As New Year’s Eve fades into a memory and your marketing plans for the year ahead solidify, there are three social media trends that should be on your radar.
1.) Algorithms. Word on the proverbial street is that social media networks, such as Twitter, will be adopting new algorithms which will make reaching new patients through social media for free more difficult in the future. Therefore, in order to reach the most people, even current followers, you may need to add paid advertising to your social media plans.
2.) Content. Content continues to be king in 2016. Consistently delivering new and relevant content on your social media platforms gives current and prospective patients a reason to engage with your dental practice. Social users are demanding; they expect to see information that’s tailored to their needs and delivered across multiple channels. And, successful practices are adept at doing just that. According to the CMO Council, 90% of Americans find custom content useful and 78% feel that the organization providing it cares about building a good relationship with them. Bonus: search engine algorithms reward great content with higher positioning in search results. So take time to share relevant information on your website and beyond (think Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).
The “Thanksgiving Turkey” approach is one way to ensure the same message reaches current and prospective patients across channels. This method is centered around a substantial “main course,” like a full-length article or blog post, which is then carved into bite-sized pieces of information such as Twitter posts or infographics.
3.) Visuals. While content may be king, it’s the supporting visuals that help maintain the crown. In today’s age of character limits and attention spans smaller than a goldfish, the statement “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer. Enter visual marketing. In 2016, visual elements (including photos and video), will play a vital role in your dental practice’s social media strategy. As HubSpot reports, not only does content with visuals garner 94% more views, but it’s 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than text alone.
It’s also important to not overlook how your current and prospective patients are viewing content. For example, on what device are they most often reading your content? In 2015 Google announced that mobile Internet traffic surpassed desktop traffic. According to the Global Web Index, 80% of Internet searches are done on smartphones. Translation? If your practice website isn’t mobile-friendly you are losing opportunities every day.