No matter what you personally think of social media, as a practice owner you need to have at least a Facebook page for your practice. We’ve told you that in other blogs. But simply having a page isn’t enough; you have to keep the content fresh and the engagement active.
You may not particularly like social media — from the SMO fake accounts to the spreading of objectionable material it has a lot to atone for, no doubt. But your patients use your Facebook page to engage with your practice in ways they never would when they are in your office. If they had a bad experience, they are much more likely to rant about it on your Facebook page, rather than in your office. And the same is true with a good experience. If a procedure you performed made one of your patients the hit of her family reunion, she may post photos of the happy event right there on your page. That kind of personal promotion is priceless.
But you have to stay engaged with your practice Facebook page. You can’t make a cursory post every few weeks and call it good. And you can’t leave interactions from visitors, whether good or bad, floating in the netherworld. They need a response.
There’s no quicker way to get visitors to your practice Facebook page to go away and not return than to show them stale content. If the latest post they see is from six months ago, they’re gone, and you’ll lose the ability to connect with them in Facebook’s more informal, personal way in the future.
Easy To Set Up. Harder To Stay With.
In the beginning, everything is great. Your practice Facebook page is easy to set up, and you and your staff are posting photos of new equipment, links to other interesting material, funny staff photos, and other great content.
For two months… Then it becomes a burden. There aren’t that many people liking your posts, so you think it’s a questionable way to spend your time. And you didn’t designate a staff person to run the page, so it sits there for weeks and then months with nothing new.
If you have a personal Facebook page and you let it go dormant that’s no big deal. You could only be annoying the girl who had a crush on you in the 7th grade who is constantly checking your page. No so with your practice page. If a patient is thrilled about the results from her nose surgery and puts a couple pictures up on your page, she at least wants to see a response from your team. It doesn’t have to be anything more than, “We’re happy that you love your results!”
Point is — a dormant Facebook page is worse than not having one in the first place. To keep your page lively and engaging, these are the things you need to do:
- Post content — Are you regularly creating visually appealing content on your Facebook page? Are you posting pics of your aesthetician running the Boston Marathon? How about the new CoolSculpting machine you just purchased? How about a link to a funny YouTube video or a good holiday party appetizer recipe from the Food Network site? How about a contest with a free Botox session to the winner? That’s the kind of content you need to put up, and you need to do it every day or two.
- Monitor activity — You also need to keep an eye on interaction with your page. Did someone comment on that photo of the nurse’s new baby? That comment needs a comment from someone on your staff to show that you’re paying attention and care. Or if someone is grousing about something, you absolutely need to respond and hopefully fix the patient’s problem. To leave it there, unaddressed, is the worst customer service you could ever provide. Plus, it’s out there for all to see.
- A dedicated person — Dedication to your social media is important, so you should probably dedicate one person to be in charge of it. This doesn’t need to be the person’s full-time gig, but it can’t be the 117th item on his or her job requirements list, either. As the practice owner, you need to choose this person carefully. Will he or she be good at it? Can they interact with your patients creatively and in a thoughtful manner? Are they diligent about responding and posting? Make the person’s social media portion a real part of the job, not a sideline to be done five minutes before he or she leaves for the night.