Once practices make the decision to get on board with social media, they generally do so with gusto. However, whether they stay motivated may or may not happen … What are the reasons some practices’ social marketing programs stall? Here are a few common challenges:
1. No time. This is one of the most common issues I see. Upon deciding to get on board with social media, be sure a team member has time to manage it. It can be increasingly difficult to manage social media “whenever you have time.” Make social media a part of someone’s job description and allow them to schedule it in their responsibilities just as they would any other task.
2. No acknowledgement. Occasionally I’ll see a team member who is doing a great job with their social marketing, yet the doctor or office manager may not see value in social media. For example, a person of influence on the practice team may say, “I think Facebook is a total waste of time.” Once the team member sees that their efforts are not considered as contributing value, there is little to no motivation for them to continue. Get your entire team on board with your social marketing plans and help them understand how it can positively impact the practice.
3. Not sure what to do. In some cases a team member may fully understand how Facebook works on a personal level; however, they may not have a good understanding of marketing, branding, or how Business Pages function. It can be difficult for some team members to blaze a new marketing trail if they aren’t sure what they should be doing. Whoever is leading your social marketing efforts needs to have time to research and investigate social platforms, how they work, and how they’re changing – training through coaching or consulting can also help. Just like in the first challenge, this needs to be part of their regular job responsibilities.
4. Don’t want the responsibility. I’ve run across several situations where a team member has been “assigned” to handle social media for their practice. Upon deeper questioning, I learned the team member didn’t really want anything to do with the responsibility. Just because someone has a personal Twitter account doesn’t mean they want to tweet for the practice as well. These aren’t job responsibilities you want to force onto someone, so it’s in your practice’s best interest to have people involved in social marketing who are actually interested in using it in a valuable way.
5. Simply gave up. Some practices get on board with social media thinking “if we build it they will come.” Except it doesn’t work that way. For example, once your Facebook page is set up there are only two ways to grow likes. One way is organic – talking with patients, friends, etc. and inviting their likes and comments. The second way is paid, legitimately via Facebook ads. Some practices are extremely successful at growing their social communities, while others throw noodles on the wall to see what sticks. Those who succeed continue to work at it.
And what is the definition of a “successful” Facebook page? It’s a page with genuine likes – likes from people in the community, friends, family and people who are patients or may become future patients. It’s also a page with many comments and feedback shared by happy patients. Lastly it’s a page that perpetually represents the practice brand and values well. If you’re participating in social marketing, let your patients know so they can engage with you between visits.
What is the status of your social media marketing?