From time to time, dental professionals just venturing out into the social media space approach us with the question, “What kind of stuff should we post on Facebook and Twitter?” A great question to ask! Discovering what type of content draws your audience to engage with you online is half the battle in the pursuit of doing social media well. It’s common knowledge that of the variety of social media platforms out there, Facebook and Twitter are the two most brands start with, and use the most, to build and interact with their online community.
But because of the many distinctions between the two channels, each delivers a unique interactive experience for their users. Consequently, the type of content that people leave comments about and share on Facebook often differs from that which people leave comments about and share on Twitter.
As a facet of my job description, I spend a fair amount of time observing certain dental practices that have learned how to give their audience what they want on Facebook, and have achieved a good level of engagement as a result. Here are a few things I’ve learned from them.
Facebook is great for polls. Perhaps even more so than Twitter, Facebook was built to be a platform where extended, sometimes very in depth conversations can flourish; and what better way to start meaningful conversations than to ask your audience engaging questions? The type of questions you ask will vary, depending on the size and demographics of your particular audience. You may try polling on current events or inquiring about a local sports team: “Who’s your favorite…?” Be creative. You can also really benefit from asking questions related to customer experience and enhance patient experience as a result: “When you visit our office, do you prefer (a) or (b)?” You learn about people by asking questions about what they like/dislike, what they value and what they expect. Facebook is a medium that allows you to nurture relationships with current and prospective customers by asking them questions about things that interest and are important to them.
Facebook is a great photo/image sharing platform. As time goes on, society becomes more and more image-driven; so if you want a surefire way to attract and engage with your online community, upload images frequently. I’ve observed that behind the scenes photos that display practice lifestyle do very well and compel people in the patient community to ‘Like’ and leave comments. It makes perfect sense – if your patients love your staff and have a great experience when they visit your office, they’ll likely find value in seeing pictures of your staff having fun together. But perhaps the images that get the most traction on Facebook are ones that are humorous. People will ‘Like’ and share anything that makes them laugh and it’s not difficult to find material online. In fact, there’s a wonderful Facebook page called Dental Art and Humor: For Dentists By Dentists that exists for one purpose – to provide funny dental-related images and comic strips for dental offices to share with their online patient communities. (The Patterson Dental Facebook page also posts funny images from time to time; feel free to share when we do!)
Facebook is a great place to post brief patient testimonial videos. What a great way to attract customers and establish online credibility! If you have short video clips of your patients talking about why they love your practice, don’t only upload them to your website, but also share them on Facebook. And if you haven’t ever created a patient testimonial video, you may want to start, because the list of benefits is endless. (For more on creating video testimonials, click here.)
Finally, for education about types of content you may want to refrain from posting on Facebook, check out this article from our friend and the founder of Social Media Marketing for Dental & Medical Professionals, Rita Zamora.
Well, I think that’s enough to at least get you started. Stay tuned; my next post will be an exploration of the intricacies of the social media channel known as Twitter, and I’ll show you how your practice can benefit from adding this tool to the marketing mix.
If you have specific questions about social media marketing, feel free to contact us either by sending a direct message on Facebook or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help in any way we can.