You can leverage the power of your social media accounts to generate more traffic for your dermatology practice. A significant number of active fans, followers, and members on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media outlets can have a multiplier effect on your online reach, engagement, and reputation. Consider the following proven tips to expand your dermatology social network reach.

Include Localized Keywords

To maximize exposure through social search, your first step should be to optimize your social networks for localized keywords. Include comprehensive and updated bios and company profiles for each network with clear details about the services you offer, your office logo or brand name, and your practice website URL.

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Wherever possible, you should also optimize your Facebook postings, tweets, YouTube videos, and LinkedIn status updates with localized keywords to improve your chances of getting found in social search results. Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter continue to strengthen their search algorithms. YouTube videos can be found easily via Google search if you optimize your account with appropriate keywords.

Be Proactive about Social Media Promotion

Make sure that your social media accounts are prominently promoted on various platforms. Whether it is your email messages, newsletters, business cards, letterheads, brochures and other print materials, signage, marketing and advertising, blogs, online business listings on Google+ and other forums, and various landing pages of your dermatology website, including the home page, your social presence should be displayed everywhere.

This will create awareness and encourage more people to become a part of your social media networks. Add attractive bylines, interesting quotes or compelling messages along with your social media promotions to garner more attention. Being innovative and creative will always pay off in this competitive space, and put your social media campaigns on top.

Inform, Educate, and Deliver Value-based Content

Differentiate your social media accounts by consistently creating and disseminating useful, valuable content that delivers solid value to your target audience. Rather than focusing on direct promotion of your dermatology products and services, educate people about the latest developments in the field, and how to benefit from them.

If your members have queries, engage personally whenever possible, and resolve the queries adequately. Share your newest articles, blogs, and other forms of content first with your social network members to make them feel privileged. People join professional social networks to gain value, and not to receive aggressive promotional content.

Make Effective Use of Social Share Buttons

Every social media network offers their unique social sharing icons or buttons to make your social content more shareable. By placing these buttons strategically on your website pages, blogs, columns, online newsletters, e-book pages, and webinar downloads, you can encourage your site and blog readers and newsletter recipients to share your content within their individual networks.

This will create a much wider reach for every piece of social content that you disseminate. The essential purpose of social media is to generate a viral effect for your content and popularize it across networks. The more convenient you make it for the readers to share your content, the greater and more diverse will be your social reach.

Create Relationships with Influencers

Individuals within your industry with highly popular websites, blogs, and social networks with thousands of followers can be strategic influencers to promote your dermatology social networks. Your first step should be to identify such relatable influencers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media.

You can find them through social search on each network and also use various free online tools to search for influencers within your industry. Engage with them via social media, participate in hashtag conversations, share and promote their blogs, articles, and social messages, and cultivate relationships. Once they trust your content, they will promote it through their influential networks, which will add to your social reach and credibility.

It is time to ask yourself: “Is my practice geared up to be a part of a new, connected patient’s purchase journey from the search engine or mobile to my practice door?”

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Customize your Social Media Introductory Pages

Through social search optimization and other promotional efforts, you can direct a greater traffic of visitors to your social networks. However, once a visitor has landed on your social page for the first time, it will now depend on the quality and presentation of your introductory or welcome page to create a deeper impression on their mind and prompt them to join your network.

As far as possible, make use of original, high quality images on the introductory page that closely describe the core values and theme of your social network. Use consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) across your networks to demonstrate consistency and credibility. Maintain common colors, styles, and fonts to create a distinguished brand.

Every social network allows you to customize your welcome page options. For instance, you can set your welcome page on Facebook as the default landing tab from the ‘Manage Permissions’ tool. You can utilize this tab to invite new visitors to ‘like’ your page and become a part of your network.

Create Contests and Polls and Offer Incentives

You can build a thriving social network by creating opportunities for interaction for your existing members as well as attracting new visitors to participate in your network. You can periodically conduct interesting quiz contests and polls via your network. This will not only give you useful insights about your target audience, but will also give them a chance to engage more personally with your network.

Allow new visitors to participate in such contests and polls if they ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your network. Offer special discounts and rebates on your dermatology services that are exclusive to your social network members. Research reveals that nearly 60 percent of Facebook users expect special promotions and exclusive offers from business pages.

Once you have crossed the initial barriers to building a substantial dermatology social network, it can only grow from there. A committed and focused effort around these seven tips can help you reach there. It will not happen in a day, but over time, you will be able to reap rich dividends on a sustainable basis through your social media strategy. n

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of Dermatologists.

With a team of 130+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps doctors who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call Naren direct at 877-249-9666.