Social media is all about “what’s new.” Harnessing the power of trending topics and popular current events is one of the best ways to build your dental social media presence.
What generated the most social media activity of 2016? Pokémon Go, Chewbacca Mom, the Olympics—every few weeks something was happening on social media that it seemed everybody and their dog knew about. With so much buzz around fun topics and cultural events like these, businesses are always looking for ways to leverage a bit of that hype to gain more followers and build their brand on social media.
Take for example Movember, which many of our client practices have participated in every November over the past few years—it’s a month-long celebration of mustaches to promote men’s health awareness. This is not only a great opportunity to support a good cause, but a chance to snap photos with patients, connect with the community on a personal level, and easily create a lot of engaging posts.
Your practice can take advantage of current events and trending topics to obtain top-of-mind awareness as well as strengthen relationships with patients and potential patients alike. However, doing so effectively requires some creativity, cultural awareness, and a little planning.
The Essentials of Using Current Events in Your Social Media
Build your practice’s social media presence by posting about the right current event in the right way at the right time. Also, always be thinking about ways you can involve your patients in-practice and online. Follow these guidelines:
1. Choose the Right Event
Be on the lookout for popular events and trends that bring people together for a good cause or some lighthearted fun. These might be things like sporting events, dance crazes, holidays, movie releases, or “social media challenges” (like Movember or the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014).
Ask team members if there are any big happenings related to their individual interests that they would like to make a post about. Not every post needs to speak to all of your fans’ interests, and that’s OK—the ones they do connect with will have a much greater impact.
However, there is one big pitfall here that even large companies sometimes stumble into. Attempting to utilize a current event ill-fitted for social media marketing is a surefire way to appear exploitative and insensitive. Do not try to market with holidays memorializing tragic events or anything related to controversial hot-button issues. Don’t try to be clever in the wrong situation.
2. Be Timely
No matter how popular a social media fad or meme becomes, the truth is once it hits the mainstream, most only have a couple weeks (or less) to live. That’s just the nature of the internet, and you’ve got to act fast. In the case of month-long events like Movember, you need to start at the beginning of the month to get the full effect.
Follow pop culture news sources like Mashable, BuzzFeed, and Facebook and Twitter trends to see what’s popular. Avoid jumping into a trend long after it’s out of the public eye—nothing looks stale on social media like old news.
3. Prepare Posts In Advance
Something that can help you be timely with your current event posts is preparing and scheduling them beforehand. This works best for events like sports, major holidays, movie releases, and other events that you know are happening weeks in advance.
Check the calendar and see what’s coming up. Brainstorm any clever ways you can relate events to dentistry or oral health to make your posts even more effective. Plan in advance for any photos or images you might use. My Social Practice clients have access to the largest library of dental-themed images and illustrations that work well with posts like these.
Ride Social Media Waves and Grow Your Practice
Creating posts about popular events and trending topics is a great way to get engagement, expand your social media audience, and strengthen relationships with patients. However, it does take time and effort to stay on top of pop culture and brainstorm ideas—time that many dental teams don’t have. Let us handle it for you! My Social Practice clients get daily, weekly, and monthly social media ideas and materials related to current and upcoming events. Download our free ebook with more post ideas below and contact us for a free demo of our services!