In this age of instant information, we forget to make sure that all of our social and interactive media outlets actually talk to each other. You’ve got a spectacular website -- check. You've got a snazzy Twitter account -- check. You've even started using LinkedIn, built a robust Facebook page, and maybe even created a personal blog. Excellent first steps.
But do these accounts talk to each other? Do your Twitter followers know about your Facebook page? Do your LinkedIn contacts know you’ve started a blog? If not then you are sadly not maximizing the potential of your efforts. Remember, not all social networking is created equal, nor should it be. The most important factor in a strong medical SEO plan is understanding what you are using, not just how to use it.
With this vital information in had you should be able to move forward with measurable social networking ideas. The biggest benefit of all this new technology is the ability for each separate social media site to speak to each other, thus building a stronger basis for your practice’s reputation. I am definitely not suggesting that you actually link each site to each other.
Not all social media users are the same and not everyone subscribes to or even visits the same types of sites. Facebook users may not understand all those confusing hash marked tweets, replies and re-tweets. Twitter users may not be able to follow a post longer than 140 characters. A seasoned blog reader may not appreciate weeding through 100 re-tweeted posts that have nothing to do with your actual business.
You’re probably feeling confused and frustrated with all the conflicting advice out there. This is completely understandable. So then what do I do to maximize my social media presence while maintaining a genuine online footprint?
Consistency. Add all of your other accounts to each social site you actively participate on. Make sure to use the free linking capabilities found on nearly all social networks. Add either your direct link or your company's logo in the appropriate spot to every account you are an active member of.
Know Your Audience. Be mindful and consider your audience. You wouldn't greet everyone you meet every day with the same catch phrase. So don't use the same generic marketing tactics with your social media either. If you must physically integrate all of your social media accounts due to budget or staff constraints, please remember to monitor your content and activities. You never want to lose current or potential followers, followers who might well turn into paying patients, because of carelessness.
Maintenance. Be diligent if you are going to venture out into the powerful and ever-expanding world of social media. It is perfectly acceptable to only own two or three separate accounts.
Reasonable Networking Size. The smart move is to be comfortable and successful with your current medical marketing plan before attempting to tackle a more aggressive program.