By Brynn Low,
You wouldn’t go on a road trip without looking up directions and booking a hotel first.
Just like anything else in your life, social media requires careful planning.
You wouldn’t just “wing it” for other areas of your practice and social media should follow that same rule.
Who Are You Trying to Reach?
Before you do anything on social media, remember your target patient. If your ideal patient is a 65-year-old with eye disease, TikTok probably isn’t the place to focus your social media efforts.
Likewise, what you post should reflect your target patients.
If your focus is families, then you should be using images of families on your social media. If you’re trying to grow dry eye then talk about that in your posts too.
Creating a Plan
First thing’s first: who is actually posting on social media? Is it you? Do you have the time and the skills to do it properly? While social media might seem intuitive, doing it properly takes time and effort. You might want to consider having a team member handle it or hiring an external provider.
Something else to consider is using a social media scheduling tool. This allows you to plan social media posts in advance instead of spending your days posting. Some popular scheduling tools include:
- Sprout Social;
Now you need to figure out what you’re putting on social media. To do this, you need to remember two key things:
- Your target patient;
- Your key services.
Again, if you’re focusing on family eye exams, then highlight that on your social media. But regardless of your target patient and key services, you need to provide value. Just like you educate patients in person, use your social media as a tool to educate and engage your patients.
Next, let’s figure out where you’re posting. Bring it back to your target patient. Depending on their age, you’ll probably want to focus on certain social media platforms.
Here are the biggest age groups for each major social media platform:
- Facebook: Ages 25-34, 55-75;
- Instagram: Ages 25-35;
- Twitter: Ages 30-49;
- TikTok: Ages 18-24;
- YouTube: Ages 15-25.
You should also think about what content you’re posting. Long-form video lends itself best to YouTube, whereas shorter, off-the-cuff videos are better for TikTok or Instagram Stories. If you want to share links to other websites, Facebook or Twitter are usually best. We find the top social channels for eye care practices are Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Once you’ve figured out where you’re posting, you need to stick to a consistent posting schedule. You don’t have to post every single day, but you probably want to post something at least once a week.
When it comes to social media, quantity can be better than quality. In a perfect world you’d have both, but in the real world, posting a photo that isn’t perfect is better than not posting anything at all.
Another thing to consider is the time of day you’re posting. For the most part, the best time to publish posts is in the evening as this is when most people are using social media. If you’re using a social media scheduler, you can schedule your posts for the evening, so you’re not making posts after-hours.
Other Quick Tips
Once you have your plan in place, don’t forget to:
- Be authentic: Social media is the place to humanize your practice;
- Embrace emojis: Emojis/emoticons help you convey the right tone;
- Use hashtags wisely: Don’t overdo it by picking 2-3 meaningful hashtags per post;
- Engage with users: Reply, like, and share posts from others.
Sticking to Your Plan
All this to say, there’s no one right way to do social media. In fact, you’ll probably want to use multiple platforms and tailor your content to each one. But no matter where you’re posting, always keep your patients in mind.
As a senior SEO specialist at Marketing4ECPs, Brynn spends her days creating content that ranks for eye care practices all over North America.
Featured image via Freepik.