How to Create & Implement an Effective Social Media Plan for your Weight Loss Practice
— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
If you find you are spending a lot of time and money on social media for your weight loss practice with inconsistent results, it’s time to fine-tune your strategy and action plan.
There are many reasons why your social media efforts may be ineffective or demonstrating little or no return on your investment. The most common reasons include:
- You are posting without a clear purpose.
- You post inconsistently.
- Your posts are boring and repetitive (i.e. when you primarily post links to articles or other people’s posts rather than sharing your unique story/services/success stories in various ways such as video, images, text, live video and stories).
- Your posts don’t represent your brand well (i.e. when someone outside your weight loss practice posts content that is incongruent with your philosophy, services and/or products).
- You are posting on the social media platform where your ideal patients aren’t hanging out.
- You spend more time trying to ‘beat the social media algorithm’ than building a relationship with those you wish to serve.
Whether you outsource your social media or run your campaigns in house, for optimal results, you need to be involved in the strategic planning and evaluation of your social media efforts.
Let’s simplify the madness with a 4-Step Strategic Easy to Implement Social Media Plan that brings results instead of added stress. Because, let’s face it, with 84 percent of the US population using at least one social media network, social media isn’t going away.1
1. Identify What You Want to Accomplish
Knowing your desired outcome for social media posts will help you post intentionally rather than randomly. A few examples of desired outcomes for most weight loss practices include:
- Attract more patients
- Educate prospective and current patients
- Increase community engagement
- Highlight your patient success stories
- Drive traffic to your website
- Capture contact information for new leads
- Promote and sell your services and products
- All or combination of above
Once you know what you want to accomplish, this will guide your strategy, content creation and related call to action (CTA) for your social media posts in order to attain your goal. CTA examples include: comment below, like, share, follow, buy here, try for free, get started, learn more, text us, register for a webinar, join our Facebook community, request an insurance check, read our blog, watch our video, download the free resource/guide, or join our 21-day challenge.
Remember that with social media, those you desire to serve don’t really care about your products and services until they understand how you can help them eliminate their frustrations and solve their problem. Thus, you need to know what your ideal patients desire most and utilize this information to guide your content no matter what your desired outcome.
2. Determine Your Social Media Channels, Content Type, Themes & Topics
In the U.S., the top five social media platforms used by adults include YouTube (81 percent), Facebook (69 percent), Instagram (40 percent), Pinterest (31 percent), and LinkedIn (28 percent).2 Surprisingly, for many practitioners, is the fact that while Google is the leading search engine, YouTube is the second most popular search engine and website globally.3 That is why it can be considered one of the best kept secrets when it comes to robust paid and organic marketing opportunities.
If you are starting from scratch, begin with one or two platforms such as Facebook and Instagram since you can easily post to both at the same time thus leveraging your content and your time. Optimize your Facebook business page by selecting a customized Facebook vanity URL such as your business name. Complete your profile and pay close attention to the ‘about us’ section; include your website, phone number and address, and use keywords throughout and include a call to action such as ‘contact us’ that leads to an inquiry form on your website. If you are already active on these two platforms, consider adding a YouTube or Pinterest business page.
Creating content is one of the primary stumbling blocks for most weight loss practices. There is nothing worse than starting each week off wondering what you are going to post. If you want to get off this hamster wheel, plan ahead by do the following:
- Sit down with your team and document:
- 5 benefits of your services and products for your patients as well as why this is important to them
- 10 questions you are frequently asked by your patients
- 10 questions your patients should be asking but aren’t
- 5-10 potential patients who would be willing to do a testimonial
- Then identify topics surrounding these 25 statements/questions. For weight loss practices, this may include: poor sleep, appetite suppressants, fitness for beginners, low energy, joint pain, meal planning, meal prepping, macronutrients, micronutrients, phytonutrients, effects of obesity, benefits of losing weight, artificial sweeteners, habit modification, stress, healthy recipes, overeating, mindless eating, overcoming saboteurs, depression, self-sabotage behaviors, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, building lean body mass, controlling hunger, best weight loss procedures, habits for long term success, eating in, eating out, benefits of meal replacements and healthy snacks to name a few.
- Narrow these topics down into five primary daily themes you can address on a regular basis using the content ideas you identified. There are so many options but here are a few ideas and remember to include a relevant call to action:
- Monday: ‘Question of the Week’ OR ‘Ask the Weight Loss Expert ‘
- Tuesday: Transformation Tuesday (post a testimonial)
- Wednesday: Weight Loss Myth Buster
- Thursday: Weight Loss Product Highlight (great place to also highlight your various programs/services)
- Friday: ‘Fitness Friday’ or ‘Healthy Recipe of the Week’
- Determine what type of content you prefer (video, images, text, live video or stories). Many practitioners and their team members avoid video. However, it is a GREAT option because you can leverage it in so many ways.
Once you know your topics and type of content, create a 1-to-3 month calendar or spreadsheet of posts and move on to step #3. Remember, your goal here is to build a relationship through interesting/quality content and include the next step (CTA) for them to get started.
3. Create, Leverage & Schedule Your Social Media Posts
A favorite method for mapping up to 12 months of content is through batch creation. This involves selecting your best topics/questions and identify who on your team can address each topic. Then record a content video (3-5 minutes maximum) and use the video on YouTube & IGTV while turning the transcription into a blog for posting on your website. Easily create social media graphics in Canva (free to use) that can be branded to your practice and posted with a link to the video and then later the blog. With proper preparation, you can create many months’ worth of content in one day as long as your clinical and social media teams are prepared. As exciting promotions come along in your practice, intersperse them into the mix. One piece of content turns into at least two posts (video and blog) that can be promoted with a branded quote graphic on all of your platforms. This extends your one piece of content into long-term online assets that can be linked to more than once — further enhancing your search engine optimization.
You can schedule your posts ahead of time using various software applications or have a team member (or hired team) schedule them so you are consistent on the platforms you choose to utilize.
4. Measure & Modify
The ultimate measurement is new leads, new patients and more sales. Other forms of measurement include shares, likes, clicks, reach, engagement and comments. If posts are performing well, consider a paid advertisement or boost. And don’t forget to share your content on your Google profile. Before you know it, you show up consistently on Page One of a Google search and realize consistent business growth.
For 45 years, Robard Corporation’s medical obesity treatment programs and products have been utilized by physicians, surgeons and hospitals across the United States to successfully treat patients living with obesity. To learn more about us and how we can help your practice and patients, visit us online at www.Robard.com.