Social Media DDS

Coaching dentists and dental professionals in the art of social media strategy

Social Media DDS - Coaching dentists and dental professionals in the art of social media strategy

Social Media Etiquette: Check Your Snark at the Door

Negatives Positives Computer Keys Showing Plus And Minus Alternatives Analysis And Decisions   One of my favorite things to do in real life and online is to observe.  You can learn so much by just watching and listening.  

People can be so interesting.

That said, though fascinating and interesting, people can also be rude.  Filterless. Bullies.  And, it seems as though the perceived safety of online “anonymity” often encourages what I call snark attacks.

Snark according to Urban Dictionary:

noun Combination of “snide” and “remark”. Sarcastic comment(s). Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.)

So what are snark attacks?

You’ve probably unwittingly witnessed snark attacks.  Snark attacks can range from extremely overt to subtle and covert.  Friends or brands may post a seemingly harmless status update and followers and “friends” (HAH) respond with a sort of feeding frenzy of negative comments…snark attack.  Often this negative energy can create a mob mentality effect which encourages others who would otherwise rarely engage online to keep up the negative comments.  Snark attacks often start with unsolicited gems like “In my opinion…” “If it were ME…” “How could you possibly…”  etc.   As a brand, you want to be very mindful of snark and snark attacks.  Your posts should always be conscious of the message that your brand intends to convey.  Your responses should be respectful and non-judgmental.  If your brand becomes the victim of a snark attack, you have a couple of options.  You may be able to delete the offending comments or you can politely address the snark monger with a peripheral nod to their engagement and not get drawn into their drama snare.  Snark attacks inherently cause emotional responses so remaining even tempered and calm is tricky at best.  In the wise words of my awesome Dad…

Always come out smelling like a rose.

Remember that snark does not need to beget snark.  In the best interest of your brand and it’s message, always check your snark at the door and keep the engagement upbeat and positive. If you have been a victim of a snark attack and aren’t sure how to handle it, let me know.  I’m a pro at putting snark to bed.  Simply email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill in the “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right portion of your screen.  

Let’s stamp out snark attacks!

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When Is a Muse Not Amusing?

Enchantment

 

 

When its not around!

You know and I know that any good online presence requires fresh content and engagement.  So, for me, the engagement part is pretty straight forward and easy.  It’s the fresh content on a regular basis that gets me.  You see, I’ve got this really awesome muse that inspires me with ideas and topics and fresh content. 

Usually!

But every once in awhile, my muse runs dry.  Takes a vacation. Is on the Red Eye to who-knows-where.  And when that happens…

My muse is not amusing.

So, what do I do when she leaves me high and dry? I punt.  Since I know that I am not the only one that has a muse with a mind of their own, I will share some content freshening secrets with you.

  • Repurpose previous posts:  While you certainly have adoring fans of your brand’s online presence, you also have a lot of new eyes falling on your content so, repurposing an older post is a great way to prove that you don’t always need your muse.  Simply freshen the post up again.  Make sure that the content is accurate and up to date and add a few new thoughts and, “voila”…you’ve got fresh content.  If you are repurposing a blog post, make sure that you acknowledge that this post is a revisit of a previous post and then create a link to the original piece.  
  • Create and share a funny meme that speaks to your message and audience.  Memes are so easy to create.  You can start here and then get your funny on.  Sometimes just being silly is a lot easier than getting all serious and relevant!
  • Share relevant posts: People that you respect and follow often have great posts that are germane to your brand’s message.  Sharing and attributing the love is a great way to create content AND goodwill.  And, who knows…your posts may be used as content when someone else’s muse takes a hike!
  • Share a relevant infographic: I love a good infographic.  Are they overused? Sure!  But, in a pinch, a good infographic will have a lot of juicy information and keep your audience interested.  And, of course…it goes without saying that you need to give attribution to the creator of the infographic with links back to their site.

I am grateful for my muse.  I appreciate her creativity.  But she’s fickle.  And I can’t always count on her.  So, for those times when my muse is NOT amusing, these are the aces up my sleeve.

If you need help when your muse leaves you high and dry, let me know. I can help.  Simply email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out that pesky little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up in the lower right corner of your screen.

Let’s be aMUSEing together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Logo Design Tips from an Expert

Photography company logo #Vector

 

I’m one of those people who’s creativity is inspired by other’s ideas and creativity.  In other words, I rely on the creativity gifts of others for direction in “my” ideas.  I am eternally grateful to the many people who share their gifts with me.

