Social media content, no matter how engaging, isn’t worth anything if nobody sees it. Making small, smart investments in promoting your posts is the new reality of social media marketing — the faster you embrace it, the faster new patients can start finding you.
Up until about 2014, if you posted something on your practice’s Facebook page, you could expect around 40 to 50 percent of your fans to see it (the post’s reach). If you’ve been tracking your practice’s Facebook posts over the last few years, however, you’ve probably noticed a decline in reach — even among fans of your page. Don’t worry, it’s not because you’re any less interesting! It’s a result of Facebook (and all other major social media platforms) using algorithms to sort content and show users only what it thinks is most relevant to them.
There are now two types of reach: paid and organic. Social media platforms now allow you to invest money into promoting your posts, boosting their visibility among audiences you select. This gets you paid reach. On the other hand, organic reach is how many people see your post without you investing any money to promote it. And thanks to these content-sorting algorithms, organic reach is lower than ever. Our research has confirmed that unpromoted posts reach only about 1 percent of the audience, depending on the page, location of the practice, competition, and when the post was made. This means that if your practice Facebook page has 600 fans, your posts could be reaching as few as 6 people organically.
How does this affect your plan to grow your practice with social media? When your patients engage with your posts and share them with friends and family, they introduce you to the people most likely to become new patients. It’s the most effective way to turn patients into advocates and build powerful, authentic word-of-mouth marketing. But if your patients and fans never see your posts in the first place, they won’t have the chance to share. Unpaid, organic reach just isn’t enough to get your social media content seen by the people that will help your practice thrive.
To be successful in growing your dental practice with social media, you need engaging, share-worthy content as well as a smart content promotion plan. It’s time to bring your marketing strategy up to date with the new pay-to-play reality of social media. It provides incredible opportunities to connect with the people that will allow your practice to thrive, in ways that traditional advertising just can’t match.
About the Author
Jackson Hadley is a marketing strategist with My Social Practice, which provides a complete social media marketing solution for dental, orthodontic and optometric practices. A public relations specialist, Jackson combines the advertising and trust-building aspects of social media to help businesses connect authentically with their communities.