If the last 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that social media is become increasingly important for growing your business.
But the problem is knowing where to start and then once you’ve started it’s knowing how to use social media to actually get results while not spending a ridiculous amount of time on it.
After working in the cosmetic and dental sectors for many years, I have compiled my 21 top tips for 2022 to help keep your business’s social media presence relevant, avoid overwhelm and concentrate on activities that will move the needle in your business.
- Focus on one platform – the world is now full of distractions, even more so in 2022. My biggest tip might be a little controversial – with everyone else out there screaming you need to be on Clubhouse, you need to get on TikTok, I’m telling you no you don’t, well not unless you’re a social pro and you have the time to dedicate to each platform. The key to being successful on social media (and by successful I mean getting new patients as a result of your efforts) is to be present where your ideal patients hang out. Plus, it takes extra energy and effort to learn how to use another platform and start building an audience. So, my advice is to stick to one platform to focus heavily on converting followers to patients and don’t get sucked into wasting hours of time creating content on platforms you’re not going to get any actual patients from. Now I’m not saying not to post anything on other platforms as you can easily do this with scheduling tools which we’ll talk about later, but concentrating the majority of your efforts on 1 platform will pay off and reduce social media overwhelm.
- Stop comparing yourself to others – One of the biggest things that can impact your productivity is comparing your business to someone else’s. My advice? Stop scrolling mindlessly through social media and looking at what others are doing. Concentrate on your own business and how your can be adding value and showing up for your followers. Yes, it’s good once in a while to check out what your competitors are doing but don’t make this a daily habit as it’ll just make you feel bad. There are generally 2 types of people on social media – consumers – who spend their time looking at what other people are doing and creators who spend their time adding value and putting out content. Which one would you rather be?
- Focus on social proof – If you have a quick look (not hours scrolling) but a quick look at what some of the practitioners are doing that have thousands and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of followers are concentrating on – it’s social proof. What I mean by social proof is things like written testimonials from your patients, video testimonials from happy patients, and beautiful before and after images (with great lighting) pictures of happy patients after they’ve had a procedure. If you focus 90% of your efforts on social proof, you’ll be on to a winner. Don’t forget ( no offence meant) but generally, people don’t care about you – they only care about what you can do for them and social proof is the best way to show them how you can help them.
- Videos – as mentioned above are great for social proof. Videos also get way more engagement than regular posts. If you can be consistent and commit to posting a video at least once a week, I guarantee you will see a difference in engagements, followers, and most importantly those followers are more likely to become patients – because they feel like they already know you. The types of videos you can create are videos of patient testimonials like I mentioned previously, videos of treatments in progress, video tips from you and your team, videos announcing competition winners, and any new news or updates you would like to share with your followers. And just a final point on this one, if you’re procrastinating because you think you need a videographer or perfect-looking videos – you don’t, natural videos created on your phone work best because they are REAL.
- Reviews – getting reviews not just on social media but on your website and Google will make the biggest difference in your business above ANYTHING else you do because again it’s social proof that you have done a good job for other patients and therefore potential patients will trust you more and will be more likely to come to you above one of your competitors. Ideally, you want to get a mix of both written reviews and video reviews. I know it’s not always easy to get these reviews and quite often you’re so busy that you forget to ask for them. There is a software (not ours) but it’s a something we recommend all of our clients use because it helps you get reviews on autopilot, there is a paid-for version also which is brilliant (we use it ourselves) and there is a free version which will collate your reviews from Google and Facebook, etc and feed them through to your website.
- Stay on brand – Think about the presentation of your posts – the image is the first thing people see, so you want to make it recognisable. Your social media is representing your brand – it’s important to stick to the same colour palette and font on your website and social media platforms to make your brand instantly recognisable. You also want to think about your tone of voice and how you communicate your message. Write down what language you use and how you communicate so whether it’s you, someone in your team or you are outsourcing your social media your messaging stays consistent.
- Create mind-blowing images – You don’t need to be a graphic designer to design stunning graphics for your brand. You can utilise tools like Canva (among others) to craft beautiful images to wow your audience. If you don’t have the time to learn Canva or create your own images, then hire a graphic designer to create a bank of images for you.
- Be careful with text on images – If you’re looking into running paid adverts on your social media channels, make sure that the graphic you’re sharing doesn’t include too much text – you will find that your advert performs better when it is mostly image-based, with less than 20% text. Keep it simple! Paid ads aside it’s not really aesthetically pleasing to have images filled with text.
- Know your patients – before creating your content and posts on social media it’s important to know you’re patients and who you’re talking to. So, for example, what are their pain points and what sort of things do they engage and interact with?
- Be consistent – The most important thing on social media is to be consistent. Post content on a regular basis, if you can’t commit to posting every day that’s ok, it’s not a big deal but can you commit to say 3 posts a week? That way it takes the pressure off and you can put out carefully thought out posts, rather than just posting for the sake of it.
