Having to consistently create relevant and engaging social media content isn’t easy. Trust me, I know. So, before I go any further, let me offer a few pieces of advice on how to make it easier:
Plan ahead: Create a social media calendar and plan out your content at least a month in advance (while still leaving room for spontaneous, one-off posts). Not only will this spare you a lot of scrambling and head-scratching, but it’ll keep your team on the same page, ensure that you’re posting regularly (and at the best times), and help you create cohesive campaigns which are essential to any social media strategy. These campaigns can be scheduled around events, promotions, product launches, etc. or be any series of posts carrying a consistent message or hashtag (like #TestimonialTuesday or #MotivationMonday).
Share content: When you can’t create a new piece of content or reuse an older one, take advantage of the plethora of digital content that’s already out there. If you follow major news outlets, industry journals, hearing aid manufacturers, etc., then you should have no trouble finding quality, relevant content to share with your followers. Be your patients’ go-to source for hearing health information and news, just make sure you cite/tag your source!
Repurpose content: Whether you realize it or not, most of your blog posts are evergreen, meaning they don’t have a shelf life. Breathe new life into your older posts by tweaking the copy and headline, updating any stats, and/or giving it a fresh, new angle (example: adding a seasonal spin to a list of hearing aid care tips). Bonus: Google actually rewards older content that’s been updated. You can also slice longer videos into several shorter snippets (30-60 seconds) and post them sporadically or as part of a campaign/series.
Mix it up: Years ago, the golden rule for effective social media marketing was the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while 20 percent should directly promote your business. However, social media marketing has changed so much that this approach has become outdated. Ultimately, everything you share on social media promotes your brand in one way or another. Even if you’re not overtly selling your products and services, consumers are smart enough to realize you’re trying to earn their business. Plus, who says you can’t educate and entertain at the same time? Instead of following a ratio, you should strive to post a nice mix of content and regularly track the performance of your posts to determine what’s resonating with your followers and what’s not.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are nearly two dozen social post ideas—plus examples from practices just like yours—that are guaranteed to keep you inspired and boost your organic engagement:
1. A milestone or achievement.
Celebrating an anniversary? Opening a new location? Recently received positive media attention or an award? Sharing these kinds of moments with your followers shows your human side while highlighting your growth and success. Sometimes a little bragging can go a long way.
2. Promote a new or soon-to-be-released product.
Keep patients informed about the newest hearing aids on the market and encourage those wearing devices 3+ years old to consider upgrading. When you have a new product coming in, build up hype by sharing a teaser video or other content from the manufacturer. Let patients know when it’ll be released, the different sizes and colors available, etc.
3. A live or pre-recorded video.
On Facebook, video posts have a higher engagement rate than photo, link, and status posts. Tip: to get the most engagement, it’s best to upload videos directly to Facebook and Twitter as opposed to sharing a link to the video on your YouTube page (videos posted directly to Facebook get 478 percent more shares). Also, consider engaging followers in real-time by going live on Facebook the next time you want to promote a new product, demonstrate how to clean hearing aids or answer questions from patients. People spend three times longer watching Facebook Live videos than pre-recorded ones. The best part? You can save live videos then post them on your website and other social pages.
4. Show your employees some love.
Humanize your brand by showcasing the real people who work at your practice and acknowledging the great work they do. If you have an Employee of the Week/Month/Quarter program, make sure they’re also recognized on your social media channels. The same goes for new employees—introduce them to your followers with a photo and a little bit of background information.
5. Show your patients some love, too!
It’s nice to make patients feel special once in a while, especially ones who are quite special—a patient celebrating his/her 100th birthday or a local musician who comes to your practice for custom earplugs, for instance. Note: ALWAYS get permission from patients and employees before taking and sharing a photo of them on social media!
6. A patient testimonial or review.
This should be a no-brainer! Aside from being free publicity, it shows patients how valued their feedback is.
7. Ask for referrals and/or reviews.
Remind patients that their referrals and feedback help you help more people. Mention the different channels/websites where they can leave you reviews online (Google, Healthy Hearing, your website, etc.) and include links. Or, even easier, ask them to leave a review right there on your Facebook page.
8. A meme or joke.
Don’t be afraid to show you have a sense of humor. When done right, a meme or joke can bring some much-needed levity to your social feed that your followers will no doubt appreciate.
