The holidays and social media go together like mistletoe and holly, like Donner and Blitzen, like eggnog and nutmeg. Since social media allows your medical practice to let your patients see a different, more casual, side of life in your office, it’s a great opportunity for creative, fun holiday content.
And as we come into the holidays in this oddest of years fun social media content could be even more important. After all, patients aren’t able to go to their normal slate of holiday parties and get togethers. They’re tired of the stress that 2020 has delivered to each of us. They’re stuck in their homes and apartments more than ever. And they’re in the mood for something fun.
So, let’s get into the spirit on your social media pages. In this first blog of November let’s get into some ideas for social media content that will bring a smile to the faces of your patients and make them just that much more loyal as we head into a new, and hopefully better, year!
Consistent posting is key
We’ve harped on this in previous blogs, but if you have a Facebook for Business page for your practice, a practice Instagram account, and a practice Twitter account, they are only as good as the content you post. To make social media effective, it needs to be engaging and consistent. You can’t make three posts in a week and then neglect your pages for two months.
If there’s one common thread about true devotees of social media, it’s their continual search for new content. The only reason a patient or potential patient likes your practice’s Facebook page or follows you on Twitter or Instagram is to see what your practice is like outside of the formal provider/patient relationship. On social media, your followers want to see who got the new dog. They want to see which staff member’s kid is taking a gap year in Italy rather than online college at home. They want to see that new piece of equipment you just purchased for those treatments they’re considering.
They’ll eat it up, engaging and sharing with friends, if you give them content that merits their interest. The holidays make a perfect time for fun content.
Here are some ideas for posts, although you probably have plenty of your own.
Encourage Recipe Sharing
This year, cooking and eating at home has taken on added importance with many patients staying away from restaurants due to the virus. Plus, the holidays are all about food and family anyway.
Why not encourage your followers to post their favorite stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving? Next could be their favorite Christmas cookie recipe. As we get closer to Christmas, it could be a prime rib or turkey recipe. Encourage patients to comment on recipe ideas, maybe adding their own twists. Tell them to share them with friends. If they made one of the recipes, ask them to post photos of the final, dazzling result.
Host a Poll
Everyone likes polls that aren’t serious. Now that the election is finally over, people want lighter fare. For Thanksgiving, why not post a poll about pumpkin pie versus apple or pecan pie for Thanksgiving dessert? How about a poll of favorite Christmas carols? Which holiday television special is the best?
The possibilities are endless. You could post a different poll every week all the way to the New Year and really keep your patients engaged.
Tell Them You Want to See their Photos
As we’re all inside more in the winter (and this enduring virus makes this even more the case), we’re taking photos of cats in holiday sweaters, of kids decorating cookies, of our house decorations, and whatever else is out there.
You could host a holiday photo contest or simply encourage your followers to post their favorites. Have them tag the photos with your practice and maybe a custom seasonal hashtag. If you do make a contest, say Best Holiday Pet Costume, be sure to include the duration and the rules. And, of course, the prize to the winner.
Promote Seasonal Procedures or Treatments
You don’t need to go overboard with the sell, but this is a great time to subtly promote treatments and procedures you offer that either align with the holidays — Botox before a holiday party, for instance — or are best done during the wintertime — such as starting a laser hair removal series.
You could offer discounts if the patient comments on your social media pages and mentions this when booking their appointment.
And what better gift idea than a gift card to your practice? You may not think in these terms if you’re a dentist or a dermatologist, but most people would love a free in-office teeth whitening treatment or dermatologist-only skin care product rather than the usual dopey gifts they receive.
Show Your Festive Side
As mentioned above, your followers on social media want to see a more casual side of your practice. What better way to do so than a short video showing your hygienist making a snowman with her kids after the first snowfall or your staff decorating your offices?
By showing your team is into the season, it makes your followers feel more connected to your practice. That makes them more loyal and more likely to tell friends about you. Plus, it’s a good thing for patients to see a casual, approachable, completely different side to your providers, staff, and office than when they were in for cosmetic surgery, a skin cancer check, or a dental implant placement.
‘Tis the season to be active on your social media fronts. There aren’t any rules other than being creative and posting often. For many of our practices, we provide ongoing social media content, but there’s nothing precluding your staff from adding some of the above items in addition to what we post for you. And if we don’t provide content for your social media sites, we’re more than happy to share some ideas of posts you can make. Simply call your Advice Media representative, or, if you’re not yet a client, fill out a contact form and let’s talk.