Many businesses still question the importance of having a social media presence. Today’s world is driven by technology, with overwhelmingly more than 81% of consumers searching online before making a purchase, according to Adweek.com.
Of the three billion Internet users, nearly two billion of them have active Facebook accounts, according to Statista.com. In addition to these overwhelming usage statistics, the following reasons further explain why businesses can’t afford not to have a social media presence.
SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY
Providing content that is educational and interesting is a great way to add value and credibility to your social media pages. Posts that provide followers with more information about your practice that they can share increases your chances of improving engagement across channels. Show your practice’s personality by allocating 70% of posts to valuable and brand-building content. For 20% of your posts you can share other’s posts, while only 10% should be promotional in nature. This allocation of post types will help your patients get to know your practice before they call or visit, without too salesy of an approach.
GAIN INSIGHT INTO FOLLOWERS
Your business social media pages provide you with access to the helpful personal information of anyone who follows you with an account. This information includes interests, location, demographics and gender. This data can be helpful when determining your business’s target audience and how best to reach them. Through “social listening,” you can follow how fans are interacting with your brand, all in real time.
All social media sites allow for the inclusion of a business profile in order to include relevant, searchable information such as names, locations, industries and topics of interest. When you incorporate related keywords into your “about” sections, you are helping your search engine optimization (SEO), and you have the potential to rank higher when a user searches for those similar keywords. For best results, fill out all of the sections completely.
Prospective patients will research your business’s reviews and ratings, so it’s important to make gathering patient feedback online a priority. Building a portfolio of strong online reviews takes time, which is why focusing on great patient experiences is key. Respond to all patient feedback, whether good or bad, in a timely and professional manner. This will help establish credibility with your current following and help attract new fans.
WHERE TO BEGIN
If your practice doesn’t yet have a social media presence, begin by creating business accounts with Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Next, determine who your target audience is, what they are interested in, and find a way to tie those interests to your practice’s brand. Developing a formal social media marketing plan can help build up brand awareness, introduce new product or promotions and encourage fan interaction.
Samantha Toth is the resident marketing rockstar for Innereactive Media, a full-service marketing company specializing in the optical industry, in Grand Rapids, MI.