Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

Professional Use of Social Media: How to Be an Expert Online

We don't let the phone out of our hands. The average person spends 2 hours and 24 minutes on social media every day. That's about three days a month.

Social media sites today are not just pictures of food, holiday photos, memes, and kitties. They are a powerful tool that corporations use in their promotional strategies.

We're not Google, but we know a lot about professional online communication. Today, we will discuss the following:

  1. Social media content marketing.
  2. How do you choose a social media platform?
  3. Rules of professional communication in messengers.

We'll cover the basics of communication from both the customer and performer sides.

Switch off Instagram notifications to avoid distractions — our tips are universal for experts in any industry.

Learn how to simplify your practice workflow and free up more time for patients with Medesk.

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Do I Really Need a Social Media Account?

This question cannot be answered indisputably, because several factors influence the decision to start a social media page or not:

  • type of services;
  • target audience;
  • level of recognition;
  • commercial objectives and marketing strategy.

Reasons why companies have no accounts:

  1. The target audience does not use social media
  2. Lack of resources
  3. Mistrust of social networks
  4. Focusing on other promotional channels
  5. Privacy.

Some companies, such as those in the financial or medical industries, may be restricted from using social media due to privacy concerns.

If, among the reasons for not being online, you don't see anything that fits your situation, then you can safely conquer the world of tweets, posts, and comments. Even the rather specific European Security Academy has pages on social networks.

Important: not having a social media page does not mean that your services will not be successful. It is vital to choose the promotional channels that will be most effective for your business.

If you decide to boost your online presence, here are some recommendations:

  1. Analyse your target audience to determine if they use social media.
  2. Evaluate your resources and page capabilities.
  3. Study the experience of other companies in your field.
  4. Determine the goals and objectives you want to achieve through social media.
  5. Choose the platforms that will be most effective for your business.

Medesk helps automate scheduling and record-keeping, allowing you to recreate an individual approach to each patient, providing them with maximum attention.

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Choosing the Right Social Network

You have decided that you will promote services online, interact with clients, and build a personal brand. The following questions arise naturally:

  1. How do I choose a platform for promotion and advertising?
  2. Should I focus on one, choose several, or conquer all at once?

To begin with, it is necessary to understand what audience is characteristic of the network. We will briefly describe the most popular ones, the final choice is up to you.

Facebook

Audience: mostly people between the ages of 25 and 55. There are more women than men. Diverse in interests and demographics.

Content type: text, images, videos, links. Emphasis on news, events, and personal stories.

Interaction: comments, likes, reposts. Suitable for community building and socialising.

Instagram

Audience: mostly people between 18 and 35 years old. There are more women than men. Interested in fashion, beauty, travel, and food.

Content type: images, videos (short). Emphasis on visual appeal.

Suitable for promoting brands through visual content.

TikTok

Audience: mostly people between 13 and 25 years old. Diverse in gender and interests. Like short, entertaining videos.

Content type: short videos (up to 1 minute). Emphasis on dancing, music, humour, and shuttles.

Suitable for viral promotion and reaching young audiences.

YouTube

Audience: diverse in age, gender, and interests. Looking for educational, entertaining, and informative videos.

Content type: videos (short to long), podcasts. Variety of formats: instructional videos, reviews, vlogs, interviews.

Suitable for promoting expert content and building a loyal audience.

LinkedIn

Audience: professionals in various fields. Looking for jobs, clients, and partners.

Content type: resumes, articles, job openings, recommendations. Emphasis on professionalism and achievements.

Suitable for networking, job search, and promotion of B2B companies.

X (former Twitter)

Audience: diverse in age, gender, and interests. Active, interested in news, trends, and other people's opinions. Like short, informative posts.

Content type: short text messages (up to 280 characters), images, videos (short), links, polls, GIF animations. Emphasis on current events, opinions, and discussions.

Suitable for quick dissemination of information, communication with the audience, and participation in discussions.

