There are three primary methods for having a successful dental practice on social media: telling your patients how to find you online, posting frequently and posting content that people want to see. All three tasks can be managed by taking advantage of a simple tech tool that you probably already have – an internet connected mobile device that is used specifically to help you manage your social media. Instead of relying on a staff member’s personal phone or using an office computer, taking your online presence to the next level can be as easy as using a dedicated iPod touch, iPad, or android tablet as the primary way your dental practice posts to social media. Here’s how it works.
Choose the device.
Many Smile Savvy customers are already successfully using an internet connected device to help manage their social media. The most popular choice is an iPad, but any device that can connect to your office wifi and download social media apps will work. Purchase a device that you will only use for social media and will only contain access to the business accounts for your practice. Having a single, dedicated social media device will make posting faster, easier and encourage your staff to post more frequently. It becomes the “office iPad” or “office iPod”. One note: If you want to use Instagram, you may want to choose an iPod touch as your social media device because Instagram isn’t currently available for tablets. The iPod looks and works just like an iPhone without the ability to make phone calls.
Add your social media accounts.
Download the appropriate social media apps and add your business accounts. You’ll want a generic, “dummy” account for Facebook so that staff doesn’t need to log in through your own personal account to access the business Page. The “Pages” app available for iOS and Android is a great choice for managing Facebook business Pages.
Decide who will use it.
Ideally, you will have one person in your practice that is responsible for your online presence. Having an in-house social media manager means that you have assigned someone these tasks as part of their daily or weekly responsibilities and that it’s more likely to be taken care of than if you try to manage it yourself. You’ll want to pick someone who is mature enough to know what should and should not go online but you also want to find someone who is fun and social themselves. You can read more about choosing the right person for the job on our blog post on choosing in in-house social media manager.
In addition to your primary social media manager, it’s a good idea to have several people who have the freedom to take pictures of patients and staff with the device. Obviously you want people that you can trust, but don’t let fear hold you back from posting more frequently.
Be sure and get permission to post patient pictures on your social media accounts. This doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple waiver will suffice.
While your ultimate goals for social media are for marketing and patient education, you also want to engage the patients you already have. Social media allows you to reach your patients unlike ever before, building community and boosting patient loyalty. Pictures of patients during routine visits, special events, no-cavity clubs are a great way to show off your patients and get likes and shares for your Page. Pictures of your staff during holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and special days will bring you closer to your followers and allow them a “behind the scenes” look at your dental practice. And don’t forget to take your device where your staff goes. Special outings, staff lunches and even dental meetings are great opportunities to post terrific pictures of your team.
What about over-sharing?
One of the most common questions that we get is in regards to post frequency. Truthfully, it’s very hard to post too frequently on social media. Once every week is a bare minimum, once every day is probably a great goal…but it all depends on your level of engagement and the feedback you’re receiving. Keep in mind that no one sees every single post you create, so even several times each day would not be too much. Just take care to spread out your posts, no more than one every three hours is a good rule of thumb. But even that rule isn’t set in stone.
Why hire Smile Savvy to help?
You may wonder, “If I can do all this myself, why hire an outside company to help with social media?” Having an internet marketing company like Smile Savvy set up and manage your overall social media presence will help you get started in the right direction and provide regular, consistent content for your patients. Our desire is to serve as your expert consultants. We also generally provide posts that are more educational in nature, leaving the fun and more personal items for the practice. We call this “Social Teamwork” and you can read more about how we serve our customers on our blog.
Have a question about social media, websites or internet marketing. Feel free to contact us for a personal evaluation!