Social media has turned traditional methods of marketing upside down. It’s changed how our entire world works, moving it online and giving immediate access to huge networks of followers and potential clients
Social media provides a great opportunity for marketing your business and medical practice. It presents a huge potential for brand building.
More businesses, seeing the fabulous chance to gain more leads (patients), service and brand recognition, are incorporating social media into their marketing budget and dedicating a line in their budgets for tools and community managers.
5 Steps to Building your brand on Social Media
Step 1: Establish your Goals
Rather than posting haphazardly on social media sites, decide which goals you would like to accomplish first and set a plan in place.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What is your tone of voice- friendly, authoritative, informal?
- What is your mission?
- What are your core values?
- What is your unique selling proposition, ie. what do you do that makes you different than your competition?
- What will be your plan of action (e.g. viewers should call for appointment, email for bonus, sign up for newsletter)
Step 2: Pinpoint Your Platform
While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are popular social platforms, there are new ones appearing daily. The key is to decide which ones are being used by your audience so you can establish your brand and increase your visibility on that channel.
There is no sense (and a great deal of time wasting) to be on sites where your target market won’t reside or see you.
See which site allows sharing of images and videos. Remember, if you don’t have much time, concentrate on only one and when you do this justice, you can focus on others as well. Every site will take that much more time.
Step 3: Designate your Social Media Manager
It is nearly impossible to carry on your work schedule and stay active in social media at the same time. To do justice to your online marketing, appoint a manager for your social media community- one who is well-acquainted with your practice and business.
Your social media manager is one with your brand and represents the voice of your business. This is critical. The manager has great communication skills and is expressive.
Since relationships are key to success in social media, one of the worst things you can do is ignore any questions or people reaching out to you. This is what the manager will do by keeping abreast of all mentions of you and to you with the appropriate responses. This person answers questions, provides solutions to problems and shows empathy to your audience.
Step 4: Formulate a Damage-Control Plan
Rather than simply deleting negative comments, read them carefully. Being able to analyze the feedback, good or bad is the cheapest way to know how to improve yourself. If there is truly a problem that can’t b solved online, have the complainer make an appointment and come to the office so that you can resolve the issue (without a crowd).
Negative feedback is an opportunity for reputation control. Responding to negative feedback online allows you to convert negativity to positivity and a source of referrals in the future. It improves your brand reputation by showing you acknowledge mistakes and validate those whose opinions differ from yours.
Keep on the lookout for comments. (sign up with your keywords at Google alerts and you will be notified when they pop up). It is crucial that client (patient) problems don’t get ignored. It reflects on you as uncaring or unprofessional. Since one of your best marketing tools is word-of-mouth referrals, you need each and every one who responds to you, to do so positively. Your social media manager should be proactive and reach out to participants.
Reaching out to others turns prospective patients or viewers into brand advocates which extends your area of visibility and boosts your brand’s reputation.
Step 5: Cultivate Relationships (2 parts)
A. Social media is to be…well, social. Respond to comments in forums and chat rooms when they are on topics that reflect your brand and services that you offer. Provide solutions to problems that people are seeking when they are in sync with your practice. Share ideas and join conversations. You need to participate and get involved to really strengthen your brand.
How to find people for relationship building:
- Look at conversations in chatrooms pertinent to your brand
- Follow bloggers and journalists
- Retweet or share their information
- Answer any questions that are in sync with your brand
- share ideas
B. Reach out to influencers. These are people with power, visibility and persuasion; they shape opinions about brands, thoughts and comments as well as initiating or leading conversations.
How to recognize major influencers
- Influencers are very active on the social media sites
- Their messages are shared, retweeted, reposted
- Their messages are quoted
- They have many followers
- You see them often, everywhere
Still unsure as to how to proceed? No worries. Contact us for a free consultation at 561-325-9664.