Rules of social media engagement

May 19, 2014

When it comes to social media, says Tracy L. Drumm, vice president of IF Marketing, “There’s a fine line between building your business and wasting your time. I see social media as a way to retain patients, build your brand and focus on relationship marketing.”

Las Vegas - When it comes to social media, says Tracy L. Drumm, vice president of IF Marketing, “There’s a fine line between building your business and wasting your time. I see social media as a way to retain patients, build your brand and focus on relationship marketing.” To those ends, she offered the following rules for social engagement:

1. Be a friend, not an ad. Patients can detect a false voice, or a generic one concocted by an outside agency, she says. To avoid this, she recommended sharing personal touches such snapshots of community activities that you attend. For every promotional post, Ms. Drumm says, post four “social” messages with no goal other than maintaining a friendly relationship with patients.

2. Be a doctor. While social media promote social interaction, Ms. Drumm says, “You still need to credential yourself. This is a very strong way of building your brand.” To set a professional tone, “Always post things that reinforce your expertise in a social manner. If you attend a course, for example, post a picture of you mingling with your colleagues or listening to a lecture.” Likewise, she adds, a video of a physician sculpting or engaging in other artistic hobbies reinforces his or her aesthetic expertise in patients’ eyes.

3. Be valuable. “What’s in it for your patients to be driven from your website to your YouTube channel or Facebook page? Always post things that will help make their lives easier, such as a simple video of how to get to your practice.” Patients often develop anxiety about their first aesthetic appointment, Ms. Drumm says. “Why not create a video about what to expect at the first visit? This can help eliminate unnecessary calls to the office and patient anxiety.” Speaking of making patients’ lives easier, she says, providing value increasingly means having a mobile-device-friendly website.

4. Be fresh and seasonal. “Look around you. See what’s going on that’s buzzworthy in the community. When ‘50 Shades of Gray’ was all the rage, we did a promotion called ‘50 Shades of Smooth.’” Likewise, a digital “Holiday Look Book” scored 2,000 impressions and resulted in several bookings during the 2012 holiday season. A site called www.issuu.com makes crafting such digital documents simple, she says.

5. Be coy. Finally, Ms. Drumm says, “Always leave online users wanting a little more.” Along with using online teasers, quizzes or contests, “Have them come to or call your office to get the final piece of information. That’s where you’re going to get a stronger return for your efforts.”