Let’s be honest: it’s easy to get caught up on social media. We've all done it at some time. All you want to do is post an update…but then you notice you have messages! Ooh, a notification! Oh look, someone shared something interesting!
Suddenly, an hour has passed and you’re wondering where the time went.
If you don’t want to get caught up in the time-wasting tendencies of social media but do want to get the best ROI for your investment and grow your practice by using social media, we’ve got a few best practices for you.
In order to make social media an effective tool for you and your practice, you have to know not only how to spend your time, but where to spend it. Facebook and Twitter are usually the best social media platforms for ophthalmologists to connect with patients and other industry influencers alike.
Prioritizing doesn’t just mean choosing where to spend your time – you have to know what you’re going to say on each platform. Posting content that isn’t consistent with your practice values and message can significantly detract from your brand. Remember, your social media profiles are just as much a part of your brand as your website is – so maintain a consistent message and prioritize your message for each audience you’re trying to reach.
2. Plan Ahead and Schedule
No business has ever become successful flying by the seat of their pants. If you want to grow, you‘ll need to have a plan in place to achieve the growth you want to see. That doesn’t mean things will always go according to plan, but without a growth plan, you won’t be able to measure the results your strategies are achieving. Just as you would set marketing goals for your practice, you should set goals for social media engagement as well.
As important as planning is planning ahead. As it pertains to social media, taking advantage of post scheduling tools like Buffer can be an incredibly helpful way to manage your time and get the biggest bang for your buck.
3. Actively Engage
Obtaining a positive ROI from social media doesn’t happen by being like the Wizard of Oz, hiding behind the curtain. To get the best results, you need to engage with your audiences on each platform.
Don’t just wait for messages or comments – don’t be afraid to get active in conversations that pertain to your practice by answering questions from potential patients, responding to users’ comments (both praise and criticism), and posting relevant content that will help patients discover your practice and earn you those valuable “follows.”
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4. Consistently Engage
There’s nothing worse than coming across a business’s social media page and realizing that it hasn’t been utilized in 3 years. In fact, this is the #1 reason why social media proves to be a hindrance for businesses instead of a boon.
Humans are creatures of habit, and to some degree, we like consistency and regularity. Don’t overdo it, but don’t be afraid to engage with users and post frequently and consistently.
Consistency isn’t just about posting regularly – it’s also about posting the right types of content (this goes back to best practice #1 above). Don’t post content that’s off-brand or seemingly random – if you don’t have anything to say that really adds value to your fans’ timelines, don’t say anything at all.
In order for social media to be an effective tool, you’ve got to know how users are responding to what you post. Utilizing the analytics tools social media platforms provide is a good way to understand your audience better, including what they like, what content hasn’t performed well, and ways to improve and tailor your message to your audience.
If you advertise on social media, you have even more powerful tools at your fingertips, because the social media giants want to prove that ROI to you. Find out which ads are ignored and which ones are on ﬁre. Know which days of the week (and what time of the day) is most popular for your content. Do a deep dive on what content interests your audience most. Then, take all of this information and transform your content into exactly what will generate traffic, interest and activity.