At Advice Media, we encourage practitioners to use social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ as part of their larger Internet marketing strategy.
However, from speaking with clients, we’ve found that many share the same misconceptions about promoting their practice through social networking. So, to clear the air, here are responses to some of your most pressing social networking concerns.
1) The success of my social networking campaign is determined by the number of “likes,” “followers” and/or connections I have.
This is not completely true. While the number of “likes,” “followers” and connections you have is relevant, it doesn’t determine the success of your campaign. More important is the number of fans that engage with your practice.
Ask yourself these questions:
• Do my Facebook fans share and comment on my posts?
• Do those in my Google+ circles “+1” or share my posts?
If you answered “yes” to all three, then you’re on way to social networking success. If not, here are a few tips for fan engagement:
• Ask relevant questions. For example, if you’re a plastic surgeon, you may want to ask your fans what their plastic surgery concerns are.
• Answer posts. If a fan comments with a question or concern, mention them by name and respond. This is a great way to build relationships!
• Share pictures and videos. When fans can see your face and hear your voice, it becomes a more personal and intimate experience that allows them to relate to you beyond your work.
2) I should use my social networking profiles solely to promote my services.
We often see social networking profiles with little to no engagement due to an abundance of self-promotional posts. Of course, we realize one of the reasons for spending time and resources on social networking is to generate patients, but another reason is to communicate with potential and existing patients.
A way to achieve both is by incorporating a blog to your website. You can use the blog to write about different procedures, services and industry news. Then, share your blog posts on all social networking profiles to start a conversation!
This allows you to share useful and interesting information that will engage all fans, while discussing your field of work without sounding too self-promotional or “pitchy.”
3) Only young people use social networking.
Many of our clients believe that only the younger demographic is active on social networking sites and therefore, social networking is not conducive to reaching their target audience. This may have been true years ago, but it certainly isn’t today.
Studies show that:
• 50% of Facebook users are between the ages of 25 and 44
• 35% of Facebook users are over the age of 45
• Social networking among Internet users over the age of 50 has nearly doubled — from 22% to 42% over the past year
• Half of Internet users between the ages of 50-64, and one in four users over the age of 65, now use social networking sites
Join the Social Networking Community! Let Advice Media Help Get You Started
Your potential patients are reaching out through social networking. Reach back! To learn more about our social networking packages or any of the other services we offer, visit our website or contact an Advice Media Representative today. It’s time to go social!
Source: Pew Internet Report, 2011