7 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year

Happy 2018, everyone!

As our Dental City team is ready to tackle another year in the dental industry we make sure to review the past year and what we learned from it—where were our successes and where could we have done better. Are you doing the same?

Are you looking over your various growth strategies from 2017 to see how they measured up and what you can improve upon for a more successful 2018?

If part of your review is the success of your social media presence then this article is for you. Perhaps 2017 was the year you truly found your social media voice—you engaged patients regularly and formed an online community you were proud of. Or you might still have been figuring out the best way to leverage this powerful marketing tool for your practice.

In either case, it’s never a bad time to review the ways in which you might be inadvertently holding back your social media success. To ensure you start off the New Year right, study this list of 7 social media mistakes to avoid and get ready for a fantastic 2018.

  1. Mistake 1: Focusing on “me” instead of “them”
    Anytime you craft a social media post you should always be thinking about current and potential patients—their likes and dislikes, problems they need solved, etc. By doing this you’ll be sure to have much more varied and useful content that people outside of your practice actually want to view. You can only share so many of the same “We’re the best dental practice!” posts before followers will be moving on.
  2. Mistake 2: Using Too Much Automation
    Social media post schedulers are wonderful time savers that help keep busy practices running smoothly. But if everything you post is preplanned and scheduled your social media feeds will start to feel stale and impersonal. Every now and then be spontaneous with your posting. Share that surprise birthday cake your brought in for your office manager, a funny story about a patient visit (with the patient’s permission!) or adorable cat video your assistant saw on her break.
  3. Mistake 3: Not Paying For Social Media
    Back in the early days of social media when you shared something it likely the majority of your followers would see it, but that’s not true today. With so much content being shared paid posts are prioritized well above organic posts, meaning that if you’re not willing to pay for sponsored posts your content will mostly likely not get seen. But the great thing about paying for social media ads is that you can be targeted with who you’re showing your content to, when you’re showing it and the goal of the content.
  4. Mistake 4: Not Using Enough Images or Videos
    Gone are the days where social media posts were mostly text. In today’s content-saturated world a large block of text will most likely be passed up in favor of a striking photo and short description or a well-designed video. That means you need to dedicate some time and resources to finding and creating content that caters to a more visually inclined audience. If you don’t have the resources yet to create a lot of your own photo or video posts share content from trusted sources you think will resonate with your patients (with proper credit, of course).
  5. Mistake 5: Not Knowing Which Metrics to Track
    While it’s great to see that your practice has a lot of “Likes” on Facebook or followers on Twitter, those are typically more superficial stats that don’t fully reveal the success of your social media marketing. Instead, place more stock in metrics that show actual engagement with your practice—comments, click-throughs, shares, retweets, etc.—all are much better indicators that your content actually resonates with your audience. It’s easy to click “Like” or “Follow” but takes a more vested interest to actually interact with a piece of content and that’s what you need to grow your practice via social media.
  6. Mistake 6: Sticking With Just One Social Media Platform
    Yes, Facebook is still the leader in social media, but today’s social media users tend to be on more than one platform. This means that if you don’t branch out to the likes of Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn to name a few that you’ll most likely be missing out on potential engagement. You don’t have to join all the platforms but select two or three you think you’ll be able to maintain well. There are plenty of programs to help keep all your social media presences organized and to help schedule posts when you can.
  7. Mistake 7: Not Taking Social Media Seriously Enough
    As a business that’s main focus isn’t just on our social media pages we get that sometimes things can take priority over your daily tweet or your Friday Facebook post. However, the importance of social media for practice growth is only going to increase, which means that leaving it on the back burner or posting “whenever you get to it” just isn’t going to cut it anymore. To help balance a productive and well-run practice and a strong social media presence consider adding a part-time marketing team member to your staff or allocating some resources to creating a social media strategy and then training everyone who works “up front” to follow that strategy. This way the responsibility doesn’t just fall on one person and gets more easily forgotten.

We know social media isn’t always easy and that it requires patience to start seeing the results you want. But if you can avoid these social media mistakes this year you’ll be well on your way to having a successful social media presence for your dental practice.