Top 5 Social Media Outlets for Medical and Dental Practices

Top 5 Social Media Outlets for Medical and Dental Practices

It probably comes at no shock that social media marketing should be a key component to your online marketing strategy. In fact, 87% of small businesses claim that social media helped their business. And 8 out of 10 Internet users are reached by social media and blog sites so it is certainly difficult to claim no benefit from social media marketing. Yet for most medical and dental practice owners the difficult decision lies in knowing which social media outlets will produce the greatest dividends.

Clearly there’s more to social media marketing then simply creating an account and expecting success to follow. While the strategy may have worked in Field of Dreams, it doesn’t work that way in reality when it comes to social media. It’s essential to know which social media outlets your audience frequents most and which of those outlets will work best for broadcasting your message and raise awareness about your practice with your targeted audience. Below are the 5 essential social mediaplatforms for healthcare practices.

FACEBOOK

It shouldn’t be a shock that Facebook is included on this list as 93% of adult users online are on Facebook. Plus, according to Hubspot 74% of all marketers say Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies. When utilizing Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy, it is important to not use this as a 24/7 advertisement for your business.

Buffer blog compiled the following stats that are considered Facebook marketing best practices:

  • Post more photos. 93% of the most engaging posts have photos.
  • Keep posts under 250 characters.
  • Posts with emoticons can increase the “likes” for a post by 57%.
  • Most Facebook engagement occurs during the end of the week between Wednesday and Friday.
  • Posting between 9am and 7pm is considered acceptable.
  • Question posts get 100% more comments than standard text-based posts.
  • Offer Facebook fans the occasional Facebook only special offer as 42% of people like a brand on Facebook to receive a discount or coupon.
  • Bump up engagement with a contest. 35% of users participate in Facebook contests.

TWITTER

With 190 million unique visitors each month and over 650 million registered users, Twitter offers lots of potential in relation to generating new patients for your practice. Not only is Twitter a fantastic tool for “in the moment” conversations, it’s also a valuable asset for customer service.

When utilizing Twitter, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Make tweets relevant and urgent.
  • Tweet 2-5 times daily.
  • Use a third-party tool to schedule tweets ahead of time.
  • Use image links regularly as they can generate 2 times the engagement rate.
  • Include links in tweets as 86% of tweets with links get retweeted.
  • Make sure links come from mobile-friendly sites.
  • Double your engagement by adding hashtags (#) to your tweets.
  • Keep tweets under 100 characters.
  • Tweet later in the day for maximum engagement.

GOOGLE+

With 300 million active users, Google+ may not be a social media giant in terms of active users but the major benefit of this social media platform is its affiliation with the world’s most well-known and frequented search engine. Posting content on Google+ can offer tremendous SEO benefits plus it is directly tied to Maps and YouTube which also offer SEO benefits. Additionally, Google+ ties into your Google+ Local page where you can have patients leave positive reviews for your practice.

When optimizing on Google+, keep the following in mind:

  • Google+ allows for images and text so use both when you post.
  • Embed Google+ comments into your blog.
  • Post between 9am and 11am for maximum reach.
  • Use 2-3 hashtags per post.
  • Track conversations and campaigns with hashtags.

YOUTUBE

YouTube continues to grow in popularity with over 1 billion unique visitors per month. According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults between 18 and 34 than any cable network which is an essential demographic to target. Additionally, because Google owns YouTube, videos uploaded to YouTube can also feature prominently in search engine results.

When deciding to jump on the YouTube bandwagon abide by these best practices.

  • Create and share informational and useful videos that offer advice and share expertise.
  • Add links to your other social media sites.
  • Make the first 15 seconds memorable to grab viewers’ attention.
  • Create content on a frequent basis.
  • Ask viewers to do something such as like the video or subscribe to your YouTube channel.
  • Include relevant, attention-grabbing titles, descriptions and tags.

YELP

Yelp relies on one of the most powerful tools healthcare practice owners can build upon: word-of-mouth. Not only can Yelp feature prominently in local search engine results listings, it can also showcase reviews from previous patients. And with 120 million monthly visitors and more consumers turning to reviews when deciding upon a new medical provider, it is an essential component to your social media marketing strategy.

Yelp best practices include:

  • Making sure your business information (including hours, location, and official website) is up to date.
  • Monitoring reviews and responding to any of concern.
  • Sharing additional information about your practice such as payment methods accepted.
  • Include beautiful images of your office.

Leverage these five social media platforms to promote your brand online and generate new patients. Remember that simply creating an account on these sites is not enough. You must remain active on each site to ensure maximum return on investment.

About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as an Marketing Consultant and is the owner of www.ExtraPatients.com. Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $3,600,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.

To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit:http://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-media-platform-use/108057/