Many practices have implemented an internal social media manager. For those who haven’t, most work with a social media marketing provider. In other words, those practices have hired someone to manage their social media for them.
In some cases the doctor or team may not understand social media, have no time to manage it, or simply have no interest in it—which is why they hire a social media provider. Unfortunately those practices often don’t know what they should expect from their service providers. Read the tips below to make sure you are getting the best service possible.
1. Focus on quality – quality outweighs quantity
People who are familiar with social media understand that “keeping your name and face in front of your patients” is a delicate balance. Post too much and you risk being hidden or un-liked. A good service provider won’t try to sell you their services based on quantity. X number of posts per week may be meaningless, or even harmful to your brand. Be sure you get clarification on the amount of posting, and more importantly, the type of content (see the section on authenticity below).
2. Personalized content – authenticity rules
Unfortunately practices who are unfamiliar with social media don’t typically understand how important personalized content is. People have developed a low tolerance for generic content—they may let you slide a few times, but what really works today is personalization and authenticity. A good social media provider will personalize content specifically for your practice. They will take time to research your team, practice, and neighborhood, and create content specifically for you. In other words, your Facebook page won’t look the same as hundreds of other dentist’s Facebook pages.
3. Ability to pre-approve – content is your brand
Most social media savvy practices would never allow someone to post on their behalf without knowing what the content would be first. Sadly, many un-savvy practices don’t know what they should expect and therefore don’t ask to pre-approve content before it’s posted on their behalf. If you are paying someone to manage your social media, you should ask to pre-approve your content. Note your content is a part of your online brand and reputation. The good news, content approval should only take a few minutes a month and you’ll rest assured as you’ll be informed.
4. Always pre-approve – consider dental board regulations
Dental board regulations apply to social media. In one case, a Facebook ad that violated many states dental board advertising provisions was posted on a practices’ behalf without their knowledge. Refer to the above recommendation to request pre-approval before any content or advertisement is posted on your behalf.
5. Ability to co-manage at minimum – be informed about your online reputation
A good social media provider will encourage you to co-manage social media with them. This allows someone from your team to keep informed of your online presence, and in some cases can provide training at the same time. Ideally your social media provider will offer to train you and ultimately work themselves out of a job—if/when your practice resources allow you to shift to internal management.
If you are considering diving into social media for the first time, do so with your eyes wide open. Take time to inform yourself about what you should expect from a social media marketing provider, and ask to speak with references. You can also look at the social media providers social media—there’s no better way to determine if they’ve walked the talk themselves!