October 29, 2018
by Jackson Hadley, My Social Practice
With Instagram stories and Snapchat, you might ask, “Why would I go through the trouble of creating posts for my practice’s pages if they’ll just be gone after a day?” This is why it’s worth your time.
As social media and technology continue to evolve, so do the preferences and habits of social media users. If you were a participant in the early days of social media, you might remember you or your kids occasionally posting to Myspace or chatting with a friend via AOL Messenger. Now, social media is a 24/7 experience — average users, including your dental patients, are consuming social media and each contributing to it literally dozens of times per day, aided by mobile devices that are always with them and continually in their hands.
There is now so much social media content generated every day that it’s less like a news feed and more like a river. It’s impossible to catch up with what you’ve missed throughout the day, so instead, users are just paying attention to what’s happening right now. With so much content to wade through, how can you reach current and potential patients, build relationships, and motivate them to action? Read on!
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
This new focus on the moment has led to a new type of media called ephemeral content, designed to grab the attention of these constantly-glancing users. You’ve probably heard of some examples such as Instagram stories, Facebook stories, or Snapchat snaps. It’s content that is immediately engaging, only takes a couple of seconds to interact with, and rewards users for keeping up to date. And why is it called ephemeral? Because it disappears after 24 hours.
The first mental roadblock you may have to overcome is being okay with the fact that whatever you create, it will be gone after 24 hours. It’s fleeting, but that’s part of the novelty! Ephemeral content gives you a huge amount of freedom to experiment with quick ideas, and engage current and potential patients in new ways.
The Fear of Missing Out
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is one of the biggest reasons that young people are staying glued to their phones. Because the river of social media content is constantly flowing, they don’t want to end up out of the loop because they missed the latest post from a friend or celebrity, special offer, or event announcement. Followers feel compelled to stay tuned on a regular basis.
I understand that this all may sound foreign to you. If you didn’t grow up with social media, it may not play as big a part in your life. But if you want to get through to these hard-to-reach younger demographics with dental content, and keep them connected with your practice, you have to build an online presence that is appealing to them and fits how they use social media. Understanding the unique dental marketing purposes of ephemeral content will help you do that.
Connect With Your Practice’s Key Audiences, Easier and More Often
Your patients, and the people most likely to become new patients, are interacting with stories from Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat every day. With Instagram alone, there are more than 400 million people engaging with stories each month, many of them in the hard-to-reach millennial demographic.
A well-crafted ephemeral content strategy for your dental practice will enable you to create a greater amount of engaging content with less effort and less time. Using images and rich media such as video, you can get a compelling and interactive story in front of your followers quickly.
So get out your phone, get creative with your team, and start sharing moments that invite people to become part of your practice family!
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.