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    How to launch a successful social media campaign

    Embarking on a social media campaign is like anything else in business. To improve your chances for success, you have to know what you want to accomplish, have goals and have a plan for achieving those goals.

    Determine what you want social media to do for you

    Patricia RedsickerThe first step in launching a social media campaign is to figure out what you want social media to do for you, according to Patricia Redsicker, social media manager for the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and a former social media consultant for dermatologists and others.

    READ: Why social media is important in dermatology

    “What you see happening is professionals saying, let’s try this social media because everybody else is doing it. But I think the most important thing to focus on … [is]: What do you want social media to do for you? If you don’t know what you want social media to do for you, and you’re doing it because everybody else is, you’re going to get really frustrated,” Redsicker says.  

    Depending on one’s business goals, dermatologists might use social media to brand themselves and their practices to current and potential patients. Other uses of social media include engaging with referral sources and networking with experts in your and other specialties. Some aim to get national exposure as experts in the field or celebrity dermatologists.

    What to expect

    Whatever the goal, the approach is engagement. Social media is more about building relationships than it is about closing deals.

    INTERESTING: Three marketing mistakes healthcare practices make

    A potential client contacted Redsicker about starting a social media campaign aimed at increasing the patient base by 15% in three months. That’s not what social media is about, Redsicker says. It’s a slow building of followers. Building presences on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites requires understanding the platforms, the audiences and what it is you want to say. The followers and people who like you are usually earned.

    “Your initial goal should be things like brand awareness,” Redsicker says.

    Subsequent goals might be to increase followers and likes by a certain percentage in a certain time period. People who follow you or like you know you exist. The bottom line benefit of getting more patients through the door should come with time, she says.

    NEXT: Learn from the best

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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