We often have practices come to us because they feel like they must engage in social media. However, often there are no goals or plan behind this agenda item. Social media, like any type of marketing, requires strategy, and effective strategies require solid goals. So before you jump into Facebook or Twitter for your practice, ask yourself a few questions:
- What are your current practice goals/priorities?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What will you communicate/share?
- Who will initiate and manage your posts?
- Does this person have the access and enough time to manage your social media effectively?
- Can you respond to comments in a timely and appropriate manner?
Unlike many other forms of marketing, when you do social media correctly, it stimulates ongoing, two-way conversation. So, you need to be prepared not only to push out compelling content, but also to respond appropriately (within HIPAA guidelines) and in a timely manner to questions, comments and conversations.
Depending on your goals, social media can be an effective way to achieve them as long as you have the knowledge and have allocated the resources, including time and manpower, to do it right.