being honest with yourself. As much as you may want something to be true, be sure that you are describing your office in a way that is truthful. An inaccurate portrayal of your business on social media will lead to negative brand exposure in the long run.
Place a summarized version of your brand voice in your social media profiles, and be sure that your content consistently reflects your voice.
So you have decided on your goals, where you want to focus your efforts, and how you want to portray your brand. Now you need to consider what type of content you want to create.
Will you mainly use stock photos, personal photos, videos, text content, livestreaming, or a mixture of these content types? What will best help you achieve your goals? What types of content are currently trending and engaging to the general audience? These questions will involve a little bit of research on your part based on the platform(s) on which you wish to focus.
Once you have decided what type of content is best to post, be sure to stay consistent. This does not mean that every post needs to be a specific style, but consistency will be key to ultimately reaching your goals.
My best recommendation is to set quarterly goals, give your best effort to achieving them, and then come back to the drawing board at the end of the quarter. Review your metrics and see what worked well and what didn't, and then start the next quarter with new revised goals.
Always remember that social media success comes in small wins over time and rarely happens overnight. Stay consistent and watch your brand exposure rise.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.