Ah…the wonders of social media- allowing you to speak directly to your current and potential patients! However, with the plethora of social media platforms available to promote your business, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle-the time management shuffle, that is. It can be so tedious to have to log in and out of various social networks to get your message across social media. Luckily, there are free tools to help you do this all from one place.

The key to success on social media for business is listening to your audience, analyzing that information, and developing insights to improve your social marketing strategy with this knowledge. The better you know your patients, the easier it will be to reach them.

But how exactly do you “listen” to what people are saying about your brand on social? HootSuite is a free tool that allows you to manage and monitor social media. You can post directly to (and schedule posts on) Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare, and Google+ with this convenient tool from one dashboard. Imagine that! Additionally, HootSuite facilitates delegating tasks, which is great if you have multiple people handling your social media accounts. There are even weekly analytics reports available, so you can see how your posts are performing.

If your practice’s social media presence has a focus on Twitter, TweetDeck is a great, easy-to-use option for you. This free tool helps you schedule tweets and monitor your incoming and outgoing messages, as well as any social interactions on Twitter (retweets, favorites, etc.). TweetDeck also makes it easy to track hashtags and manage multiple Twitter accounts from one spot.

Another important piece of the social media puzzle is analyzing your performance so that you’re not wasting valuable time. One way to know if you’re headed in the right direction is to determine where your traffic is coming from. Tracking your website traffic on Google Analytics is huge because it will help you decipher which social media channel is sending traffic your way the most and what type of content does best on each channel.

Under the Traffic Sources tab in Google Analytics you can see which platform is referring to your site under the Referring Sites option. The data from this “test” will help you realize if you need to change gears, and enable you to optimize to increase traffic.

Simplify your social media efforts by using these free management and monitoring tools. You can use the time you save to create even better content to share with your audience!

Ana Montoya is Social Media Director at First Vision Media Group.

email me at am@visioncareproducts.com


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