Recently, I was working on my husband’s soon-to-be launched home improvement radio talk show called Going Home with Tony and, because it is a new program, we are starting from scratch with all of the things that I talk to you about to create a credible online presence…website and social media accounts.  But, as I have shared with you, I needed a logo for our brand.  It had to speak to the message that Going Home with Tony was going to convey.  It had to be unique and it had to be memorable.  Don’t tell anyone but I even spent a weekend thinking that I could come up with a fabulous logo myself….

Pfffffftttttt

Lesson learned…stick with what you know.  And, I don’t know logo design.  So I reached out to someone who does.  I called Peter Secker graphic designer extraordinaire and owner of Thomas Sebastian Companies.

Here’s what Peter says about branding and logo design:

“Branding is very important and most people don’t understand the complexities of logo design or branding.  One thing that should be noted is the copyright issue about branding; this is a VERY complex aspect of protecting yourself. All original art is automatically Trademarked with the creation and documentation of the piece. However, if you want to register that Trademark you need to be careful. Those who think they can use ‘clip art’ or ‘copyright-free art’ for the creation of a logo are potentially infringing on underlying copyright laws. Most copyright-free art that you get from a Stock Image resource is not totally copyright-free. They only give you the right to use images for certain uses unless you do an outright buyout of the image, which takes that image out of circulation and transfers the copyright and trademark to you. This is a VERY expensive undertaking. It usually will cost thousands of dollars. If businesses try to copyright or register a trademark of any art that is not totally owned by that business, they are in essence in violation of copyright laws. You cannot copyright an image that is already copyrighted by someone else.”

Pretty compelling, huh?

So, when you are getting your branding ready by incorporating a logo that will be your brand identifier, keep what Peter says in mind.  Better yet, contact Peter.  He’s a delight to work with and he really listens to his customer’s vision.  You can see what he did for “Going Home with Tony” here.

If you need help understanding where to begin with brand identification and logo design, I can guide you.  Simply email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out that pesky little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up in the lower right corner of your screen.

I’d love to connect!

 

 

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Tales From the Crypt – Preventing a Social Media Nightmare

Bored to Death - 3D render

You may have heard me say “It’s called SOCIAL media, not STAGNANT media”.  If not, then let me just repeat…

It’s called SOCIAL media…not STAGNANT media.

Here’s the problem.  It’s not pretty.  In fact it’s downright scary.

There are a LOT of stagnant media accounts floating around out there.  Businesses who meant well and in a moment of gung-ho passion created Twitter accounts and Facebook Pages because that was what they were “supposed” to do.  And for a few months, statuses where updated, articles shared and pictures posted…usually with no rhyme or reason.

And once the posting stopped, these well-meaning businesses heard crickets chirping in their social media platforms so…

They gave up.

Worse than that, they shook their collective heads and said, “I knew it…social media doesn’t work…I don’t understand all of the hype.”

And yet another social media presence enters the dark and eerie Stagnant Media Crypt.

So, how can you prevent your social media efforts from turning into stagnant media?  

How can you avoid the Stagnant Media Crypt?

Well, the good news is that it is actually pretty easy to prevent your online presence from becoming stagnant AND it’s fairly straightforward to revive online activity that has already gone stagnant. It’s not too late… all that it takes is a little…

STRATEGY

  • Select the social media platform(s) that you are going to use.  Start out with just one so that you can get the feel of that particular platform before branching out.
  • Select how often you are going to post on your chosen platform(s).  Don’t simply say “twice a week”.  Create a schedule and stick to it.  For example, you may want to post to your Facebook Page on Mondays at 9:00 AM and on Thursdays at 11:00 AM.  Then do it.  Consistency creates credibility!
  • Mix it up.  Don’t just post factual or informational articles…those are fine but be creative.  Make some of your posts fun(ny), make some of your posts informational, post pics occasionally, post memes, share videos…keep your audience enrolled and anxious to see what you have up your sleeve next.
  • EngageTHIS is the most important part of staying out of the Stagnant Media Crypt.  Engage, engage, engage.  It is the best way to prevent those crickets from setting up house in your online presence.  When your audience responds to your posts, respond back…don’t drop the engagement ball.  Once people start catching on that you are for real and that your brand is worth knowing, it becomes fun and intuitive!

Don’t let your social media presence become a nightmare…you can prevent your online presence from becoming stagnant.  All it takes is a little strategy.

If you want some help in strategizing your plan for your brand’s online presence, I would love to help.  It’s what I do!  Simply drop me an email at Claudia @SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out that little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right part of your screen.

Let’s engage!

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What I Learned From My Dad

Claudia and Dad (Ken Anderson)

Happy Father’s Day…a day late!

My amazing Dad has been gone for 10 years now but I think about him every single day.  And, since he was my original role model for owning a business, I thought I would share some of the lessons that I learned from my Dad about owning a business.  Now, understand that back in the day, marketing in the dental industry was taboo.  Your marketing “strategy” was entirely “word of mouth” based. 

So, here is SOME of what I learned from my Dad

  • treat EVERYONE with respect
  • listen….ALWAYS listen
  • gratitude…express gratitude for referrals and return visits…always!  
  • at the end of the day, it isn’t about the bottom line.  It’s about the relationships that you have made/cultivated.
  • if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say it at all (I use THIS Dad-ism every day in my life!!)
  • ALWAYS be grateful for what you DO have!

I realize that these life lessons actually sound like life lessons a Dad would share with his child…and it’s true.  The lessons that I learned from my beloved Dad were life lessons…lessons that I could apply to any situation whether it be my business or my personal life.  And, really, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all should do as business owners? Do we really need a separate set of “lessons” for our business that are different from the lessons we apply to life?

I don’t think so!

Respect, listening, gratitude, relationships, and kindness are applicable in all aspects of our lives!  Dad was a VERY wise man!

I miss my Dad and love him with all of my heart!

If you need help applying your life lessons to your business, Social Media DDS is here to help you!  Simply drop me an email to Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out the “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right corner of your screen and I will connect with you! 

I am so grateful for the lessons I learned from my Dad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking the Pulse of Your Business

Business Finance

Oh no!  Here we go again!

Another post on how important it is to work ON your business and not just work IN your business.

That’s what you are thinking isn’t it?  

Surprise!

While it is extremely important to always remember to spend time ON your business as well as working IN your business, today’s topic is actually different.  Today’s topic is the importance of taking the pulse of your business.  As a matter of fact, it is more than just taking the pulse of your business…it is imperative that you check your business’s vital signs on a regular basis.

“My business’s vital signs?” you ask.

Absolutely!  And here’s how!

Take the pulse of your business:  Listen.  It’s as easy as that.  Listen to your team.  Listen to your customers/clients/patients.  Hear what they are saying, good and bad and respond appropriately.

Take the temperature of your business: Feel.  Feel for cold and hot spots in your business plan and aim for a temperate response.  It’s the “three bears syndrome”…you don’t want your business plan to be too cold (stagnant) and you don’t want your business plan to be too hot (high risk).  You want your business plan to be “just right”.

Take the blood pressure of your business: Look.  Look around you. Is there tension within your team?  Is there tension between your team and your customers/clients/patients?  Sense the level of negative pressure in your business and make the necessary corrections for an optimal balance and harmony.

Do you need help taking the pulse of your business?

This is what Social Media DDS LOVES to do!  Simply send an email to Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out the “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up in the lower right corner of your screen and…

Let’s start taking those vital signs!

 

 

 

 

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Stop Drop and Post: Social Media Challenge

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I love Instagram as a social media channel.  I use it for my business but I also use it as inspiration for practicing yoga (I need all the inspiration I can get!).  Lately, the yoga gurus that I follow have been playing with the hashtag #stopdropandyoga as a call to action to all yogis to stop what you are doing and strike a yoga pose.  It is fun to watch the poses and it is fun to challenge myself to twist and bend in new configurations.  But, more compelling, it reminded me of just how powerful a call to action can be!  And so, my call to action challenge for you is to…

Stop, Drop and Post

Here is the challenge.  In honor of the month of May, incorporate the hashtag #MayIPostMoreOften and share something fun and/or relevant on your business social media site.  Post a fun(ny) picture, post a joke, post a status update, post….anything.  Then, tag another business that you are connected with and challenge them to #stopdropandpost and include #MayIPostMoreOften in their post as well.  Sometimes, by including others (tagging) in our posts, we create some accountability for our social presence and the engagement that may result generates good will.  Regardless of the outcome, this challenge will make you “stretch” a bit and that is always a good thing.  So…

Accept the challenge…

If you need a little encouragement to take on this social media challenge, let me know.  I would love to help.  Email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or simply fill in that little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right side of your screen.  I am happy to encourage you to

Stop, Drop and Post!

 

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The Two Best Days in a Dental Business

Blue sky

 

You’ve probably heard the expression “The two best days of a boat owner’s life are the day she/he bought the boat and the day she/he sells the boat”.  It’s good for a collective and sometimes empathetic chuckle.  I’d like to modify that expression a bit to…

The two best days in a dental business owner’s life…

are the day she/he buys the business and the day she/he sells the business…for a profit.

The trick is to start planning for the day that you are going to sell you business for a profit on the very day that you sign the purchase agreement.  You laugh.  I’m quite serious. 

Here’s a typical dental business life cycle.

The anxious new owner steps cautiously into her/his new role as a business owner.  Practice management seminars are attended, books on how to create a successful business are read and passion is put into every new business decision…for a few years.  Once the practice really takes off, the proud owner has less time to invest in working ON the business and spends most of the time working IN the business.  It is when this shift occurs that the owner starts to lose sight of the end goal.  It is when this shift occurs that the owner puts less energy into making the business highly salable and its sales appeal begins to diminish.  Owners of dental businesses who are approaching their next journey often stop putting money into the practice.  These owners no longer actively market for new patients because they are winding down and want to work less… not more.  These owners with their eye on a future vision hesitate investing in an online presence or new equipment or even an updated team.  It’s like a high speed hand piece at the beginning of the career and a sputtering belt driven lab machine at the end of the career.

It doesn’t have to be that way…

An owner with their eye on a salable dental business will begin the process from the day they open.  The owner with foresight will keep the business active and robust, updating equipment as well as marketing strategy.  An owner with her/his eye on a salable dental business will consider taking on an associate when they want to cut back on their work schedule.  This strategy allows for seamless transition, less patient attrition and the possibility of a potential future owner.

It’s not too late!!

Now is the time to revisit the plans you have for your future journey.  Whether you plan on selling your business in two years or twenty years, commit to spending time working ON your business.  Update the appearance of the office as necessary, invest in dental technology that will be practice builders, work with a reliable web developer to enhance your online presence and…have fun!  Know that you are creating the foundation for not only a successful business for you but a salable business for your future.  Remember…

The two best days in a dental business SHOULD be the day you buy it and the day you sell it!

If you need some help formulating a strategy to make your business more salable, let me know.  Email me aClaudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or simply fill out that little “Let’s Talk” box that popped up on your lower right corner of the screen.  I’d love to help you do some future tripping!

 

 

 

 

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Why You Shouldn’t Take Social Media for Granted

Couple after quarrel

 

You know how it goes.  You are intrigued at the beginning of the relationship. Smitten even.  You start thinking about the relationship all of the time.  You think of excuses to connect again.  This relationship seems perfect…ideal.  You think you’ve found THE one.  And then, just as suddenly, you become bored. You start to find faults.  You begin to come up with reasons not to connect. The social media that you were so passionate about seems less exciting.

You are starting to take social media for granted.

Like any new relationship, you go through that addictive honeymoon period where you can find nothing wrong with each other.  You can’t get enough.  You spend every free moment of your time on social media telling yourself that it’s all for the good of the business.  This goes on for awhile until you realize that you can’t keep that level of interaction up indefinitely…it will kill you or destroy your real life relationships.  And then, so often, we stop the relationship cold.  We go from 60 to 0 in a flash.  All of that engagement and attention and then nothing.  We foolishly believe that our brand will speak for itself…that we put enough fuel in the social media engine to keep this puppy humming.

It doesn’t work that way!

A relationship with social media needs nurturing and tending to.  Social media can not be taken for granted.  An online presence doesn’t just happen.  It takes attention, engagement and a sense of being genuine.  That is when the magic happens.  That is when the relationship blossoms and grows.  

Give your social media presence a little TLC!

Show a little love.  Schedule your time so that you don’t resent social media.  Give a little to get a lot.  Social media responds to your engagement and attention.  Like any good relationship, it’s important not to take it for granted.

If you need a little relationship counseling, Social Media DDS would love to help.  Enhancing your business relationship with social media is what we do!  Simply email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill in that little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the bottom right of your screen.

 

 

 

 

 

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