9. An invitation to an upcoming event.
There are two key benefits to promoting events via Facebook event pages as opposed to just regular posts: 1) it’ll give you an idea of how many people are interested or attending and 2) those people will also receive a reminder when the event starts. Not doing in-person events right now? No problem—you can create Facebook events for more than just physical gatherings such as a webinar, charity drive/fundraiser, exclusive sale, or product launch.
10. Promote an upcoming community event.
Show that your practice is involved in the community by promoting local happenings (health and wellness events, fairs, craft shows, farmer’s markets, charity events, etc.). This is also a great way to establish relationships with community groups and local organizations that could be mutually beneficial.
11. Support a local cause and encourage your followers to do the same!
If there’s a noteworthy local cause or charity that you’re involved in, tell your followers about it and include a link to where they can get more information or make a donation.
12. Ask a question or poll your audience.
Everyone has an opinion and most love sharing it. Encourage engagement by starting a conversation. It’s best to keep the question simple but open-ended (i.e. one that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no). And steer clear of any question that might invite negative responses.
13. Go ‘behind-the-scenes.’
Your followers are interested in what you do—that’s the whole reason they follow you. Share photos and videos of your office, staff, and workplace events. Let them see what you see. Give them a tour of your office. Show them what a hearing test is like. Giving patients a peek behind the curtains signals authenticity and builds greater trust.
14. A hearing health fact or hearing aid maintenance tip.
Not only is this exactly the kind of content your followers want and expect from you, but it should be one of the easiest to produce. Consider making it a weekly or monthly series à la #FunFactFriday, #HearingFactFriday, #WaxWednesday, or #WisdomWednesday.
15. A coupon or special promotion/offer.
Reward your followers (and possibly gain new ones!) by posting a coupon or special offer. You can provide a coupon code to use online, a printable coupon that can be used in-office, or simply instruct patients to mention the offer at their appointment to redeem. If you offer free demos or other promos, it’s worth mentioning on your social channels once a month or every other month.
16. A reminder/update on the safety precautions you’re taking in light of COVID-19.
Reminding patients that their safety and well-being is your top priority isn’t going to get old any time soon.
17. Any other company updates.
Social media is THE platform for keeping patients up-to-date on what’s going on with your business in real-time. A few examples: if you have to close early due to inclement weather, just hired a new staff member, your hours have changed, you’re relocating or opening a new office, etc. The last two examples are updates that bear repeating either weekly or biweekly leading up to the actual date as well as after.
18. Celebrate an obscure or not-so-obscure holiday.
There are thousands of obscure and fun “holidays” (you can find a bunch here and here). When one rolls around, use it to make a connection to your business or hearing health (if this sounds difficult, see the creative and clever examples below). Or, simply use it as an excuse to boost employee engagement—surely they wouldn’t mind honoring National Doughnut Day (June 4) or National Pizza Party Day (May 15). Besides these lesser-known holidays, there’s plenty you already know of that can be used to educate patients and promote your brand. Share a fact about the hazards of loud environmental noise on Earth Day (April 22). Thank your staff on Employee Appreciation Day (March 5) then thank patients on Senior Citizens Day (Aug. 21).
19. Observe a health awareness day/week/month.
In addition to the many hearing health-related awareness holidays you’re probably already familiar with, there are a ton of other health awareness holidays to keep on your radar. These are excellent opportunities to show your expertise and raise awareness about the many comorbidities linked to untreated hearing loss.
20. An infographic.
Humans are visual creatures. We remember only 20% of what we read vs. 80% of what we see, and our brains process images 60,000X faster than text. Our attention spans are also getting shorter and shorter (we’re down to a mere 8 seconds). Need I say more?
21. Take advantage of a trending topic.
Although you have a short window of opportunity for topical posts, they can score huge numbers. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for breaking news and trending topics that are relevant to your followers, then jump on them immediately. A less time-sensitive way to stay topical? Reference big events you already know about like the Super Bowl, award season, and back-to-school.
Creating informative, valuable, and entertaining social media content doesn’t need to be rocket science or feel like a chore. The more you enjoy your social posts, I promise, the more your followers will, too.
And if you ever feel like you’re spending more time and energy on your social media content than it’s actually worth, remind yourself of this statistic: nearly 60 percent of patients decide where they’re going to get treatment based on the provider’s social media presence.
Also, remember that you don’t have to do it alone—your digital partners and Consult Marketing Account Executive can help you plan and execute a winning social media marketing strategy.