As you consider the social media tools available to become a Doctor 2.0 web marketer, you probably have one prevailing question: “Where do I find the time”? In truth, time is not so much the issue as timing.
Timing and Blogging
The following rules for when not to blog are not set in stone but generally hold true.
- Thursdays and Fridays – In spite of your best efforts to make your blog post known there is always a catch-up period between when an article is posted and when web searchers find it. If you post an important article on Thursday, the odds are the catch-up rule means it won’t be found by most until the weekend. Being engaged in social media changes this rule as your friends and followers will find your content more quickly.
- Weekends – Posts that go live on the weekend generally have the least traction. The vast majority of web surfing happens at work not home. Employees may not want to admit that, but it is true. Though there are some exceptions, people are busy on the weekends and that post you put time into is likely to get lost in the shuffle. A large and growing exception to this rule is when writing for other MDs. We find that many doctors do most of their online reading late at night, early in the morning and on weekends.
- Public Holidays – This one is a bit more on the bubble as to effective or not-effective. Statistics point toward lower readership of blogs on public holidays but those who do read your blog posts at these times may spend more time digesting what you have written.
As we pointed out in Two Tools for Effective Blogging Every Plastic Surgeon Needs, Windows Live Writer and a number of WordPress themes provide excellent time management tools for posting to blogs. These tools allow you to block out time to create your blog posts. You can then schedule them as far ahead of time to post at the optimum time for your followers to see them. Sometimes it is difficult to hold off on publishing your masterpiece but often it is worth it.
Timing and Facebook
The rules of posting comments to Facebook are quite different from publishing to a blog. People check Facebook throughout the day, not only at their computers but from smart phones, iPads, and a host of android devices. Medical professionals are far too busy during the day to stop and post new status updates. So how can they solve the timing problem?
Postabulous from 140ology is one possible answer. This nifty and inexpensive tool allows you to create and schedule posts to Facebook with a variety of options. These include:
- Post Branding – Every post to Facebook has your own branded icon, footer, and direct link to your website or blog.
- Status Idea Database – Over 4000+ pre-written status ideas are available with one click. Many are fill-in-the-blank allowing you to create a personalized post in seconds.
- Post Scheduling – Posts can be scheduled days, weeks, and months ahead. You can even schedule repeating posts.
- Post to Pages, Profiles, & Groups – If you have multiple pages and groups you can post to one, several, or all with one click.
- Notifications – You can choose to receive email notification when a scheduled status messages posts to Facebook.
- Multiple Admins – If you have several people who posting to the same fanpage you can have up to three separate admins.
Even though automation tools exist for posting to social media sites, that doesn’t mean you should rely solely on automation. Your fans are there to engage with you and no amount of automation can replace the human element (or the social part) of social media.