Is your dental office using social media for marketing yet? About 70% of all Americans use social media, including millennials, Generation X, and baby boomers (in other words, all of your patients!). If you're not using social media to market your dental practice, you're missing out.
But even those dentists who do employ social media marketing may be falling victim to some common mistakes. Here are five things to watch out for when using social media for business.
Social media marketing mistake No. 1: Using your personal social media accounts for business.
When I first started using social media, I made this mistake myself. It got a little awkward when my business contacts started seeing my relatives’ baby photos and political posts. Besides avoiding embarrassment, setting up separate social media profiles for your business has many advantages.
- Business social media profiles have additional tools available to help market your business that a personal account doesn't offer. For example, when you have a business account, you can create paid ads on social media, which can really boost your presence.
- You also have the ability to give more than one user access to your practice’s profile so others on your team can handle it. That takes the pressure off of you.
- Finally, by creating one place where your businesses social presence resides, you can make sure that it promotes your brand. You can — and should — still share your personality on your business social media account. (Here are some other ways to give your practice the personal touch.)
Social media marketing mistake No. 2: Posting inconsistently.
Have you ever run across a business Facebook page only to find that no one has posted on it since 2015? A social media presence that starts off strong and trickles off, or an inconsistent schedule for posting, makes it look like your practice is not paying attention to its image.
It's better to post only a couple times a week and do it regularly than to have a flurry of posts and then go "radio silent" for a month. Make social media management part of job duties for a staff member (it's best to give one person ownership of the job). It shouldn't be something people feel they have to handle in their spare time or after hours. It's an important part of marketing.
Social media posting doesn't have to be time-consuming. For example, if you use Lighthouse 360, your staff can take advantage of its Facebook integration to post to Facebook from right within the Lighthouse patient communication portal.
Social media marketing mistake No. 3: Being boring.
Variety is the spice of life — and of social media, too. To get the most attention for your social media posts, be sure to mix it up. Share photos of your staff at work, humorous memes or other images. Pictures have been proven to get more likes and shares than plain text posts.
According to Social Media Examiner, the majority of businesses that use social media marketing say images are the most important type of content they share. With Lighthouse 360, you can create photo galleries on your practice website and then share them directly to Facebook. You can also post videos on social media, such as demonstrating the proper way to floss, or how to brush your teeth with braces on.
Social media can also be a place to display the personalities of the people in your practice. Create holiday-themed posts, have your staff post silly pictures, or share inspirational quotes. Use social media to convey the family feeling that you have in your office. Remember, it's all about building relationships. (Try these tips to create good relationships with your patients.)
Social media marketing mistake No. 4: Only talking about yourself.
Are all of your social media posts about your practice? Being too promotional is a major turnoff on social media. Create a good balance between posts that promote specials or offers going on in your dental practice, and posts that share useful or entertaining information.
Better yet, get your patients involved by encouraging them to share their own photos on your social media pages, or to chime in with comments. Has a patient posted something on your social media account? Don't just let it sit there with crickets chirping: Respond! The goal of social media is to create a two-way conversation with your patients. Learn more about how to show your patients appreciation.
Social media marketing mistake No. 5: Not getting help.
Technology tools like Lighthouse patient communication software help make your practice’s social media presence more consistent and professional. Learn more about how Lighthouse 360 can make social media marketing easier.