Benefits of Social Media Marketing
If implemented properly, social media marketing can play an important role in growing a dental practice by opening up an extra channel of communication between you and existing and prospective patients.
This can result in long-term benefits including:
- Building credibility and trust.
- Establishing an authoritative brand voice.
- Retaining current patients.
- Attracting more new patients.
Why Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing follows the concept of word-of-mouth referrals and enables you to enhance the process with digital content and targeted advertising.
There’s compelling evidence on the advantages to a dental practice of having a strong emphasis on social media marketing alongside other promotional methods. For instance:
- More than 80 percent of Americans have social media accounts – that means eight in 10 of your prospective patients.
- More than 70 percent of patients who’ve enjoyed a good social media experience with a dental practice are likely to recommend it to others.
- More than 70 percent of consumers are more likely to acquire a product or a service based on social media referrals.
How Do I Reap the Benefits of Dental Social Media Marketing?
Dental social media marketing ultimately boils down to building trust and confidence by sending out a message that your practice is all about people, not just teeth.
This typically entails engaging with potential and current patients by creating a page on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You then need an ongoing flow of relevant content while looking out for comments and questions and assessing the results of your efforts.
Here are a few tips to help you get the full benefit of dental social media marketing:
- Focus on mobile users. Your current and prospective patients largely rely on mobile devices to get the information they’re looking for. For example, in 2016 Facebook announced that 80 percent of its revenue was coming directly from mobile devices.
- Use videos. Most people with social media accounts look for – and expect to find – video content. Dental videos on social channels are ideal for reviews, an overview of procedures, outlining case studies, featuring community events, and much more.
- Invest in targeted ads. All major social media platforms offer geo-targeting advertising – local pay-per-click (PPC) – and it pays to make use of it. Facebook, for instance, uses state-of-the-art advertising targeting technology that can help you generate more patients.
A good social media marketing strategy for dentists will also include reputation monitoring and management.
What Are the Best Social Media Platforms for Dentists?
The large choice of social media channels on which you can market your practice can be overwhelming. Here are three of the most popular social channels for dental marketing...
The most popular social media site in the world, Facebook is often used by the public to find local businesses – in the same way, phone books were used in the past. So, using a Facebook page as a listing for your dental office can be a valuable resource.
Facebook will also allow users to share their experiences with your practice through reviews and star ratings, and you can:
- Post informative articles and/or videos.
- Tell people about practice team news and community involvement.
- Run competitions and giveaways.
Like Facebook, Twitter appeals to a wide range of people but is designed for sharing short content or links, allowing you to connect with current and prospective patients with quick updates, with options such as:
- Posting links to articles and statistics from reliable dental industry sources.
- Using the Twitter poll facility to explore your audience’s perception of dental issues.
- Responding to questions and concerns about oral healthcare.
If you stay relevant to trending hashtags on Twitter, it can help to expand your connection with existing and future patients. For instance, trending topics give you the opportunity to get a bigger audience for your dental blogs.
If you’re marketing your practice on other social media, you can use Twitter to achieve more engagement on them by sharing links within tweets.
Instagram allows dental practices to appeal to a slightly different, younger audience.
It gives you a chance to show your creative side in sharing images of your office and staff, plus image-focused dental education content. You can also display images of your dental work with before-and-after photos, with patients’ permission.
Other dental marketing techniques on Instagram include:
- Posting pictures of fun-themed oral health awareness events your office is running.
- Giving people a virtual tour of your dental office.
Remember to use relevant hashtags to target users looking for dental topics. Bear in mind, though, that Instagram users may be less likely to look for business information such as dental services.
Other Social Sites
Other social media sites used by dentists include:
- LinkedIn – establishing a businesslike presence here can help you maintain a trustworthy reputation that can ultimately lead to more referrals and repeat patients.
- Pinterest – photo- and video-sharing options enabling you to drive traffic to your dental website.
- YouTube – ideal if you can publish a steady stream of quality video content.
Getting Started with Your Dental Social Media Marketing
Building a relationship with your current and prospective patients through social channels allows you to consolidate your brand in terms of appeal and trustworthiness. And once your audience knows they can trust you, you should be able to generate new business and look forward to a loyal client base of happy patients.
When embarking on a dental social media marketing campaign, it’s best to focus first on a single platform – we recommend Facebook – so you can give it the necessary attention, including consistently posting quality content. Then, once you’re confident with your social media marketing practices, you can gradually begin to reach a wider audience on other platforms.
If you need help with your social media marketing, particularly if it’s all new to you, DentalROI is here to help.