Bad social media habits can hurt your reputation

In a society where 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations, reputation is everything. For most small businesses, marketing success is directly linked to their online reputation.

With just a few keystrokes, your dental practice’s online reputation can be built up or torn down. It’s not just negative reviews on Yelp or Google that can affect your practice. Your own social media habits can be doing more harm than good.

To prevent social media mistakes and protect your online reputation, follow these web dos and don’ts for dental practices:

Don’t post infrequently

Setting up multiple social media accounts on various online platforms may sound like a good idea, but if you can’t post regularly and keep all of your sites up-todate, your online ranking and reputation may suffer. Start with a few manageable platforms so you have time to post regularly and engage with your followers.

A recent study by Pew Research Center shows that 72% of Facebook users log on daily and 43% log on multiple times a day. Followers won’t engage with you if you’re not active on social media.

Don’t post irrelevant “spam” content

A newsfeed full of “spam” posts is perhaps one of the fastest ways to lose your hard-won followers. For example, posting about topics unrelated to dentistry or your patients, blatant sales pitches, and repeated posts about the same thing can cost you Facebook and Twitter followers.

Keep your posts focused on your patients and what your practice can do for them. Don’t overwhelm your follower’s newsfeeds with information they don’t need.

Don’t focus solely on self-promotion

No one likes a one-sided conversation. When it comes to your practice, it’s best to find a healthy balance between self-promotion and catering to your followers.

Sharing the occasional offer is acceptable, but try to mix it up with useful content. Your followers will then be more likely to share your posts.

Do make a social media strategy

If your dental practice dives into social media without a coherent plan, you won’t be able to measure the results of your online marketing. By reviewing your goals, you can do more of what works (and less of what does not). Set goals such as:

  • Content frequency
  • Number of blog subscribers, followers, likes, shares, retweets, etc.
  • Percentage of positive and negative reviews
  • Traffic referred to your practice’s website from social media sources.

Do post regularly and engage with your followers.

When it comes to spreading the word about your practice, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you. Regular online posts with practice updates, new offers and interesting articles encourage your followers to engage with you.

Your followers on social media sites can improve your online reputation for you. Every like, comment or share from your followers will be seen by their followers in turn. It pays to engage with your followers to keep them talking about your practice. Be sure to respond to comments and questions to show your followers that you’re listening.

Do respond to all reviews – not just the nice ones

In an ideal world, all of your practice’s online reviews would be positive. No one wants to receive an unfavorable review, but they’re bound to happen. What matters most is how you respond.

A kind, thoughtful response shows that your practice values its patients, and prospective patients who read it will take notice. The best possible outcome of a negative review is that the reviewer is so appreciative of your response, they update their review to be more favorable.

Find out how to expand your web presence and protect your practice’s online reputation — and save time while you do so. Talk to your Account Executive about which eServices would be best for your dental practice.