Here it is, midway through January already. How’s your social media strategy going?
If you’re like a lot of people, you had a plan to improve your social media presence — for your practice or your company or your nonprofit — this year.
Maybe you started with something like, “You have to post three times a week, right?” or “The AMA says to keep personal and professional social media separate. I don’t know exactly what that means…” Armed with some vague ideas about how to use social media, you jumped in.
Or maybe you assigned the job to your receptionist, because she’s under 30.
The truth is, social media is valuable. But it can also be time consuming. Here are some questions that can help you make the most efficient use of your (or your receptionist’s) time.
Which social media platforms work for you?
Do you know which social media platforms send you traffic? Which ones help new people find you? Which ones are most popular with your particular audience? Get that information before you decide where to put your time.
You should also be aware of which platforms need the most time. For example, you can set up a dozen great Pinterest boards and then ignore your Pinterest account… and many visitors will never know.
However, if you don’t tweet regularly, your Twitter account will look lame.
If you have time for just one social media platform and you know that both Twitter and Pinterest send you traffic, you should put some time into Pinterest up front, but keep posting at Twitter.
You can’t make these decisions on the basis of someone else’s experience, because social media is not a one-size-fits-all thing. Get your website’s data and learn how to understand it, or get strategy help from experts.
What assets do you have?
The answer to this question can help you make good choices of social media platforms. If you have plenty of visual assets — great product photos, infographics, inspiring quote graphics — then you should consider going with Pinterest and Instagram. If you have great blog posts every week, link to them from platforms that work well for curated content, such as Twitter or LinkedIn.
Excellent social media users with free time to spend on social media platforms on your behalf can also be an asset. This could very well be your receptionist. But be sure that your enthusiastic social media posters are truly assets. Plenty of social media mavens can unintentionally create content that is not beneficial for your brand. It’s true that mooning tourist shots get lots of engagement, but they might not be right for your practice.
News, events, and “backstage” content can also be a valuable asset. You have to be aware of HIPAA requirements, of course, but seeing your team working on charity drives or sharing a birthday cake can be very appealing. Pictures of your awesome office or of new equipment can help prospective patients feel at home. If you have plenty of great things going on, that’s an asset for your social media.
Plan your social media strategy to take advantage of the assets you already have.
Technology is your friend.
Even if you’re just using two or three platforms, the time involved in navigating to the accounts, logging in, posting, and closing up the accounts will add up over the course of an active social media week. Add the time you spend being distracted by your feed, and you can be looking at a major time sink.
Use social media tools to make best use of your time.
Good social media tools will allow you to schedule posts out. This can mean that you spend one hour a week instead of three or four. Great social media tools can help you find great content for your readers, respond quickly to messages, and get insights into your social media performance.
Here are some to check out:
If you don’t have the time or the resources to do your own social media, you can do more harm than good by trying to keep it going with occasional bursts. Sometimes it makes more sense to hire someone to do it for you.
Choosing an agency like Haden Interactive is usually less expensive than bringing someone in — even an intern. You’ll have access to expertise, experience, and multiple talents available to work on your properties. You don’t have to pay benefits or provide coffee, and they already have the special software.
We’ll be happy to discuss your needs. Call us at (479) 966-9761 or use our simple contact form.