There are so many great platforms on social media that allow you to build your business’ presence online. Some are pretty straightforward: Instagram is for photos, Facebook is your home base (i.e. the easiest way to communicate with your patients), and Twitter is for being part of a conversation (especially helpful for businesses who offer some form of product-specific customer service). Today we’re breaking down how you can get good value as a dental office on two platforms that often seem to cause some confusion: Pinterest and LinkedIn.
The biggest piece of advice we give to our members is to keep in mind that your social media as a whole is meant to enhance your online brand. And any good brand knows that social content doesn’t always need to tie back to the services you provide or the product that you’re trying to sell. That being said, let’s start with Pinterest. Think of Pinterest as a mood board. It’s a place that is meant to provide creative inspiration to the people who visit it. As a dental office, it can be hard to visualize what this means in terms of content, but this is where a good understanding of what it means to be a successful online brand comes in.
Pinterest allows you to create different boards that your followers can view. Each board can have a theme of your choosing and is a space where you can “pin” (save) content that relates to that specific theme. If you’re an orthodontic office, for example, and wanted to do something dental related you could have a board that is about braces-friendly recipes. You’re tying back to orthodontics while still using Pinterest in a way that highlights one of its biggest strengths: recipe sharing. This is a very different approach from, say, creating a board where you strictly share before and after photos of teeth. The first example is using Pinterest to your advantage, the other is failing to do your research.
LinkedIn is a little easier to tackle. It has a very clear purpose: an online business portfolio and a great recruiting tool. If you’re going to have a LinkedIn, you’ll want to make sure you have a succinct description of your business on your profile with good, high-resolution photos. You’ll also want to encourage your employees to add your business name to their own LinkedIn pages if they have one. In terms of content, this is a good place to share articles that relate to your industry and connect with other local businesses in your area. Unlike other social platforms that are more casual places to interact, think of this one as the equivalent of making a good first impression at a job interview. In other words, keep it professional.
If you’re planning on using Pinterest or LinkedIn, make sure that you’re willing to dedicate the time and energy that it takes to really build those two online communities. Be strategic about sharing content that not only feels relevant to your practice but also works on that platform. Remember, what works in one social media channel isn’t always what works in another.
—Michelle Hammond, Social Media Specialist