DEVISE A STRATEGIC SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR

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For most people, it takes more than just a few minutes to plan and post a social media message, especially one that can boost your practice to the top of the local ranks. Take time to evaluate your current posting habits and engagement. The following tips will get you past the challenge of writing a new post every day as well as planning for the future.

CREATE RESONATING CONTENT
Before creating new content for your social media pages, do some research to understand your target audience and what resonates with them. Writing posts that do not engage or relate to your patients is like sending an appointment reminder to someone who is not your patient. Find out what they’re interested in and what motivates them.

ANALYZE YOUR CONTENT
Next, look at your current posts as well as those on the pages of other leading practices. Evaluate what types of posts the users are engaging with. Is the content about celebrities sighted wearing eyewear you carry or about staff and practice updates? Use this research to create a basic plan for your social media content, and stick to the 70/20/10 rule. Approximately 70% of what you post should add personality and value to your brand and help patients get to know you and your team better, and 20% of your content can be shared from other sources such as partner brands, industry leaders or community organizations. This content could be patient education, industry news or brand spotlights. Finally, only about 10% of the content you create should be promotional in nature.

PRACTICE POSTS
When you start writing content, start with practice-focused posts. They are usually easier to write and immediately begin to add personality to your presence. Pick one day of the week to consistently share a staff or practice update. This may include a staff spotlight to introduce a member of your team and incorporate their favorite frame offered in your optical. Sharing staff stories and exciting practice milestones are important for crafting a personality your patients can relate to both in person and online.

BRAND AND INDUSTRY CONTENT
Use content provided by the frame or contact lens vendors about brands you carry for supplemental content. Many companies have resources available for use to help you promote their brands. If no social media resources are available, visit company pages on Facebook or Twitter and share or repost their content on your page. Remember, a post on a frame vendor’s page may not resonate with your target audience in the same way as theirs. Think through each post to determine whether the content presented will connect with your patients.
You also have the opportunity to educate your patients on common eye health topics. Use eye health information featured on your own website to share with your patients, which will also help drive even more visitors. Think about the most frequently asked patient questions and then create posts based on those answers.

CREATE A CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE AHEAD
Get started by selecting a day for each content type. For example, Monday you’ll schedule a post about your in-office promotions, on Tuesday post fashion or brand-focused content, on Wednesday post a patient education article and so on. Giving yourself a schedule of topics will provide an easy template to stick to.

Once you have a weekly post schedule in place, start writing! If you get stuck, ask around the office; there may be a member of your team willing to help content. Once you have a month of content created, schedule it. Free online post scheduling programs such as Hootsuite.com and Buffer.com are great resources to keep your posting consistent.

If you don’t have time, or need help creating content for your social media pages, companies such Innexus can help. They even allow you to customize which topics you want posts about and choose the month you want them posted. Learn more at GetInnexus.com.

Samantha Toth is the resident marketing rockstar 
 for Innexus by Innereactive, specializing in websites, social media 
and marketing for the eyecare industry. Learn more at GetInnexus.com.

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