Social Media Marketing: What Are The Risks?

Social media is an ever-growing, popular mode of marketing in today’s digital world. With such an influx and overload of information, it is important and necessary to leverage yourself and your practice against the competition, while appearing relatable and professional, and communicating effectively.

Social media usage is one of the most prominent awareness and nurture tactics in marketing. When done properly, it can be immensely effective and rewarding. Before you start your own social media campaign for your practice, there are a few things to consider, including:

  1. Transparency: Every single word, image, or piece of information that is posted on a social media platform is going to be judged by the public. Social media posts can go viral within a matter of minutes, so it is imperative to post original, honest, and thorough information.
  2. Security: With this new wave of technology and the Internet, comes an increased risk of a security breach. Hackers are ever-present and also becoming more and more adept at breaking into personal accounts. If you are mindful of our online security, active on your social media accounts and use strong passwords, hackers and spammers can be more easily avoided.
  3. Emotion: Today’s online audience is hypersensitive and seems to be chomping at the bit for any piece of information to disagree with or voice their opinion about. It is impossible to please everyone, so keep posts as unbiased and neutral as possible, and never mention a specific person or group of people directly.
  4. Competition: Competition exists in every industry, especially in dentistry. Every tactic that you deploy has the potential of being mimicked, particularly if that tactic is working. Social media is no different, so just be aware of competitors and make sure everything you post is marked with your name or practice name.
  5. Legality: Everything that is posted to the Internet is permanent and can be tracked back to the source. This is something to be aware of with every public display or post, to help ensure neutrality, honesty, and originality, and to avoid any legal ramifications down the road.
  6. HIPAA: It is vital that your social media posts be HIPAA compliant. When discussing a certain type of treatment or case, avoid using any details that could identify the patient involved. That includes names, descriptions of the person, and location information. Speak in generalities. Posting photos of patients to your pages is okay, as long as you receive written consent from the patient or their guardian.

Social media remains one of the most effective, cost-efficient, and successful marketing tactics available to your practice. By being cognizant of these risks, you are minimizing problems or obstacles that may prevent your social media campaign from reaching it’s full potential, and are one step closer to maximizing it’s impact.