In spite of your busy schedule, you finally took the time to check out what a couple of your peers are doing with Facebook and other social media tools and you were sold. Now the question is; how do I make the most of having this great Facebook landing page? By observing some established principles of effective social media combined with focusing on the social media tools best suited to your type of practice, you can make social media work like you expected it to. Here are some general observations and principles that will help make your social media marketing efforts successful.
* It’s All About People – Medical offices don’t communicate; people do. Learn to watch who has requested friendship on Facebook or is following your Tweets. Focus on communicating back with them like you would a human being, not a “fan” or “follower”. The whole appeal of Facebook is immediacy. Take time to communicate with people who “like” your page. That means leaving comments about what interests them.
* Be a Giver, Not a Taker – Social media is about joining in a conversation, not grabbing a bully pulpit. One follower of your Facebook page may never call for a consultation while others will. Don’t focus on business but instead on sharing information and wisdom. Provide links to valuable information that helps followers make informed decisions.
* Say Something worth Hearing – Always treat followers like they are even busier than you. Busy people don’t read blogs and tweets for casual recreation. They are looking for immediate, worthwhile information. David Armano, Senior Vice President of the digital marketing firm Edelman Digital puts it this way; “The key is to provide value through thought leadership.” Potential patients don’t want to plow through reams of dull information but a four minute informative video clip or presentation they can link to from a Tweet may be just the ticket to elevate you to expert status in their mind.
* Make Friends with LinkedIn – Many medical professionals fail to see the connection between Facebook and a targeted social media tool like LinkedIn. By joining groups and making use of Q&A sections you will find an audience already waiting to be directed back to your Facebook page and ultimately your office.
Those who use Facebook the best have learned it is not an end in itself. Unlike a billboard you pay for and leave to do its static business of attracting attention an effective Facebook marketing strategy requires a proactive approach to interacting with those who have shown an interest by following your page.
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