If you’re working in a marketing capacity in dental, first of all, thanks for reading! I really do appreciate it. By now you’ve most certainly begun to wrestle with how to incorporate social media into your mix. Here are some simple tips for those just sticking their toe in the social media waters:
- Adhere to any company guidelines around using social media on behalf of the company (and personally). No one wants to get fired for doing something stupid in their exuberance for embracing social media.
- Be professional with respect to competitive products/companies and other products/companies in general. Dental is a small industry, and someone you poke fun at today could be in a position to hire you someday in the future. Focus on what you have to offer rather than on what they don’t (or might not).
- Be professional with respect to competitive products/companies and other products/companies in general. Dental is a small industry, and you could easily be marketing another product/company someday. Even though it may seem short-lived, what you write in public is there for a long time, and you don’t want to have to eat any words at a later date.
- Be professional in general.
- Promotion is fine, but ensure you also post, Tweet, share, etc. other things of value. Consider regularly sharing an article or site with clinical tips relative to your category. Dentists, our consumers, will appreciate that. Constantly promoting some deal is a quick way to get un-followed, un-liked, and generally ignored.
- Be careful with outsourcing. Like most projects we face in marketing, social media can become time-consuming and bog you down. Outsourcing the social media function can be a time & energy saver for sure. However, you will still need to manage it closely to ensure the messaging is consistent with the rest of your mix and that your ROI is met.
- Be careful with automation. Automation in moderation is fine (like a paper.li daily or weekly). However moderation is the key. Automatically tweeting every FB update is obvious and the lack of personalization shows. There’s a reason these media are called social.
- Commit to it. Don’t expect to see amazing results overnight. If you start a Twitter feed for instance, it will take time to get quality followers and/or see an impact to your website/blog stats. You have to keep at it with quality content at some degree of regularity.
- Brand your sites consistently with your corporate/product imagery. Unless your logo includes an egg, make sure your Twitter account is branded please.
- Have fun.
Whether you’ve already started or not, be realistic with what you expect to get from your social media endeavours. There’s no “silver bullet” tactic. While it may be relatively “free” in terms of financial cost, be prepared to put some work into it. As with most tactics, doing it right means doing it consistently and thoughtfully over time. I look forward to hearing your tips & insights for using social media in our industry.