The year is still fresh, and there are ripe social media opportunities for the picking. Some of those opportunities are disguised as “trends.” By understanding of-the-moment consumer preferences and demands among top platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok – you can direct your resources toward those actions that will bear the most fruit. Here, we have outlined some of those trends, which represent actionable opportunities for your practice, below. These findings and patterns can also be used to help drive messaging that resonates in 2021 and beyond.
In December, Facebook issued its “2021 The Topics and Trends Report.” The report isolated trends in the areas of education and action, lifestyle, leisure, and technology for the following countries: Canada, United States, Australia, Brazil, United Kingdom, India, Mexico, and Germany.
In Canada, Facebook highlighted the prominence of “hardworking homes.” These are households that perform double-duty and triple-duty as offices, classrooms, gyms, entertainment centers, playgrounds, and fitness and recreation hubs. Your messaging on Facebook should speak to the multi-functionality of the home. Acknowledge how your patients are busy, juggling teaching the kids and maintaining workplace productivity at home. Yet, also enforce how these multi-talented “worker bees” still deserve to have a healthy, pain-free, and beautiful smile, and need to make time for their oral health care.
Likewise, posts and conversations on Facebook should highlight convenience. Any services that you offer should be highlighted in a way that clearly demonstrates their ease and efficiency. This trend also presents an opportunity for new services that are inherently convenient, such as teledentistry, to shine.
Technology, digital marketing, and social media news hub, Digital Phablet, spotlighted a number of Instagram trends to watch for in the New Year. Notably, the prognosticators encourage users to focus less on “posts” and more on “stories.” This popular Instagram tool is ready-made for engaging with patients. Stories are often highly authentic, off-the-cuff “experiences” that allow for you to quickly promote new services and exciting products in memorable ways.
It is estimated that around 70 percent of users listen as well as read stories. So, a dynamic story, rich with audio and voiceovers, presents a fun way to peek in with loyal “fans” and prospects of your practice during special events, or as new technologies are being used by staff (or on clients who are not Instagram-shy). Stories can also be used to complement existing posts, as part of your curated feed.
The platform itself has highlighted several “Instagram for business” trends. For one, they point to the rise of “info-social.” Well-crafted, savvy content that speaks to the community and inclusivity is welcome in an environment fraught with partisanship and division. Lo-fi video, like audio, speaks to the multimedia, dynamic nature of Instagram. Additionally, never underestimate the importance of building up some enthusiasm for a new procedure, service, or amenity. While you may not be a sneaker brand or record label, you can still “hype” the “latest and greatest” in a professional manner that generates excitement.
To appreciate how your organization can leverage TikTok to its fullest, let us take you on an (albeit short) trip down memory lane. The video-sharing service only rose to prominence in late 2018, after merging with Chinese social media service Musical.ly. Since then, even Canadian politicians like Jagmeet Singh have famously jumped on the bandwagon. To understand the appeal of TikTok thus far is to understand how the platform’s unique capabilities and its own brand can be used to build your presence online and, ultimately, to drive the traffic that comes through your doors, or through your virtual meeting service of choice.
Notably, throughout the pandemic, TikTok has allowed us to enter the lives of first responders. As health professionals, you can certainly appreciate that many consumers are very interested in how you and your team are faring through COVID-19. Likewise, existing, and prospective patients want some reassurance that future visits to your office are safe. There are few opportunities to showcase, in a real-time environment, the steps that you took to minimize exposures to the virus, and to maintain other safety and sterilization standards.
In addition to its role in educating and informing the public, TikTok has also played an entertaining and high-impact function in connecting groups that feel isolated in the present environment.
The true practice “winners” in this environment will be empathetic to factors such as fear and isolation. They will use all the technologies and tools that are available to them to ensure trust, and to build patient-provider relationships. So, that they are stronger than ever before.
About the Author
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren.