Social networking has its own unwritten etiquette rules – the “do’s” and “don’ts” of social media. If you’re new to social networking, simply following these conventions can help increase your “likes” and “follows”, improving your engagement with current and prospective patients.
1. Thou shalt offer fans and followers valuable information – Posts and tweets should extend beyond sharing information about your education or your practice’s accolades. Try to offer entertaining facts or current news stories. Remember, everything doesn’t need to be a sales pitch!
2. Thou shalt not post negative comments – The comments you post online stick – forever. That being said, be professional and courteous regardless of what others are saying or doing.
3. Thou shalt acknowledge fans and followers – Respond to current and prospective patients’ comments or questions. Even if someone has left a negative comment, a respectful reply lets others know that you care about your reputation and want to ensure complete patient satisfaction.
4. Thou shalt separate personal profiles from professional pages – As a professional, it’s important to keep your personal profiles just that – personal. Use your personal pages to connect with family, friends, and post about anything you’d like. But be sure to keep your professional pages separate and post items that will only enhance your practice’s online image.
5. Thou shalt not speak to strangers – Remember when you were a little kid, and your mom told you not to talk to strangers? Well, asking people you don’t know to “like” or “follow” you makes you the stranger and is one of the largest complaints among social network members. If you don’t know someone, don’t approach them about following your brand. If they’re interested, they’ll come around.
6. Thou shalt spell check – and grammar check, and proofread multiple times. Nothing sticks out more than a tweet or post ridden with poor grammar and spelling. It is recommended that you write posts within a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Word Perfect, then copy and paste the post into your social media profile to share it, error free.
7. Thou shalt share details about thy practice within thy profile – People definitely want to know information about your education, services, location, and hours. When creating your social profile, fill out every field possible that will help Internet searchers learn more about your practice.
8. Thou shalt engage only in productive activities – Posting promotions or informative posts and responding to comments or praise is thoroughly productive. Inviting patients to play games or chat with you online is not – and can actually be seen as an invasion of their personal space. Brands engaging in such unprofessional activities on social networking sites are actually one of the most common reasons that users “unfollow” or “dislike”.
9. Thou shalt be consistent – Everyone loves something they can rely on. If you are consistent in your posts and can be relied upon to post around the same time every day, current and prospective patients will be more likely to engage and interact with your social networking activity. With that being said, people become more likely to unfollow or ignore those who post excessively; so, limit your social media activity to 2-3 posts per day, tops.
10. Thou shalt promote others – Great brands recognize greatness in others. Sure it’s smart to perform a little self-promotion every now and then, but it’s also wise to promote other products that your practice utilizes. By occasionally promoting these brands, they may return the favor and recognize you, which can increase your exposure among their audience.
After you begin adopting the 10 commandments for communicating on social media, check out our blog post: 15 Ways to Generate More Likes on Facebook!