So you’ve got your Facebook page finally. You’ve set up your Twitter account and sent a few tweets. There’s only one problem: no one is interacting or responding to what you’re doing. What gives? Odds are, you’re publishing content that no one really cares about; and so they just choose to ignore it. Your patients can be fickle creatures, so take a look at the tips below to help you engage them and see what you can come up with.
Balance Your Content
One of the first things you can do to help increase fans is take more pictures. Just get used to snapping photos around the office. It’s part of your life now. Get the staff involved and have some fun. Once you’ve got a pretty good photo library built up, begin to sprinkle them in with your other content. While you’re at it, consider posting videos, links, questions, fill in the blank responses and health facts along with your self-promoting office updates (you’ll want to keep these to a minimum if possible).
The idea behind posting on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever medium you choose to use is to engage your audience. No one wants to see the same posts three times a week about your office hours or online patient forms. Your Facebook fans and Twitter followers are exactly what they say they are – fans and followers of your medical practice. They have agreed to see content you publish because they like you, but that honeymoon phase will only last so long. To get them to interact, you’ve got to reach out to them and connect. Keep them interested. Let them get to know the people behind the exams at your office and watch the engagement level blow up.
Develop Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is described as staying relevant for at least 6-12 months, but it can stick around a lot longer depending on what it is. Let’s say you’re an orthodontist and you write a blog post on your website discussing the top three ways parents can decrease their child’s discomfort immediately following the application of braces. It’s a big hit with parents and they start to share your content all over the web – success! Well, in six months, those ways probably haven’t changed and it’s safe to say people are still interested in decreasing their child’s discomfort. This is evergreen and you can continue to promote it throughout the year.
Plus, if it’s really good, your content may continue to earn shares even months and years down the road as even more people discover and share. That’s what it’s all about.
Manage on the Go
Sometimes you’re away from your desk and someone posts a question or review on your Facebook page. A Twitter follower might ask you a question that needs a response immediately. Maybe you want to post photos from the health fair you’re at before the day is done. There are plenty of reasons to manage your pages and profiles on the go, and that’s exactly why you should.
Look. I get it. Technology can be scary, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore it. Download the official Pages Manger app from Facebook and any of the dozen or so great Twitter clients to your iPhone or Android device and you’ll see a whole new world of possibilities open at your fingertips. Spend some time and learn what you’re doing – it’s not difficult at all. Best of all, you’ll also be able to see updated statistics and insights wherever you are. You can also manage advertising budgets, moderate comments, edit photos and so much more.
Find and Share Timely Content
Don’t have time to continually write new posts and develop content on your own? One way to increase engagement is sharing something you know your audience is interested in. For optometrists, maybe you find an article in the New York Times discussing a new type of lens coming to the market. Share that information with your followers and they will continue to interact and share that news for you. Then, when you get the new product in, take a picture and create more opportunities for engagement. It’s the circle of social media life.
This is another reason to use a mobile profile manager on your smart phone or tablet. If a news item pops up, you can post it before your competitors and strike while the iron is hot.
When sharing, consider using hashtags (#) as well to become visible to even more of the social media world at large – especially on Twitter. Hashtags are used to help categorize posts by keywords or phrases so they will show up more easily in search results. If you use a hashtag you know is popular or timely, you can get a lot more eyes on your posts, and thus more engagement, with just a little #MarketingThought.
Photo Caption: Fitness – This is an example of an article we shared on a client’s Facebook page discussing fitness. We know the audience is interested in internal medicine/health because of the nature of his practice. You’ll see we also used a hashtag (#) to help categorize the article and piggyback trending topics.