Press the ▶️ button on the video above to learn how to *stop* naming mistakes with Social Media posting.
Cheryl and I recently attended the Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego – (you still remember there was a time before the World shut down, right?).
We’re in this for the long run, which means we still have to keep our Private Practices going.
I’m on a mission to help you stop making mistakes with your social media.
If you’re a Doctor or a Clinician in Private Practice, you’ll know that social media isn’t just about teenagers watching daft videos on TikTok. Social media is a very valuable tool to help you raise awareness of what you do, build your ‘brand’ and bring potential patients and referrers to your website.
Many Doctors and Physios tell me that that they ‘don’t really get’ social media, or that they don’t know what to post, or that they suspect that they may be wasting their time. Some tell me that ‘they’ve tried social media, but didn’t see the benefit’.
Firstly, it’s worth remembering that all social media platforms (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) operate using algorithms.
At a very basic level these algorithms are designed to promote posts that produce the most engagement with viewers.
Why? Because that way they can put more ads in front of viewers they know are in interested in such and such – they are money making operations after all.
Here’s where you may be making mistakes with your social media.
Social media is a key part of your marketing strategy, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY part.
In other words, it’s really important to have a website, and an email marketing strategy for your Private Practice. Your social media posting needs to work with the content you’re producing for your website (I.e. blogs and vlogs). It shouldn’t function as a separate entity.
For example, if you’ve produced a blog or vlog about the best ways to avoid your marathon training being stuffed up by the coronavirus, it should pair up with postings on your social medial platform that talk about the same subject. Don’t just post random comments about marathon training.
If you’re only showing up once a month and are expecting to generate engagement that will turn into patients booking in to see you, you’re sadly mistaken. You need to chunk up a little bit of time in your day to tend your social garden.
Posting too much.
If you’re getting poor engagement, look to see how you could improve the content of your posts, so that they are super useful to the viewers. If it ain’t good, they won’t engage. Ask yourself, ‘is this something my friends would be interested to spend their precious time looking at?’
Nobody likes to be pestered. Once a day on LinkedIn or Facebook is plenty, as is a post in your Instagram grid and a once a day post in Instagram Stories.
Neglecting the Golden Hour.
We talk about the golden hour in the world of trauma as being a critical time for action. The same is true for your social posts. When you’re posting you need to be around to engage with people who are engaging with your post in the all-important first hour after you post.
Good numbers of people interacting with you about your post, will demonstrate to the algorithm that you’re posting the equivalent of hot cakes that people are rushing to buy.
When you’re starting out and trying to build your audience, it is OK to ask you Auntie or friends to chip in during that hour, but I would advise against joining a posting-pod. This when a group of people who may come from totally unrelated, I.e. non-medical backgrounds, agree to swiftly comment on each other’s stuff.
Not only are the algorithms beginning to suss this out (which may lead to their penalising you), it can also lead to attracting the wrong followers. You may be a urologist, but do you really want to attract plumbers?
Posting then ghosting.
Nobody likes to be ignored. If someone has been kind enough to leave a comment about your witty post on curing the itchy bottom, make a comment on their comment, or simply thank them. Each and every post.
Not giving your audience a reason to engage with you.
Interesting, lay-friendly, clinical content is hugely important, but you also need give them a reason to reply. If, for example, you’re an orthopaedic surgeon who wants to start up conversations with osteos, include a call to action. This could be ‘what’s your experience with working with post-op ACL patients? Do you ever feel that orthopods forget to use osteos for rehab?
Not having a true ‘brand’.
By brand, I mean more than just the visuals – but it’s a good place to start. YOU are the brand.
Viewers instantly need to instantly recognise that it’s you that is posting, which means having a consistent branding style in terms of your logos, your video thumbnails and the colours your post with.
You also need to be consistent in your brand’s tone and voice. I’m known for being helpful, no B.S., with a hint of cheeky banter thrown in. I’m not overly stiff or formal. It’s totally appropriate to let your personality shine through here. But don’t you live up to your clinical stereotype (only joking).
Patients and colleagues want to you to be human. Like them.
Posting for your peers.
This is the single biggest mistake I see Doctors, and in particular, surgeons, making. STOP posting for your peers. Why? Because a knee surgeon is very unlikely to refer to other knee surgeons! Social media is place for engagement, and not a place for bragging about how you’ve just left theatre having nailed your 1000th transforaminal PLIF procedure. Nobody flippin’ cares!
Come on. You know why you do this. You do it to impress your surgical mates. Stop it.
Patients hate it, – even if you think it’s being educational. When it comes to the extraction of tibial intramedullarly nails, most of them don’t want to see how much effort you had to put behind those hammer blows when the blighter wouldn’t come out. Watch this as a patient:
Not driving traffic to your website.
Imagine if you were selling a car, not your medical expertise. Would you really expect someone to simply click a link that said ‘buy here’ in a social media post? Nope. I wouldn’t either. Buyers need to get to know you better first, and they need to do some ‘research’ on what they are buying. Patients and referrers are no different.
Your social media should drive patients to website pages that specifically address their concerns and needs. For example, a social post about ACL problems could lead them to a page on your website that talks through decision making about whether or whether not, to have an ACL surgical reconstruction for their injured knee.
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