In today’s social media explosion, the number-one question posed by ECPs is, “How do I get people to like me?” There many books, websites, seminars, and software applications promising to help expand your social media network. Contests and giveaways are also great strategies, but after the contest is over, few, if any of your new followers will convert to patients. Undoubtedly, many of these tactics will indeed increase your number of likes and follows, but then what?

It’s easy to get caught up in the number of likes and followers. It stands to reason that the more you have equates to more sales, right? That’s not always true if those numbers are full of “unqualified” visitors. A qualified visitor represents a consumer or patient who is likely (and geographically able) to purchase from your practice. An unqualified visitor is only window shopping. Your goal should be to get as many qualified people as possible to like you.

Unfortunately, there’s no “get rich quick” scheme that’s going to magically grow your network overnight. You’re looking at a slow process, and one that takes dedication. You first have to make the decision that social media is important to your business, and then dedicate resources appropriately.

Almost all business social networks begin with people you know such as employees, friends, and relatives. Start by inviting those people to like or follow you, but don’t be too pushy about it. Once that seed of a flourishing network is established, focus on your content.

The majority of your network growth should come from honest, personal, and interesting posts. When you post, whether it’s original or shared, ask yourself if it adds value to a person’s browsing experience. Is your content educational, does it inspire, motivate, or otherwise elicit an emotional response? Is your post share-worthy? If you can honestly look at your post and think to yourself, “Yeah, I would share this,” then you’re headed in the right direction. Quality posts will help build your network and over time, will lead to boosting your business.

Samantha Toth is the resident Marketing Rockstar for Innereactive Media, a full-service marketing company specializing in the optical industry, in Grand Rapids, MI.


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