Social Media for Business
Setting up a Facebook page, LinkedIn page or Twitter account for your practice may be simple and free, but is it the right marketing avenue for you? The same question should be asked for any marketing strategy you use.
If you set up a business page on Facebook (not a personal page), identify what content you want on the page and how you’ll effectively use it to attract and retain patients. Will you post shareable content? Will you engage your fans on the page so it’s more interactive?
If you’ll have staff updating your page, consider developing guidelines as part of your office manual. This should provide clear direction on what’s acceptable – and what’s not.
How will you handle patients who want to be friends with you on your personal page? If you think that’s a good way to solidify a relationship, reconsider that position. Explain to your patients that being friends on Facebook blurs the dentist/patient relationship.
Because LinkedIn was created as a business social network, it makes sense that you and your practice would be on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn provides the opportunity to connect with others on a professional level. You’ll also find resources to help you promote your practice on LinkedIn. It’s also a good way to find other vendors or businesses.
Here are a few ideas on how to be more visible on LinkedIn:
- Recommend others
- Ask for recommendations
- Update your status
- Join groups (or start a group)
- Start a discussion
- Answer questions
Like all marketing, it’s important to make sure even your tweets are relevant to your audience. If you have a Twitter account for your practice, are you tweeting shareable content? Providing tips (or sharing tips from others), is a good way to expand your reach. It can also establish your expertise.
Whichever social media channels you choose, remember that privacy is especially critical. Social media is all about transparency, but not at the risk of patient confidentiality.