Regardless of the online platform you choose, your task is to demonstrate your personality and expertise and create a professional image by following the rules of business correspondence. Let's talk about them.

Read also: Turning Your Medical Writing Publications into Informative Blog Posts.

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Social Media Conversation Rules

As a professional, you use social media to communicate with customers. The first contact a potential customer has with you is when they visit your page. To avoid scaring away leads, your page should follow simple rules:

  • It should be clear who you are and what you do.
  • The tone of voice of the description and posts should be close to that of your audience.
  • Ideally, the blog should have a consistent style of content layout.
  • A blog with clear navigation wins over competitors (use hashtags).

Remember that by responding to comments, you are not just writing your opinion; you are broadcasting your brand and professionalism. Think through your comments and adhere to the rules of communication. This will help you gain meaningful connections and a positive customer experience.

Let's assume that the client likes everything and writes to you in private messages, or contacts you on WhatsApp or Telegram. And now it's up to you whether you can build trust and make money or scare the customer away.

It's time to formalise the unwritten rules of business communication in messengers.

Greetings and introductions

Conversation starters for social media can vary depending on the level of familiarity. We’ll stick to the common rules.

Greet only when starting a new conversation. Further greetings are optional. If the dialogue is already underway, you can save precious characters by skipping "hello".

If this is your first contact, introduce yourself and state the purpose of your message. Your name in the messenger may not clearly indicate who you are, and it can be awkward to ask the other person.

communicate-professionally-through-social-media-exmp1-2

If you initiate communication with someone in one channel (e.g., by phone) and continue in another (e.g., messenger), remind them at the beginning of the conversation who you are and what you're contacting them about.

Break messages into meaningful parts

There are two extremes in breaking messages into parts: one word per message or a "block" of text.

Find a middle ground: one message should contain one idea, one question, or one sentence. Imagine that the person should swipe the message and respond specifically to it.

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Summarise discussions

If you're discussing a service with multiple options in a chat, at the end of the discussion, write a summary message about what you've agreed upon.

For example, if you are in the marketing business, list all the services you have agreed upon. This will protect you from cases where one of the parties has forgotten about verbal agreements.

communicate-professionally-through-social-media-exmp3-2

You can also use automated reminders and alerts to reduce no-shows and loss of money.

The whole point of business communication boils down to one simple rule: "Think about how it will be convenient for the other person."

Send voice messages wisely

You can send voice messages if you have an agreement with the recipient. If there's no agreement yet, ask for it. Usually, people will say, "Yes, no problem."

Voice messages annoy when sent without asking. And even more so when they're sent without permission to unfamiliar people. Instead of one long voice message, record several short ones, dividing them by topic.

If someone has already sent you a voice message, you can respond with a voice message without apologising or asking.

communicate-professionally-through-social-media-exmp4-2

Nighttime messages

Whenever possible, avoid discussing work matters in chats at night, on weekends, or on holidays. On weekends, people want to relax, not deal with work stuff. If you really want to send messages at night or on weekends, use the scheduled send option.

You can send messages at night if you're sure the recipient has their notifications turned off. If you're not sure, send a scheduled message or wait until business hours. During business hours, ask if it's okay to send messages at night and if their notifications are turned off.

Emotional language

Avoid using triple exclamation points (!!!), all caps, and aggressive epithets. These are signs of emotional instability and poor taste. The only exception is "urgent" when it's truly urgent.

Two Roles: Client vs. Contractor

Let's visit both sides of the dialogue. Additional tips for correct communication on social media networks for two roles: customer of services and performer.

Learn how to simplify your practice workflow and free up more time for patients with Medesk.

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When the client is you

Describe as clearly as possible what you need. This is not for the contractor, it is for you. It's great when people understand you without unnecessary words, but take off your rose-coloured glasses. Write down or explain everything as clearly and in detail as possible.

