5 Social Media Challenges and How to Overcome Them
By: Rita Zamora
Ms. Zamora will be speaking at the 2019 Rocky Mountain Dental Convention (RMDC) Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 9:30am and 2:30pm.
The social media marketing landscape continues to evolve and shift. Some practices are incredibly active on Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat—they enjoy being social and are rewarded with visibility, likes, follows, reviews and word of mouth. On the other hand, there are those not familiar with or disinterested in social media who are just now realizing it’s important to get started or up-level their social media efforts.
Whether you are well-established on social media or just getting started, there are a number of challenges I continue to hear practices voice. Here are the most common issues and tips to help overcome them.
How can we get people to like our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram?
A few years ago, it was easy to grow your page likes. You could put a sign up in your office, or simply ask people to like you, and they were happy to oblige. Today, the marketplace is crowded and people are more protective of their newsfeed real estate. The good news is, there are still several techniques to grow quality likes and followers for your pages. Here are a few options:
- Install Facebook WiFi. It’s free and works automatically, inviting patients to check in on their Facebook app while in your office: facebook.com/business/facebook-wifi
- Invite Facebook post likes to like your page. If you aren’t inviting your post likers to like your page, you are missing out on valuable likes. For example, we recently helped a client launch a Facebook giveaway for two people to win a $25 gift card to a local ice cream shop. Out of 209 post likes, we were able to invite people to like the page and gained 40 new quality page likes! Simply click to see who the likers of your Facebook posts are and you’ll find the option to “Invite” them to like your page.
- Offer patients a special goodie, like an organic personalized lip balm or on-the-go teeth whitening pen, when they check-in, tag or follow your practice on Instagram. Posts tagged with a location get 79% more engagement on Instagram (SproutSocial 2018) so you get the added benefit of visibility as well.
Why doesn’t anyone see or pay attention to our posts?
There could be a number of reasons for this. One reason is that not many people even see your posts. Social@Ogilvy has reported that organic Facebook reach may have declined to reach as few as 1-2% of your followers. One solution to this reduction in visibility is to boost your posts. Using the paid “Boost” option for your posts will significantly expand the number of people who see your content on both Facebook and Instagram.
A second possible reason no one is paying attention to your posts is that your content may be generic, filler content—or maybe it’s just not that interesting. If this is a problem, you can easily correct it by posting some creative, personalized, or engaging photos or videos. Fun giveaways, contests and patient appreciation campaigns are also popular.
Where can we find good images to use for our content?
If there is one pet peeve I have in social media marketing, it’s poor-quality images and graphics. We are in an Instagram economy. Images represent your brand and people are drawn to personalized, attractive or unique visuals. What do you think blurry or sloppy images say to patients about your practice?
You have a powerful tool in your purse or pocket: your smartphone camera. Snap some photos of your team and practice. You can use a variety of apps and filters or stickers to add some pizzaz to your photos or videos. The most popular posts I continue to see are those with photos of the doctor and team. Smart practices may snap a variety of pics in one day and then spread out posting them in the future.
If you need images to supplement your personalized team photos, check out resources like these:
Free stock photo resources per HubSpot: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/free-stock-photos
There are many paid stock photo options, this is just one: http://www.istockphoto.com/ Just be careful not to overuse stock photos, remember it’s you and your team your patients want to see.
There are also many dental cartoons and fun images you may find online. However, be very careful about copyrights for any images you decide to use. Cite sources as image owners request. A graphics fee is a small price to pay to sleep well knowing you are using graphics with the proper permission.
We have trouble posting consistently – what can we do?
Understand that it’s more important to be communicative on social media, rather than consistent. Yes, it may look like you’ve fallen off the face of the earth if you don’t post anything for two years. However, people understand you have a business to run and they don’t expect you to be on social media constantly. Patients will understand if you post that you will be out of the office for the holiday season or vacation—just say something about it rather than disappearing.
One of the most important tools you can use for social media is an editorial calendar. The only way you can be strategic about what you are posting on social media is to plan for it. An editorial calendar is essentially a content plan for the month ahead, which helps with consistency as well. What types of treatments do you want to do more of or be known for? Include those topics in your plan. You can take your planning one step further by scheduling your content in advance, using Facebook’s free scheduling tool or by using a tool like Hootsuite to schedule content for multiple social media sites.
We’ve run out of ideas on what to post!
Another benefit of using an editorial calendar (as mentioned above) is you can plan your content strategy. A social media strategy isn’t something you execute for one month and then it’s done—it’s an ongoing strategy for long-term benefit. What are the themes you are posting about on a consistent basis? Perhaps it’s a philanthropic effort your practice is involved with. Or you may have set a goal to increase the amount of dental implant treatment or sleep dentistry you perform and that will require that you promote those procedures every month.
In some cases, you may just need some outside energy, ideas, or creativity. There are a multitude of online courses, webinars, and coaching available. Another option is to take a coffee break and peruse other practices’ social media to gain some motivation and inspiration.
Ms. Rita Zamora is an international speaker and published author on social media marketing and online reputation management. Her advice on managing online reputation was published in the ADA’s Practical Guide to Expert Business Strategies. She has over 20 years experience working hands-on in dental practice marketing as well as case presentation and consulting.
The Metro Denver Dental Society is a not-for-profit component society of the American Dental Association and the Colorado Dental Association.