6 Social Media No-No’s Your Dental Practice Cannot Afford to Commit
I would be lying if I said I knew everything there is to know about social media. I consider myself a master-in-the-making in this craft, but then again, social media is an ever-evolving strategy. There’s always something to research, practice and put into effect to yield consistently positive results, so in essence we’re all still learning.
If there’s one thing I do know about social media is that even the most innocent mistake can sabotage your efforts and draw your audience away. Dentists, in particular, are in an industry where social media can really push their business initiative forward and attract clients, which increases their revenue. I’ve come across some developing dental practices with a pretty solid social media presence. I’ve also come across more seasoned practices who have zero knack for engaging on their many social media platforms. These social media mistakes are costing them the opportunities to increase their online exposure and authority.
Today, we’re going to cover 6 social media mistakes successful dentists should avoid at all costs.
Over-promoting your practice.
Promoting your practice great. Necessary, even. After all, that’s what social media’s for, right?
If your dental practice is using social media to post special offers and promote its services, then you’re on the right track! However, some practices have a difficult time drawing a line between healthy promotion and invasively over-selling themselves.
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as posting too much promotional content. It can slow the momentum of your social media engagement – plus, from an audience standpoint, it can get pretty annoying.
Even social media sites like Facebook are taking the initiative to eliminate overly promotional content from news feeds. So, how can you avoid getting your posts flagged and rendering your efforts useless? Incorporate engaging content with your promotional posts such as blogs that address FAQ’s or the latest-and-greatest in the dental industry.
Engaging in a negative/arrogant manner (or not engaging at all).
Online engagement is one of the key elements of keeping your social media profiles active and fresh. As a consumer, I would hate to spend my time seeking out a dental practice on Facebook, posting a question on their page and never hearing back from them. Interaction is crucial when it comes to building a loyal audience and showing people that you are dependable and available to address their concerns.
Since you’re limited to interaction via a computer screen, it’s also important to be mindful of how you communicate. Use a friendly tone that encourages your audience to think of you as their go-to source for dental inquiries. The more welcoming you are, the more likely people will remember you and seek your services.
Letting anyone access your social media account credentials.
Be mindful of who you let access your social media accounts. One misconstrued post can cost your practice a number of potential clients. Online content circulates quicker than you think, so sometimes it’ll be too late to retract incorrect/offensive content before it reaches your audience’s attention.
The American Dental Association has its own detailed posting protocol for their posts. Make sure you establish an individual, or individuals, who are authorized to post on your practice’s behalf. Whether it’s someone in your staff or a professional internet marketing company posting for you, this will help establish control across your social media platforms.
An infrequent posting schedule.
We understand – work gets busy sometimes. However, to build a significant following and further your online exposure via social media, you’ll need to practice consistency. Posting one awesome blog post on a Monday morning and not posting until Wednesday evening 3 weeks later will not build the exposure you want–or need–to steadily increase your authority.
Here’s a little secret about social media: it never sleeps. Therefore, as users, we must adapt.
If you’re having trouble keeping a consistent posting pattern, don’t fear: there are ways to help keep yourself organized. Hootsuite, for example, is a social media organization tool that allows you to keep track of your posts across several social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Best of all, you can schedule future posts by simply choosing a desired posting date/time, so you can run your practice and your social media simultaneously (and efficiently).
When is the best time to post on social media?
I hate to sound cliche, but timing really is everything. In the case of social media, it’s important to know what hours of the day are prime-time for posting content for your dental practice. Fast Company created a useful infographic detailing the best, worst and peak times for social media posts, broken down by website:
Posting content with zero images/videos.
Text can only get you so far in the world of social media. If you’re not incorporating images or video with your posts, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your engagement. Tweets containing images, for example, have a retweet percentage of 150%. Articles containing graphics such as images or video also help reel in your target audience more efficiently, as they receive 94% more views.
Aside from the many statistics I can throw at you to prove that images and video are necessary, there’s one very important fact to consider: a lot of consumers are visual. We’re more likely to be reeled into reading more about your services if we’re exposed to interactive graphics.
Videos, for example, are a tool that every dental practice should incorporate into their social media and overall marketing efforts. Video helps address client concerns and and answer questions in a way that will keep readers entertained. Our team at Clicc Media Inc uses video marketing as a fun tool to engage with our audience. So, instead of creating a blog post to explain the impact video has on your marketing efforts, we created a rap video instead. We’ve seen firsthand how video marketing has transformed our dental clients’ online marketing campaigns.
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Boosting your online popularity via fake “likes” and followers.
While the idea of bulking up your social media follower count sounds like an appealing option, you should stay away from this “strategy” at all costs. Gaining a social media following the organic way will have a much higher payoff for your practice. This is because, unlike the Facebook/Twitter followers and likes you purchase, real users will actually engage with you. Not only are they more likely to engage with you, but they’ll also help boost your business by seeking your services–something that, again, fake followers will not do.
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Now That You Know What NOT To Do, Get to Posting!
As I initially mentioned, social media is an ever-evolving universe. I’m pretty sure that, as you read through this, Twitter has launched 10 new viral hashtag that has millions of users buzzing with conversation. As long as your dental practice stays away from making the above mentioned social media mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to building a brand that your audience will appreciate you for.
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