Social Media Marketing: How to Effectively Manage & Grow Your Practice’s Social Presence
Brett Fish, PECAA’s Digital Marketing Manager, answers key questions about trends in social media and strategies for growing your business through social media contacts and content. This article is part of PECAA’s sponsored editorial series, appearing in the June, 2014 issue of Eye Care Business magazine.
What social media trends do you see emerging in 2014 and beyond?
The two major trends that continue to emerge are social paid advertising and the dominance of visual content. Paid advertising has grown significantly and will continue to gain adoption as more businesses compete for exposure and social networks seek to monetize. Eighty percent of marketers are expected to use social ads in 2014, and I believe paid advertising should be a part of every business’ social media strategy moving forward. Also, visual content continues to dominate the social media landscape, which can be seen in the recent Facebook and Twitter profile re-designs, as well as the emergence of visual networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. In fact, posts on Facebook with photos get 53 percent more Likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more click throughs than text-based posts.
How can ECP’s take advantage of social paid advertising?
Get started! Facebook ads in particular are extremely targeted and a great way to promote events, sales, specials, brands, and new product lines. Users can be targeted by location, age, gender, interests, and even purchase behaviors. We started running Facebook Ads for PECAA members in late 2013 and have seen tremendous results. It’s tough to find a more targeted and efficient way to advertise to such a large audience.
How can ECP’s more effectively use social media?
Use social media as a listening and communication tool, not exclusively as a marketing/sales channel. People love to buy, but hate to be sold. Focus on producing engaging content and responding to comments and messages to build relationships and strengthen patient loyalty.
What kinds of social content should practices be producing and sharing?
Take pictures of patients in their new glasses (with a signed photo release form of course), behind-the-scenes photos of doctors and staff, new frame styles and lines, etc. These generate engagement and help create a more personal connection.
What changes in the social media landscape have you seen so far in 2014?
Facebook and Twitter have started rolling out new profile designs that place more emphasis on branded header images. Also, hashtags have gained popularity and adoption now that they can be used on Facebook, so it’s important to know what they are and how to use them.
How do Facebook’s recent changes that reduce the organic reach of business page content affect ECP’s?
Now that users only see content from businesses and organizations they engage with, the pressure is on to create content that connects and receives engagement. The changes also further the need to understand and adopt paid advertising options, as they not only allow you to reach all your current followers but also users who don’t currently follow you.
What social networks are emerging that ECP’s should know about?
Google+ is really coming on strong. For a while it was mostly used for its SEO and location-based search benefits, but is becoming beneficial for engagement and communication, too, and it’s important for all practices to have an active profile.