It’s that time of the year again. The time when everyone shares their new year’s resolutions and tries to find ways to hold themselves accountable for them, whether it’s by sharing them on Facebook, Instagram stories, or with friends IRL (in real life), as the kids say. In fact, we’d be willing to bet there’s a spike in purchases of planners and downloads of organizational and/or fitness apps right around this time of the year. Hopefully, you’ve given as much thought to your business goals as you have to your personal goals. If not, there’s no time like the present.
We’re not here to tell you what you should focus on as a business for 2019, but there’s one resolution we think every practice can benefit from: setting realistic goals for your social media presence. Whether you’re a beginner who is learning to navigate social media platforms or a seasoned pro, it’s clear that 1. social media isn’t going anywhere and 2. the desire from patients for providers to be online is only growing.
Here are some items you can focus on this year depending on where you’re at in your social media marketing journey.
- Grow Your Audience: One of the biggest mistakes offices who are just starting out on social media make is thinking that they’re going to get a huge following overnight. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new office or a well-established one, building a community online takes time. Try aiming for 5-10 new likes a month. Some ways to make that happen are by hosting a contest where people have to follow you to see the result, telling your friends and family about your page, and having your team do the same.
- Create a Content Calendar: Keeping up with creating content for social media can be daunting for the newly initiated. To avoid getting overwhelmed, set aside a time to chat with your team at the beginning of every month and talk about some content ideas together. These can be things like upcoming office birthdays or team outings, holidays, or any kind of special announcements. You can use your Sesame Social Suite Scheduler feature to keep it all one organized place.
- Showcase Your Community: Don’t be afraid to ask patients if you can take a photo of them when they’ve had a good visit with you. Likewise, if there’s anything fun happening in the office, even if it’s as small as someone bringing in donuts on a Monday, take the opportunity to snap a quick photo! Your followers will likely be people who know you personally, and this is the kind of stuff they’ll want to see. As far as prospective patients go, this kind of “peak into your office” type content could be the thing that persuades them to choose your practice over another.
- Expanding Your Reach: Congrats! Building a following online is no easy feat. If you’re wondering how you can continue to reach people online, consider learning how to boost posts on Facebook. Just remember that like with anything else on social, it’s important to be strategic about what you’re boosting, why you’re boosting it, and what the end goal is.
- Getting Creative: Assuming that you’re already familiar with the kind of content your followers enjoy seeing, feel free to get creative with it! This could be as simple as playing with angles and filters on your photos or getting a little bit more casual with your captions. Your followers most likely already know you’re a credible business at this point, so think of ways to make it fun for them to keep up with you online.
- Add Another Feature: Now that you’ve got a good thing going with your content flow, consider exploring other features on your preferred platforms. Know your way around Facebook? Try hosting a Facebook Live on a topic of your choosing and see how it goes. Love posting on Instagram? Play around with stories! There’s lots of room to be creative on social media, especially with new features being added to each platform constantly. It’s important to never stop finding ways to explore what that creativity can do for you.
- Manage Your Business: Via Facebook’s Business Manager for ads, that is. Facebook ads are a great way to have succinct messaging while you’re spreading the word about how amazing you are. You can use ads to promote your website, grow your brand awareness, or encourage your patients and potential patients to schedule an appointment with you online. Lucky for you, our Sesame Social team is now managing Facebook ads. Shoot us an email for more info on what we can do for you in the ad department!
- Find Your “Look”: By now, you know what kinds of things are on-brand for you and which ones aren’t. Technically there’s no rule that says there has to be any kind of uniformity across your posts, but let’s face it: it’s polished and it makes you look extra professional. Consider sticking to one single editing app when posting your photos and rotating between a set of 2-3 filters. Especially on Instagram where visuals are 100% of the content. It can make all the difference in making your profile appealing to new followers. If you’re ever creating graphics for yourself, make sure your colors match your website and logo colors. Again, not a requirement (you are the pro, after all), but an extra step that, whether your followers know it or not, doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Add Another Platform: Once you’ve mastered your existing social media platforms, consider adding a new one to the mix! Maybe try your hand at creating content for YouTube or focus on establishing your voice on Twitter. Just remember, being a pro doesn’t mean you have to be on every platform. Only do it if you’re ready to commit the time and energy it takes to build a brand new community, and if it works for your practice. If not, keep doing what you’re doing because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Do keep in mind that these are suggestions based on what we commonly see. You can be an ambitious beginner and tackle Facebook ads just like you can be a pro who may be in need of reviewing the basics. This is just one of the ways your business could be progressing on social media. Everyone’s social media journey is different, but we hope you found some helpful ideas here.
If you have any questions on how to get started with any of these particular suggestions, feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
—Michelle Hammond, Social Media Specialist, Sesame Communications