My friend Darin Throndson of Innovative Dental Technologies posted a thought-provoking comment to one of my recent articles. And I’ve finally gotten around to writing some of my thoughts on his questions. In his comment, he wrote:
“…I would like to read your opinions on the proper amount of time spent on social media usage for branding purposes. Should one be posting everyday? Relevant business info only or some personal things mixed in? Info on upcoming events or courses or vacations that you are attending? Maintain separate business and personal sites? Lots of questions. Any feedback is welcomed…”
If you’ve read this site before, you may recall a post or two with my thoughts on social media for dental marketers. And I’ll share a few more here as prompted by Darin’s comment. First, though, decide what your goals are. Are you simply looking for ways to brand your business, are you looking to enhance customer service, are you looking to fuel an e-commerce site, etc? Second, be clear about your audience. Are you seeking to connect with dentists and hygienists, or are you targeting Justin Bieber fans (not that the two are mutually exclusive, but, oh dear, shouldn’t they be?) And third, remember that your social activity is much like a cocktail party. If you go around the room constantly shouting the same thing about yourself (or some promotion from your company), people will not want to talk to you. You need to listen, support others, share interesting content, and then only occasionally mention if you have something to offer which may be of interest to others.
Regarding the specific questions in his comment, here goes. If you are going to engage in a social content strategy, consider it a long-term commitment. So yes, post interesting content regularly (every day or every week or every hour really depends upon your goals and audience). In the B2B world, we can get by with less frequency (once daily on Facebook for instance) and higher quality content as we have a more niche audience than typical B2C companies. Also, consider it a long-term commitment in terms of results. You can’t post one tweet about a “buy one, get one” promotion and then be pissed off when it didn’t generate enough leads to double your annual sales goal. You simply have to work at it.
Regarding the types of content, again, this depends on your goals and audience. In general, I’m a big fan of keeping personal posts limited to personal sites and vice versa for business. Of course, as you can see here, I sometimes blur the lines, but I believe a best practice is to keep your vacation pics off your business sites. Facebook makes it easy by allowing you to have a personal profile and a business page. However, customers usually like to see they’re doing business with someone who has some personality, so share those photos from industry events and conferences. It shows you’re continuing to learn, grow, and having some fun while doing it. Your drunken party pics from that trip to Thailand? Keep those on your personal profile, and be mindful of the sharing settings.
I hope these thoughts on Darin’s question were useful. I didn’t touch on best practices for each channel (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.). Perhaps that’s a post unto itself. As always, I look forward to any comments and questions you have on this article or any others on my site. Thank you for reading!