This is because social media has its picture next to “bunny trails” in the dictionary.
In med school we learned to manage our patient visits by focusing on one major problem during each patient visit. The idea offers several benefits. Focusing on a single problem allows you to manage the most worrisome problem well and keeps you from running down lots of bunny trails. After the main problem is under control, a second problem becomes the focus of the next visit.
Obviously if a patient had blood sugar and blood pressure through the roof, that approach had to be scrapped. But for a good number of issues, it worked.
And it’s a great way to think about social media, too. Work on one item until you are managing it well, then – and only then – add the next piece.
It’s why I follow a one-platform-at-a-time approach to tackling social media. If you follow this approach you won’t be the emperor of social media, but you will chink away at it, bit by bit. Then one day – maybe six months from now – you will have a nice presence out there that allows you to share what you have to say with an interested audience.
The first office visit is always more comprehensive than future visits. You need to do a full medical history and physical. It’s more involved because you need to figure out the best way to prioritize your patient’s health concerns.
Same with your first dip into social media. It’s a little more complex at the beginning because you are getting started and there’s a bit to master. It will become more simple with each use of the media.
Choose One Platform and Get It Under Control
I like Facebook for reaching out to local patients. But if your practice is highly specialized and you attract patients from far away, or if there are other special circumstances around your business, another platform might work better.
Set aside some time every day to build your profile. Set up a system of posting to it and interacting with others on the network. Remember that social media is social – to benefit from it you have to engage. You can’t just post an ad and expect the crowds to flock to your door.
Over time it will become a part of your routine and you will be able to add another outlet and build your presence there.
Beware: Social Media is a Treatment, not a Cure
Here are some things that are not your goal:
- Twitter followers
- Facebook page likes
- LinkedIn connections
- Pinterest repins
They aren’t goals, but they are tools that you may choose to use to achieve your goal:
- Patients who have grown to trust you and return to you repeatedly
There are ways to “collect” social media followers. While it might be good for your ego to have thousands of followers, it does you no good if they don’t have genuine interest in what you do. Keep THE goal in mind. This is a relationship that is earned, not bought. Don’t waste your time with silly schemes to buy or otherwise collect followers.
The idea is to devote a set amount of time to building your social media profiles each day, and then get back to running your practice. Remember that producing valuable content is the key to making the time invested in social media worthwhile. If your Facebook fan clicks your link and finds it a waste of time, there was no point in putting the work into Facebook.
So, for today: Grab your laptop or tablet, a tasty scone, and your beverage of choice and create or tidy up your social media profile. Then spend a little time each day, posting and interacting.
You’ll be surprised how prioritizing and staying consistent will help you manage the care of your social media.
Need help getting started? Get in touch and let’s see what we can do.