By Jason Lipscomb, D.D.S.
The great thing about using Social Media to market a dental practice is that you can really put yourself into your content. The different social media platforms allow you to connect with current patients and potential patients. I love using social media, so I am always trolling several sites and watching several feeds.
Social media can take up a lot of time if you let it that is why it is so important to create an action plan. Many practicing dentist will not have the time or the inclination to spend hours on social media. So how do you maintain that personal touch without feeling overwhelmed? Time management. I discuss some great time management strategies in my newly released book, Social Media for Dentists, here are some tips you can use right away.
- Do you have the time? Evaluate your current time schedule, you can get results by spending just 5-10 minutes a day. How much time do you have available in your day to devote to social media? How much time are willing to invest to add a new process? Set it in stone for a little while, remember Rome wasn't built in a day, give your social media strategy time to grow.
- How does this stuff work? When you consider getting started in social media take time to evaluate it. Set up a Twitter or Facebook account and explore. Explore other dentists, explore how other non dental companies market, and explore what people are saying about dentists. Evaluate what other people are doing, what you like and what you don't like. Take several weeks to evaluate the platforms. Don't jump right in, there are several unspoken rules of etiquette in each platform. When you have questions, find someone you know who has experience and ask.
- Set goals for your social media campaign. Decide what you want to accomplish with social media. Do you want more implant patients? Do you want patients from a certain company? Do you want 5 new patients a month or 50? These are all important questions to ask.
- To Twitter or not to Twitter that is the question. Choose a platform on which to start. Facebook may take a bit more time to manage than Twitter. Sometimes the type of social media can determine how much time is needed to do it right.
- All by myself. Many dentists want total control of any campaign, while many others will delegate most tasks to staff members. Determine who controls the social media profile. Mandate an amount of time spent on the profile.
- Daily routine. Set a daily routine. I will tweet 3 times today. I will update my Facebook 2 times today. Make it part of any daily routine. It will make it easy to remember and keep you on the right track.
- Make a calendar for content items that require some production value. Making videos and writing blogs often take a bit more time than simple comments. Schedule time to make a video the second and last Tuesday of every month. Commit to write a blog entry on the other Tuesdays. For some people writing simply is not their forte, expert blog writers and dental students can be hired for as little as $10 a blog post. You can have 2 excellent blog posts written twice a week for just $20. If you maintain this schedule within a year you could have nearly 100 blog posts for your website.
- Savor the flavor. Don't put out every good idea as it comes down the pike. Keep a journal of good ideas. Stick to your posting schedule and save good ideas for days that you have writers block.
- Use it or lose it. Use your staff when you can. Odds are they will know more about the social media jungle than you. They may help you avoid the pitfalls that most beginners or over eager professionals fall victim to. A big part of time management is doing it right the first time. Why spend time on something, when it is not getting the effect desired.
- Evaluate what happens. Evaluate the results of your social media efforts. The biggest part of time management is knowing where your efforts are most effective.
Dr. Jason Lipscomb is a general dentist and social media educator and founding partner of Social Media for Dentists. Social Media for Dentists is dedicated to help dentists start their own social media campaign, and take control of their own advertising destiny. Find out more at http://socialmediadentist.com or https://www.facebook.com/socialmediadentist.