Give the contractor the right to make a non-critical mistake. Nothing in the world is perfect. If the contractor made a mistake somewhere, messed up, give him the opportunity to redo it without causing a scandal. Of course, if the mistake led to a disaster, that's another matter. But if you were simply misunderstood the first time and are ready to redo it, don't be dramatic.

Ask if it is ready or not after the agreed-upon deadline. Do not panic ahead of time if someone's life or destiny does not depend on it. Ready or not, ask after the agreed deadline. If you start to panic ahead of time, you can irritate the contractor and get a worse result than it could have been.

When the contractor is you

Clearly state the deadline for when it will be ready. Do not leave the client without a deadline. Otherwise, you will run into an anxious person, and you will regret it yourself. It is better to designate all the deadlines yourself.

Do not make them run after you. Tell yourself at what stage the work is. Show that the work is in progress. Do not make the client harass you; strike a preemptive blow by telling them about the work process.

Be available during working hours. Do not ignore the client for more than two hours during working hours. Purely psychologically, he can wind himself up there, think that you are lost and have forgotten about him.

Do not try to guess the client's thoughts. We often judge ourselves and do the work the way we would like it to be done for us. But people are different. Do not try to guess again where you do not know. Just ask.

Offer alternatives. If a person approaches you in private messages with a request that you cannot fulfil for some reason, don't be in a hurry to reject the person and say goodbye. You can offer an alternative service, or give the contact information of someone who can help. This way, the potential client will remember you not as a contractor who refused but as a person who bothered to provide the service. Even if not by him.

4 Ways to Analyse Social Media Conversations with AI

If you apply the recommendations in our article, you'll already sound and look more professional online. But why stop there?

Using the power of artificial intelligence to analyse social media strategy is the next step. AI tools can provide valuable insights into the vast amount of data generated during social media interactions. By analysing chats and comments, you can more quickly understand your target audience, identify trends, and make decisions based on the data collected.

We've highlighted four cases to apply AI for professional growth in social media.

#1. Sentiment analysis

Using natural language processing algorithms, AI identifies sentiment in social media conversations. For example, a clinic can analyse customer comments and feedback to determine customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.

Of course, this can be done manually, spending hours exploring Reddit and Capterra, but chatbots can do it in minutes and free up time for the important things: patient appointments, brand promotion, or another cup of tea.

#2. Social platforms listening and measurement

AI-powered tools can track brand, product, or industry keyword mentions on social media. They can help you learn not only customer sentiment but also competitor news and emerging industry trends and identify potential problems before your customers tell you about them.

By understanding what your audience is currently interested in, you can tailor your content to those trends and drive higher engagement.

#3. Identify influencers and brand advocates

Influencer marketing has been a trend for several years. AI tools analyse engagement metrics and can identify people who have a significant influence on their subscribers' opinions and purchase decisions. Influencer lists can be customised by number of subscribers, geographical location, advertising costs, and other filters.

Collaborating with opinion leaders helps build the right brand impression. Want to attract young people to your clinic? Order advertising from streamers. If you need a female audience, look at the blogs of moms, housewives, fitness trainers, etc.

#4. Competitor analysis

By tracking conversations around your competitors, AI can provide insight into their strengths and weaknesses. And you, as a true spy in the social media world, use this information in your promotional strategy.

For example, if AI detects that a competitor's new product is receiving negative reviews, you can emphasise the benefits of your own offerings.

Summing Up

Anyway, if you stick to common sense in communicating with people and have a plan for your content strategy, your social media presence will be a great tool for professional communication and expanding business relations.

If your business is related to digital marketing, chat rooms and professional networking groups are not only a place to find clients but also potential employers and employees. But let's face it: almost all professions are now online, and many provide services in real time. Home renovation doesn't count.

Social media communication will be effective if you adhere to the rules, which are based on the basic principle of respect for the interlocutor and his time. Keep this principle in mind, build expertise, and translate it into social media profiles.

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