Social media is the next generation of promotional outreach and engagement. But what happens when your audience isn’t engaging with you? Making post after post with zero response can be disheartening for any business venturing into the social media game. But there are ways to get your customers (and potential customers) to pay attention and engage with your posts.
Post a variety of content
If someone goes to your pharmacy’s Facebook page and sees nothing but Minion memes, they’re probably not going to navigate back the next day to see what you’re posting that day. Keep things fresh, inventive, and informative with a variety of content.
Did you see a video about funny things pharmacists overhear? Post it. Are you listening to an industry podcast that’s blowing you away? Share a link. Did you install a new fro-yo machine? Take a picture and spread it around. When your followers can’t predict exactly what you’re going to post, they’re way more likely to see what you’re putting out there.
Be a voice for your community
You’re already an active member of your community in real life. Let’s make sure that applies to social media, also. When events happen in your community, be sure to post news articles or share others’ posts about them. Comment on them on your page, and let your community know how local and national events affect your pharmacy. When you engage with your community, your community is more likely to engage with you.
Show a different side of your pharmacy
Don’t be afraid to crack a joke. While facts and figures are great discussion topics, humor always opens the door to conversations. When you show your less serious side, it makes you and your business more approachable.
It’s not unheard of for businesses to be elevated by their social media channels. Fast food chain Wendy’s is a prime example. What began as an off-hand remark aimed at rival restaurant McDonald’s has exploded into a booming social media strategy that is a lot of fun to watch. We’re not saying you should roast your customers or anything — but don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
Have contests for sharing posts
If you want to drive engagement on your Facebook page, one proven way is to offer an incentive. Are you offering a new service or trying to spread the word about a new promotion? Have your customers and followers share the post, then enter each sharer into a contest for, say, a $100 gift card or a pair of wireless headphones.
The benefit is three-fold:
- You get the word out for cheaper than a promoted post.
- It reaches more of your target audience in your community.
- The post has more integrity since it’s word-of-mouth instead of typical promotional work.
Having your customers advocate for you will trump traditional advertising every time.
Conduct polls & write FAQs
When you want customer and patient feedback, sometimes the best way to get it is to ask for it. Thinking about changing your store hours? Put a poll on your Facebook page to see what your customers think about the proposal. Do you want to start offering vaccinations? See how many of your customers would get vaccinations from you as opposed to their doctors. Social media is a fantastic tool for reaching out to a large group of people in a short amount of time.
Take advantage of the platform to answer some of your patients’ most frequent questions. Of all the questions you get every day, we’re willing to bet you hear some repeats. Be proactive and post a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section as a pinned post on your social media channels.
Reply, share & respond
Sometimes, the best (and easiest) way to get your patients and customers engaged is to engage with them in return. When someone leaves you a comment, reply. When a customer posts a glowing review, comment on it, thank them for it, and share it. If someone posts a less than glowing review, comment on it and try to find out why (in a polite way, of course). The more you interact with your customers and potential customers online, the more they will interact with you.
The goal of any social media endeavor is to create engagement. You don’t just want your posts to be seen; you want the people who see them to take action. Every time you get a like, a comment, a share, or a retweet, remind yourself that you’re increasing your social media engagement and winning the game.