If you’re like most hearing care professionals, you’re more comfortable with an audiogram than Instagram. But like it or not, social media can help you boost your business. Here are 7 easy steps to make SoMe so work for you.
Step 1: Fear not!
Yes, the typical teenager feels more at home in this medium than you do. Don’t worry! Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, just about every business owner feels this way. But there’s only one way to learn, and that’s to dive in. 

Step 2: Start with a simple strategy
Rather than deciding “I’m going to use Facebook” (or Twitter/SnapChat/Instagram, etc.), start by considering your business goals, target audience and ideal brand identity.

What do you want to achieve with social media? (Get new customers? Keep existing ones? Enhance your personal reputation?) Who are you are trying to reach? (Potential customers? Existing customers? Peers? And what are the characteristics of these people?)

How do you want your brand to be perceived? (Warm and caring? Strictly professional? Fun-loving?) Take a few minutes to address these topics. Investing in a little upfront thinking keeps you on track and prevents wasted time and effort.

Step 3: Choose the social media channel(s) that fits best
Let your answers to the above guide you. Facebook has more than a billion users, but is your target audience using it? Is WeChat all the rage where you live? Is LinkedIn your best bet, since you’re targeting business professionals?

Ask various people in your target audience which social media they use, if you’re in doubt. They’ll feel important that you’ve asked for their opinion! Googling “preferred social media,” along with your target audience’s basic demographics, might also give you some insights. And better to choose just one or two platforms than burn out by juggling too many.

Step 4: See what other companies like yours are doing

If you’ve got time, it’s always a good idea to keep your eye on how other similar companies are using SoMe.

In addition to hearing care professionals, it could be physicians’ practices, physical therapists, opticians or even hairdressers. Maybe you’ll be inspired; maybe you’ll learn from their mistakes. And it never hurts to check out the competition. But don’t necessarily take what others do as best practice.

They’re also probably trying to figure out how to use social media best!

Step 5: Start posting!
Post regularly to establish your business’ social media presence. No one expects (or wants) you to be churning out posts all the time. But regular, quality content keeps your business top of mind with your target audience. And helps you achieve those business goals you defined.

When it comes to the length of a SoMe post, know that less is usually more. According to Buffer, a popular social media management tool, Facebook posts with 250 characters or less get 66% more engagement. And even though all tweets must be short, those with 100 characters or less still result in 17% more engagement.

Remember how you want to be perceived, too, as you choose the topics and wording for your posts.

Step 6: Put your target audience first
Think about what they want to hear, instead of what you want to tell them. What will they find interesting, helpful or valuable? Make sure no more than about 20% of your posts actively promote your business.

At least 80% of your posts should be other content. Perhaps it’s news articles about hearing, the latest research findings, how to protect their loved ones’ hearing, a photo of some celebrity wearing a hearing aid, or a photo of one of your customers running her first 5K (check out the Widex blog for potential ideas as well). Promoting yourself too much can backfire.

Step 7: Make your presence known
If your target audience is existing customers, let them know when they come into your clinic. Maybe you put a sign in the reception area, work it into the conversation, add it to your email auto signature or at the bottom of your invoices.

Figure out the best ways to let your target audience know where to find you on social media, and make it worth their while to keep following you. You can also buy paid ads/promote your posts on various social media platforms.

We wish you the best on your social media journey!

Next time: common mistakes on social media and how to avoid them

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