Building an Online Community? Engagement is Key!
- Posted on: Jun 12 2018
We are frequently asked by practices across the country, what our secret is for building engagement on aesthetic and elective medical social media pages. Our answer? It all begins with practice dedication to engage.
Our “secret” is that we are committed to responding to every comment or message that we receive on our client social media profiles. Not only do we respond to everything, but we also try to take a conversational approach and work to keep the conversation going. Not only does this go a long way for making patients feel validated and heard, but it also lets them know that they are a valued member of our online community.
Engagement is truly one of the best pieces of advice we can offer practices! By showing your patients and online community that you appreciate them, you are continuing to build a relationship and trust that will keep that community coming to your practice for years to come!
Responding on Facebook & Instagram
Facebook is about people connecting to people and socializing, Mark Zuckerberg’s mission and vision for the social network. If fans are commenting, then socialize with them—comment back. Set yourself a goal and designate a staff member to comment back to all comments, within reason. By doing so you are helping to solidify your relationship with your fans. Engaging with them is part of what keeps them coming back for more. We want them to come back for more so when they’re ready to purchase we’ll be at the forefront of their mind.
The Facebook algorithm rewards posts with high engagement, which basically means you ‘get seen’ more. Think of it like a relationship with a friend. If a friend is reaching out to you and you’re not answering back, that won’t bode well for your friendship. Unanswered questions and comments can deter potential new fans. With both Facebook and Instagram, be sure to turn on your push notifications so you will be notified when fans and followers leave comments and shares.
Types of Engagement/Comments
Not all comments are created equal. Here are some of the common comment types.
Fans ask about procedures, treatments and products. Be prepared to discuss what to expect during treatments, recovery, and downtime. Have your stance prepared on what you will share regarding pricing. On procedures/treatments, we suggest encouraging a phone call with the fan to further discuss pricing for a greater opportunity to close a sale. Our goal is to get the phone to ring, so leave the pricing on social media very ‘ballpark.’ If we give them everything up front, then they won’t feel the need to call and we won’t have the opportunity to endear them towards us on the phone. If they’re not a current patient, you will need to ask them for their phone number. Hopefully they’re willing to message that to you. You can also invite them to call you at their convenience and provide your phone number.
Saying Thank You:
Thank fans for kind words, their testimonials, and Facebook reviews. Some fans will share GIFs, or even personal photos of their recovery or results. Basic common courtesy applies here.
You never know where the source of your next great idea will come from.
Responding to Contests:
No doubt, when a Giveaway Contest goes crazy and you receive 350 comments it can be difficult to get back to all of them. Keep in mind though that these entries represent warm leads. These are either current or potential patients. Talk with them, comment back, offer to schedule for them, suggest a complimentary consultation, etc.
Diffusing Customer Service Roadblocks:
Uh oh, is someone unhappy? Respond immediately with a comment and a commitment to follow up, then do some quick research to determine why they might be unhappy. Pick up the phone and give them a call to discuss how they’re feeling and how we can help. Here’s an opportunity to wow someone, or make a wrong feel right.
They share your post:
If Susie loves our post on ‘pumpkin pie vs apple pie’ and decides to share it to her Friends on her Facebook Profile, take the time to click a reaction (like or love) and leave a comment for Susie so she knows that we know she shared our content. #Winning!
Did you know?. . . You can tag (@name) in your Facebook response.
“@mention Fans in your response. You can’t directly mention a fan in your Facebook status. However, if a fan comments on your status, you can (often) mention them in that comment thread. You mention someone by typing the ‘@’ symbol directly followed by the commenter’s name.”
Specifics for Instagram
Most of the above regarding Facebook applies to responding on Instagram as well. Technically speaking comments are referred to as replies or mentions. When a follower leaves a comment and you reply, Instagram automatically inserts the @(name) which notifies the Follower that they have been mentioned on your Profile.