[Portions of this article - written by me - first appeared on the Dentoola Blog-01.11.2011]
Dental industry businesses and service providers that “get” social media will move ahead of the crowd. What’s a good first step?
Choices vary these days from Twitter, to Facebook, to LinkedIn, to Google+, YouTube and more. Try one or even better test-drive all. And while you’re at it remember a foundational essential – the blog!
“…blogging is an essential ingredient to any social media strategy.”
Amy Porterfield blogged that while confessing the common uncertainty of what to write about, when to post, how to grow subscribers, and how to keep them coming back for more. “If you’ve had any of these concerns you’re not alone!”
The dental industry as a whole can benefit from the social media marketing boom. And many are getting ahead as we speak!
Blogging is an essential entry-point strategy to get the wheels moving forward.
Let’s start with some blog basics.
1-Keep it simple
A blog isn’t a novel. There’s no real pressure to create a plot, back-story, or drama. It’s simply a place to engage, inform, and inspire (more on those in a moment).
Blog about your dental industry expertise. But don’t overwhelm your reader/subscriber with industry-speak. Remember the point is to engage (make friends) not impress or worse, alienate.
Start simple with your dental blog. Give readers and subscribers something to use. What do you know about them?
> Make a list of topics. What are your clients or patients concerned about? Read other industry blogs. Get a Twitter account and scan your niche’s trending topics (look for “#” – the hashtag). Then…write simple how-to tips and post on your dental blog!
> Create an editorial calendar and regularly add ideas to it so you’re never without a seed thought or two to develop.
> Contract a blog writer. Many copywriters specialize in online writing. They know how to write compelling blog copy and load it with SEO friendly keywords (tags).
2-Keep it conversational.
Write (blog) like you would talk to a friend over drinks or dinner.
You lose and readers lose when you speak a language they don’t speak. Sure, you know your industry and the terminology like the back-of-your-hand. Just remember to keep it out-of-the-clouds and not so “lofty.”
Use your blog to engage them in not only practical knowledge but give them a place to interact with your expertise via questions and comments. A blog gives them access to your knowledge-base 24/7.
Ongoing conversations about dental trends, orthodontic supplies, CE options, practice management and consulting services, etc. builds trust that you can take to the bank! A blog spotlights your well-earned professional knowledge, skills, and services in a most engaging way.
3-Keep it civil.
Sometimes you’re tempted to use your blog to rant. Should you?
There’s some buzz about social responsibility and online content. Keep in mind that what’s said online…stays online! Take-backs may work in face-to-face conversations or print media. But online…not so much! That should determine if (perhaps the best practice), when, and how you choose to rant via your dental blog content.
Inform. Inspire. Compel…but do so responsibly!
Deliver useful, practical, actionable content on your blog. Readers will come back for more…and tell others to do the same.
Blogging is an A-level strategy for taking the leap into social media marketing. And it flows very effectively into how you can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.