By: Emily Williams
When I was five, my parents decided to take my older sisters and me to Disney World. I don’t remember too much, but there is one thing I will always remember from the trip:
The “It’s a Small World” ride… Caught. On. FIRE.
Yes, I’d say that is quite memorable. We were riding in the boat through the various countries when suddenly our boat stopped for a very long time somewhere near “Europe”. Next thing we know, there is smoke ahead of us and we find out that the boat just in front had caught on fire. Our “captain” got out of the boat and helped each of us climb up onto the set and make our way to the emergency exit. I suppose some little kids might find this scary. Not me. Instead of just watching the set sing and dance, my dream came true. I was actually in Scandinavia – or maybe Eastern Europe – with these amazing little characters that were just my size. And I LOVED it. I got to walk through Europe – all the way to the emergency exit.
I came home and told my Kindergarten friends that I went to Europe. I didn’t… I was in Orlando. But Disney made my world that much smaller.
I have since been to Eastern Europe in real life, but even that doesn’t make my world feel quite as small as the people and places that I can explore online now.
In fact, Facebook says that the world is even smaller than it was when I was five. It has been commonly known for decades that you are connected to every other person in the world by just six degrees of separation. Every. Single. Person. Even that seems very close!
However, Facebook performed research on its own social network and determined that – out of its 1.59 billion active users – people in the U.S. are separated from every person in the world by just 3.46 degrees!
That’s right. Social media brought the world almost twice as close as it used to be.
The internet has connected such a multitude of people that information spreads like wildfires. Good or bad. Right or misinformed.
Because of this, there are three things that you can to enhance your online marketing efforts:
- Double check before you post.
Before you post anything to social media or send out a digital correspondence, always ask yourself if it is helpful and appropriate. You only get one shot. Sure, if you post something on Facebook that you later want to delete, you can delete it from showing on your page. But it’s already out there. People have seen it, formed an opinion and perhaps even shared it or taken a screen shot. Things that you might post on a personal page are not always appropriate for your facility’s page.
- Create Shareable Content.
Whether through emails or social media or your website, the more shareable content you create, the bigger the audience you will have. For example, on Facebook your posts will show to those who have liked your page. But as soon as one of your followers likes, comments or shares, your content is exposed to all of that person’s contacts. And it just keeps growing!
Don’t forget – bad news blows up quickly. But so does good news! Share encouraging stories often.
- Promote Your Practice Online
It’s okay to promote your own practice on social media! Consider advertising online appointment scheduling, a new doctor or a unique service of your facility.
Just make sure that you add value and vary your posts. Every Facebook page should have three goals (perhaps sharing relevant health news, getting new patients for a particular doctor and raising awareness of a particular service-line). And we also recommend having three posts per week to maintain an active Facebook page. Try using one post per week to support each goal!
Make sure that you are using online networks to your advantage when promoting your facility digitally.
It’s a small world after all!