Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the fact that social media plays a major role in patient acquisition and engagement. Whether you prefer Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, your practice cannot overlook the importance of utilizing these mediums in your marketing strategy.
According to the State of Inbound 2017 Report, produced by Hubspot, 29% of businesses said social selling was their top sales priority for the upcoming year. Keep in mind, however, that the two other priorities with higher percentages were “closing more deals,” and “improving the efficiency of the sales funnel.” All indicators point to more and more focus being put on ramping up social selling efforts and strategies.
Let’s take a closer look at what social selling is and how you can maximize your efforts.
What is Social Selling?
First things first. What is social selling? According to our ever-faithful Hubspot, “Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.” Social media is a way to humanize your practice and put your relationships with current and potential clients before the sale.
SuperOffice created a great chart that helps us understand the shift in sales practices when it comes to social selling.
How are Plastic Surgery Practices Using Social Selling?
Given that you are likely a medical or plastic surgery practice, you may not have specific salespeople. However, you probably have patient service managers or at least people who spend some of their time reaching out to potential and current patients to encourage them to book an appointment. While you may not love the idea of “selling” your services, that is in fact what you need to do to grow your practice.
59% of Marketers Say Inbound Marketing (social, email, digital ads) Provides the Highest Quality Leads
If you’ve spent any amount of time on the Outlet Creative Group blog, you know we put a pretty hefty emphasis on social media. Besides email and in person contact, social media is the most direct way for you to connect with your patients. Once again, let’s reference the 2017 Inbound Report. When asked what their company’s top marketing priorities were over the next 12 months, 70% of respondents said converting leads to customers and 55% said growing traffic to their website. Well, one of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to proactively participate on social media. But you’re probably wondering, what in the world do you post about?
We are a big proponent of subtly selling instead of pushing sales 24/7. Here are a few ways you can use social media to sell your services and promote your practice.
- Answer frequently asked questions
- Showcase your services
- Feature sales, specials, and campaigns
- Highlight before and after pictures
- Dispel commonly believed myths
- Introduce your team
- Share behind the scenes info
In fact, the savviest social media marketers pay close attention to when their patients are active on social media, what their interests are, and what types of content they best engage. The beauty of scheduling your social content is that you can tailor your posts to when your patients are most likely to see and respond to it.
What You Need to Do to Get the Most Out of Social SellingNo one wants to put a ton of effort into social selling if they aren’t going to get a positive ROI. The key to social selling is to have a plan and make sure you consistently offer value to your followers. Here are a few of our go-to tips when guiding a practice on getting started with social selling.
Pick the Right Platform:
Unlike what a lot of people will tell you, you don’t have to be on all social media platforms. In fact, we encourage you not to be. Instead, identify which social media platforms are most relevant to your audience. Another factor to keep in mind is how many platforms you can realistically keep updated. If you feel like you can only manage one account professionally, don’t jump into three. The key is to post consistent, valuable, and relevant content.
46% of Marketers Plan to Add Facebook Video to their Marketing Efforts in the Next 12 Months
Get Connected:One thing that is easy to overlook is who you are connected with as a practice. Potential patients may be curious to see how involved you are in the community or other specialists you are connected with. To be seen as an industry expert, it’s a good idea to know the key players in your area.
Participate in Other Groups and Conversations:Your presence on social needs to go beyond your profile. This means joining industry groups, answering questions, and just being helpful in general. When a question comes up that is relevant to your practice, you want other people to refer you!
Create Content that is Share-Worthy:The best way to drive traffic to your website from social media is to in fact create blog posts, videos, or downloads that you can push out on your go-to platforms. The idea behind social selling is that people will see your content and be driven to your website. By seeing quality content from you on a consistent basis, people will begin to know, like, and trust you.
Have a Specific Ask:We’ve all been there - mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Pretty pictures and quotes are nice, but it’s content with a compelling message and a clear call to action that makes us stop and take a closer look. In fact, you won’t make any sales using social media if you don’t, in fact, ASK FOR THE SALE. Make it easy for them and every once in awhile, share a post that specifically asks followers to take action.
There is no question; social selling is on the rise. More and more businesses and medical practices are tapping into the benefits of talking with their patients instead of talking at them. As you make your social media plan for the remainder of the year, make sure you have specific goals, a posting schedule you can keep up with, and valuable content that will position you as a resource while pushing people back to your website. Put your personality in your posts and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Finally, make it easy for your potential patients to choose you as their go-to practitioner - ask for the sale!
Ready to have a social media strategy that actually works? Contact Outlet Creative Group today!