Marketing experts can have an important role in social media campaigns for healthcare practices and individual providers. They can help design your website or develop your branding strategy. They can even encourage you to become active in social media in the first place.
But they shouldn’t be your entire social media strategy.
I’ve written many times in this series that social media takes time and effort. With the busy schedules of clinics and surgeries and our hectic personal lives, many doctors feel that they can delegate their entire online efforts to marketing consultants – all of the blog post, tweets, Facebook updates – yes, all of it – and just sit back and watch it grow.
There are a couple of problems with that plan, though.
First, while they’re probably worth every penny to help you outline your goals, develop your strategy and design your website, their fees will add up very quickly if they’re also creating your content. At $100 an hour (or more), the costs of those blog posts and tweets add up fast. The next thing you know, you’ve spent $30,000 or $40,000. You can’t tell if that money has led to any tangible results, and you fire your consultant. Since you never learned to post articles on your blog or write relevant tweets or Facebook updates, you’re back at square one.
Second, people can usually tell when a marketing consultant is writing the content and not the healthcare provider. Sometimes it’s subtle, while other times it’s painfully obvious.
A tweet promoting a physician’s award, television interview or research article might be fine. If it is shared from that doctor’s account, however, it should not be written in the third person. Likewise, blog content needs to be written by the healthcare providers, since we are the ones who actually treat patients.
Instead, work with a marketing consultant to plan your strategy and help you get started. But make sure to learn how to do it yourself too. Learn how to upload blog posts, schedule tweets and respond to comments yourself.
Once you start creating enough content that you need help, hire an assistant with social media experience to do the routine tasks. Never delegate content creation. And definitely don’t delegate your entire social media campaign. Your efforts will be doomed before you start.