Any business can have a social media presence. The challenge is creating one that is authentic, engaging and helps to build trust and authority – one where you stay positive but also keep it real. This can sometimes feel like walking on a tightrope!
Unfortunately, most of the info on social media has created a HUGE false impression of the world. Photos of perfectly angled and beautifully filtered moments – ones that only exist in Hallmark movies – seem to be the benchmark we’re measured by. Sure, they look magical and beautiful, but does it portray real-life? And more importantly, does that really resonate with your ideal patient?
Your ideal patient is looking for true and authentic connection. They want answers to their very real problems. They want to feel valued and heard and know that you get them. They want a relationship – one that you can help develop by showing the true you on social media.
As you decide how to brand yourself on social media, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Tip 1: Be Transparent and Honest
If you’ve been waiting to post or go Live until you’re 100% sure you’ll get it perfect, you might want to let that one go. You do NOT have to show up perfectly online. If you’re trying to keep it real, you need to…well…be real.
And here’s how you can do just that:
- Post a candid photo without using a filter.
- Talk about a challenge or struggle you’ve overcome.
- Don’t copy the competition. It’s one thing to use pieces for inspiration, but be uniquely and unapologetically you!
Showing up honestly and transparently online is about showing that you’re the real deal. So, ditch the manicured posts and let them see who you are. I don’t mean showing up online with your hair in curlers or dropping profanity bombs. I mean being professional while also showcasing your personality as a real human.
Tip 2: Be Thoughtful and Offer Value to Your Patients
You became a practitioner because you want to serve and help. One way to let that genuine desire shine through is by creating posts that make a difference in your patients’ lives. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Give your patients information that’s relevant to them. If you help women going through menopause, don’t flood your feed with posts about the prostate. (That’s a silly example, but you get what I’m saying.)
- Don’t post for the sake of posting. And don’t post just to get some likes. Go for content that reflects who you are and how you serve your ideal patients.
- And for goodness sake, don’t just post a “Happy Valentine’s Day!” or, “Happy 4th of July!” Use holidays as an opportunity to give fun ideas or tips on how they can celebrate. Or let them in on your life and share how you celebrate!
- Provide more value than pitches. Nothing will make someone “unfollow” you faster than over-promoting. Plan to have 4 or 5 value-based posts for every 1 sales pitch or promotional post.
Offering value-packed content takes knowing your ideal patient and what matters to them. If you need some help in this area, check out this podcast for a list of questions you can ask to get to know your patients better.
Tip 3: Show Gratitude
Nothing is more authentic on social media than having actual conversations with your followers. As you listen to what they say, respond with thoughtful, timely insight. The key here is sounding natural and grateful – not forced or hokey.
So, when it comes to showing gratitude, do it like you would IRL – in real life. You wouldn’t respond to a friend’s post with, “Thank you for your comment!” So, make sure to not give cliché or formulaic responses to your followers. Personalize your response just like they personalized their comment.
In addition to comments, you can also show gratitude in your posts. Don’t be afraid to thank other practices, community organizations, first responders, and so on. This is a great way to connect into your local community and show them your support.
Tip 4: Own Up to Your Mess Ups
We’ve all been there. Whether you misspoke or accidentally came across as insensitive or rude, we ALL make mistakes. And when it does happen, you might be tempted to delete the post or try and sweep it under the rug.
But here’s a not-so-secret secret – you can’t actually delete anything from the internet.
So, whenever you flub-up, it’s better to own it from the get-go and figure out a way to fix it. Part of that is being fully honest that you made a mistake and then reassuring your audience of what you’ll do in the future to keep it from happening again.
When this happens, remember to be kind to yourself. It happens to the best of us. Fortunately, social media moves at warp speed, and the world moves on.
Tip 5: A Word on Photos…
Being authentic on social media goes beyond the captions you write or hashtags you use. It also extends to your visual content, such as your photos or videos.
It can be tempting sometimes to lean heavily on stock images. For example, if you’re a nutritionist, that roasted butternut squash photo on Shutterstock may look much nicer than the one you snapped using your iPhone.
One word of caution here: using images of products that aren’t your own can do some damage to your credibility. Your followers may wonder why you’re having to rely on glorified images versus using your own and showing your real side. There’s such a thing as too perfect of a picture – your followers can sniff that out a mile away.
So, when posting images, it’s better to stick to ones that are unique to you and your practice.
Be the Real Deal
With social media, you can do one of two things: be the real you or a performer on a stage. I highly recommend being yourself. Being authentically you will go a long way in building stronger relationships with your ideal patients and showing them that you’re the real deal who wants the best for them.
If you’d like more tips on how to connect with your ideal patients on social media, head on over and listen to our latest podcast episode – Connecting with Your Patients Using Social Media.