Think about the last time you were at a party, and you were talking to someone, and all you could think about was how quickly you could extricate yourself from that conversation. Why? Because that person was not interesting! Well, the same applies to your Facebook page. Which is why the biggest Facebook blunder you can make is:
Your posts should be engaging, fun, playful, humorous, friendly and sometimes informative. They should have photos 99% of the time. Or video. And the way you know that they are interesting is that your patients share them, or comment on them, or at least click “like” on them. If you are wondering what to post, read this blog.
There is another reason to make sure that your Facebook posts are engaging. Many people think that if you post something, it shows up on all your friends or followers walls. That is not how Facebook works. Facebook calculates something called “affinity”, which measures how often people read, share, comment and like a post from someone, and the more often that happens, the more frequently they show up on that person’s wall. And if it is very infrequent, then your posts won’t show up at all. Which is also why it’s a mistake to:
2. FAIL TO REPLY TO EVERY COMMENT
If someone has posted something or commented on your post, you must ALWAYS reply. To ignore it is the equivalent of someone telling you how great you look today and you just nod. Actually, it’s worse than that. You can lose patients over it. Across all industries it’s estimated that 15% of customers are lost because the business did not respond to a comment or question. Basically, it’s rude.
As a side note, make sure that anyone can post on your Facebook page. You don’t want to block it in any way in your set-up. Don’t worry, you can delete any post you don’t like. The next blunder would be:
3. GETTING TOO CLINICAL
I believe it’s a huge mistake to do a lot of posts about dentistry. Dentistry is mostly not fascinating to people. They are looking to Facebook to find out what the experience is of being in your practice. If you look at online reviews, very few of them relate to a clinical treatment. The majority are about what it was like to be in that practice and interact with the dentist and team members. This applies to Facebook as well. Show them how fun and friendly and caring you are, not how to floss and why they would like implants.
But even if your posts are good, it doesn’t matter if you’re:
4. NOT ACTIVELY PURSUING LIKES AND CHECK-INS
The number of likes you have matters. As a pure number, it makes an impression, but also it relates to your exponential reach online. The average person has 130 friends on Facebook, so every time you add ten likes you’ve potentially reached 1,300 people. Marketing is a numbers game, and this is how to win it.
Check-ins matter also. Many dentists don’t think people do this, but the fact is that when a practice first signs up for ReputationMonitor, we find that more than 8% of their patients have checked in to their practice on Facebook, on their own, without any encouragement.
The other reason you want to be doing this is because Facebook is now searchable, and the more of these you have the more you will appear in search results. Read about Facebook’s Graph Search here for more detail on that.
And lastly, because of everything else I’ve mentioned so far, this last blunder should be obvious:
5. PAYING AN OUTSIDE COMPANY TO DO YOUR POSTS
Nothing bothers readers more than posts written by posers. It’s nearly impossible to create a genuine, authentic feel to posts when you don’t work at the practice. Some of these companies are creating the posts with automated programs, or they’re cramming a lot of dental content in to make you think it’s what should be there.
That said, I believe you should assign social media to someone as part of their job in the office. Not the dentists, because there are better uses of their time (drilling!) They can participate occasionally, and should certainly read what’s posted, but let the Facebook geeks in the office handle social media.
You can also use a resource like www.MySocialPractice.com, a great service by my Internet pal Jack Hadley, where they will give you daily suggestions on what to post on Facebook–as opposed to writing them for you. They also offer valuable guidance on social media, and even provide interesting office displays encouraging patients to like your practice.
And now, get social!
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Thanks Fred, for your kinds words about our service. And “amen” to each of your five points!
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