Smart Social Media Marketing for Dermatology Practices
When developing a marketing strategy for your dermatology practice, be careful not to underestimate the value of social media in attracting new customers and growing your business.
Simply having social media pages is not enough. You have to manage your online presence carefully, because it’s the first impression many potential customers will have of your practice.
Creating your social media marketing plan starts with understanding a bit about how the major social platforms work, and how they differ from one another.
Social Marketing on Instagram
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and Instagram is all about images. The key to Insta-marketing is catching people’s eyes as they scroll through their timeline, which is easier said than done. There’s a lot to compete with, so you have to stand out.
First, keep it interesting. Mix things up and don’t share the same type of content every time you post. Consider sharing before and after shots of procedures or treatments you offer, or some creative shots of your office. Always, always use very high quality photos. Grainy selfies and cheap stock photos don’t cut it on Instagram.
Another thing you need to know about Instagram is that the influencers are in charge. Influencers are those people who have thousands, if not millions, of followers on Instagram. When they post something, people see it. You can leverage this phenomenon by striking up a deal with one of them. Think about reaching out to an influencer who is local to your area. Maybe you could offer a service or product in exchange for some help expanding your reach.
Promoting Your Practice on Twitter
Twitter is where people go for the hot take. Twitter posts should be quick and quotable. Condensing your ideas into 140 characters or less can be challenging, but it’s a great way to learn how to maximize the impact of every word.
Twitter is the also the original home of the hashtag. Hashtags are like the indexing system for social media. Using them can help direct people to your posts. It’s important to harness the power of the hashtag, but don’t go overboard. Keep them focused and relevant.
Marketing on Twitter means being aware of – and taking advantage of – trending topics. Jumping into trending discussions can get your posts more exposure. Just be very careful to choose topics that have at least some relevance to your field. Forcing your posts into conversations that aren’t at least tangentially related to dermatology will just make you look desperate – and it definitely won’t earn you any new followers.
Growing Your Dermatology Practice With Facebook
Really, you should be on all the major social media platforms if possible. If you only choose to focus on one of them, though, let it be Facebook. More than 2 billion people are active on Facebook on any given day, and the average user logs in about 8 times per day to scroll through their news feed. Lest you think the social platform has reached its peak, consider that 400 new users sign up every single day.
Facebook isn’t just the place to reach younger demographics, either. Consider the following. Only 8% of people over 65 use Instagram, and Twitter’s not much better – coming in at 10%. Compare that to 62% of those 65 and older who use Facebook.
Digital marketing experts know that Facebook offers the most bang for your buck in terms of social advertising dollars. Paid Facebook ads (when done right) can provide a substantial boost in your social media engagement, driving leads right to your website. And not just any leads, either. Facebook ads are great at helping you reach a precisely targeted audience – and you get to draw on their vast bank of data to help you do it. Ads can be directed to a specific audience based on their interests, activities, friends, age, location, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
The Rules of Social Media Marketing
While each platform has its own unique attributes, there are some hard and fast rules to follow—no matter where you’re posting.
- Strike a balance between sharing things posted by others and posting your own original content. Sharing relevant articles, pictures, or posts from others can make your page more interesting and keep it from seeming overly promotional. It can also help build valuable relationships with people and businesses in your social network.
- Keep it professional. No exceptions. Political rants, polarizing statements, and off-color humor have no place on your professional social media pages. Posting these things just alienates potential customers and diminishes your credibility as a professional in your field.
- Steer clear of controversial topics. While it’s a good idea to post about trending stories, don’t touch the hot-button topics with a 10-foot pole. Save your thoughts on the latest divisive issue for your personal pages.
- Never, ever disparage a colleague, employee, vendor, patient, rival…or, well, anyone. It’s incredibly unprofessional to blast someone on the internet, and it just makes the person posting look bad. And petty. And, did we mention unprofessional? Just don’t do it. Handle disputes and issues in the real world, not on social media.
- Connect your social media accounts. Then, connect those to your website. Make sure that people can find you, and that they can easily hop from your social sites to your website.
- Know your target audience. You can’t please all the people all the time, and trying to do so is just a waste of your marketing budget. It’s important to reach the right people with your posts (i.e. the ones who are likely to actually click through to your website).
- Be consistent and know your brand. Use the same logo, voice, and overall aesthetic for your website and all your social media pages.
The whole idea behind good, effective social media marketing for your dermatology practice is to establish yourself as an authority in the field. It’s to build a reputation, and to ultimately convert social media engagement into real world clients and customers. That comes from consistency and targeted efforts, not from simply getting lots of likes or followers.
Social media is only one piece of the digital marketing puzzle, but it’s an important one and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before you start throwing money at advertising on social media platforms, consult with someone who has the experience and expertise to help you get the most out of every dollar you spend.