- Make use of scheduling tools – If you did want to post your content across 2 or 3 platforms then using a scheduling tool is the best way to do this. There are scheduling tools you can use that will auto-post to Instagram as well such as Buffer. I’m a big fan of doing tasks in bulk, it makes you more efficient because you’re in the flow. By using a scheduling tool it means you can spend a few hours a month scheduling your posts for the rest of the month and then you can forget about it.
- Promote other businesses – What not try and do something for someone else without asking for anything in return? Promote another business, another local business near to you that your followers might be interested in, or maybe one of your customer’s businesses. You don’t have to ask for anything in return but the more you start helping other businesses around you the way the law of reciprocity works they will more than likely return the favour, which is a great way to great free exposure and followers for your business.
- Use local hashtags – When you start using local Hashtags, you’ll start to make more connections with your local community, which as a local business is the intention. It’s pointless having tons of followers and likes from people who are nowhere near your business because they are never going to become a patient. Use local hashtags such as #Birmingham or #Solihull and you can even include some local villages or towns that are close to where your clinic is located. It’s a great way of letting your followers know you’re local to them, as social media is such a big pond people are not always immediately sure if your clinic is round the corners, hundreds of miles away, or in another country.
- Engage with your followers – If you ask your customers for input and what they think about something -It’s a sign of respect. They think this person must value my opinion so highly that they come to seek me out. One of the best ways to do this on Facebook is to create a poll. For example: if you thinking about purchasing a new machine but you can’t decide between 2 options, the best feedback you’ll ever get is to ask your patients and followers, that way you know people are interested in the new treatment you’ll be offering before you’ve forked out thousands and it’s a good way to gently promote it before you invested.
- Try running paid ads – With the way Facebook especially has changed its algorithm it can be a challenge to reach new people organically on social media unless you’ve spent a long time building your audience. Investing in some paid advertising or boosting posts can be a powerful way to increase your social media presence and followers. You don’t have to spend a fortune to start off with. Target people who would be most interested in your services and who are near your location.
- Don’t forget to include a call to action – Content without a clear, direct call to action is often less effective. For example, If, you want to sell a product and all you’re doing is talking about that product it’s unlikely to sell. You need to tell them what they need to do, so you need to put the price of the product, with a link to buy it with the message “buy now” Or if you want people to book in with you tell them how to do so. It’s usually best to have 1 clear call to action and the easier you make it for them to book with you the more likely they will. Also, on this point, if you have something worth sharing, ask people to share the post as they don’t always think to do it off their own back.
- Move on from Covid – Last year after the first lockdown and potentially the second lockdown, it was a good idea to show your customers or viewers what steps you’re taking to create a COVID-safe environment, it’s not as relevant now that things have moved on. Of course, you need to tell them what to do if they have an appointment with you but that can be communicated over the phone. People have been inundated with Covid news and not much else over the last 12 months are wanting to use social media to relax and they most likely have COVID fatigue, so try to shift your focus to more light-hearted positive posts.
- Don’t miss important dates – ‘Awareness days’ are a great way to keep things interesting. It’s a good idea to keep a note of these important days in your calendar so you don’t forget. Search ‘awareness days UK 2022′ and you’ll find a whole load of special occasions that you can start mixing into your social media strategy. For example, if you have a clinic you can plan offers or competitions around awareness days, so for National Eczema Day you could run a promotion for a particular treatment or product that might help, or if you have a dental practice then you could run an offer on something for National Smile Month.
- Run regular competitions – running regular contests and competitions is a great way to increase your social media followers. Even if you do something every other month and boost it or run a paid ad as mentioned above. The bigger the giveaway the more engagement and followers you’ll get. Obviously, don’t run a competition for an injectable treatment but a focus on non-invasive treatments such as a facial or even a product is perfect. If you are going to run a competition make sure you include some terms and conditions in the post. Announce the winner in a post or even better a live video and finally make sure to send the product or deliver the treatment as promised.
- Check what’s working – the whole point of posting and spending time on social media is to get new patients as a result. If you’re posting for the sake of it and not getting any engagement or new enquiries then you might as well stop wasting your time. But first, you need to see what’s working and what’s not. It’s a good practice to check your analytics of the posts on a regular basis. By reviewing the analytics for your posts, you can see which types of content is performing better – with higher engagement rates, views, or link clicks. Once you’ve analysed your posts, see if there’s a common theme among your best content to help you decide what type of posts you should create more of in 2022.
- Don’t overthink it – try and have fun and not get too overwhelmed by social media, keep it simple by following some of the suggestions above but most importantly don’t procrastinate because you think everything needs to be perfect. It’s better to put yourself out there and improve and get better as you go along and try and have some fun with it too.