Why Social Media Is Essential For Your Practice
• Blogs. The first and most important social media outlet you need to pursue are blogs. Blogs or “Web Logs” are short form forums in which you “post” interesting and relevant content about foot and ankle health. These are the most important social media tools you have. You should have one blog that is integrated into your Web site and at least two external blogs (Wordpress or Blogger for instance) that focus on specific practice areas such as heel pain, ingrown toenails or fungal nails. When you post short, specific and interesting content on your blogs and use Hootsuite to repurpose the content on your other social media properties, you create the illusion that you are very active on all social media, when, in fact, you have only posted the content one time.
• Facebook. Facebook is still the most relevant social media site out there. Facebook is remarkably resilient in the face of competitive pressure, especially from Google. This is where everybody goes. Create a Facebook page for your practice and use a personal page as well.
• Twitter. As much as most of you will dislike this tool, it is widely used and can be very useful in staying top of mind with thousands of people in your market.
• LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional social media tool that is helpful in staying connected to other professionals. While this is not as essential as Facebook, it is still useful and helpful in building your social media footprint.
• Google +. Google + is Google’s attempt to wipe out Facebook and the Yellow Pages in one blow. It is still struggling with taking out Facebook but is single handedly destroying the Yellow Pages and sending it to the dustbin of history. Google + is essential.
• Pinterest. In this social media tool, you post or “pin” your favorite images. Most of you will just scratch your heads and wonder “who thinks this stuff up?” However, “she” is there and she is engaged. This is now a must-do.
There are a variety of other social media outlets and tools that you can pursue, and this is a changing landscape as all of this evolves. As you get good at this, you can examine other social media outlets but to get started and to do this well, the aforementioned list is a great way to start.
We live in interesting and exciting times. The hard part is the supposed complexity, fast pace and the new way of communicating. Think about this though. Prior to the advent of this technology, communicating and marketing to your community was extremely expensive. The newspapers and the Yellow Books made hundreds of millions of dollars because they controlled the channels for decades. We are no longer limited by our inability to find the patients who need us.
This is really good news for all podiatrists. Those who will prosper and thrive in the next decade will have open minds and embrace the world they live in instead of wishing for a time that is forever gone. Podiatrists are blessed to be in a specialty that is more relevant and needed than ever before. There are thousands of patients near your office who need you desperately. The only question is, will they be able to find you? Social media can ensure that you will be in the exact spot where “she” is looking for help.
See you online.