Top Social Media Strategies for Dentists
When considering digital marketing strategies for your dental practice, it’s important to recognize the huge influence of social media.
Over the past decade, the number of people in the U.S. interacting through social media platforms has rocketed from 10 percent of the population to more than 70 percent.
So most of your existing and prospective patients belong to online communities such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube.
Harnessing the power of social media can help you to:
- Boost your online presence.
- Build credibility.
- Attract new patients.
- Manage your reputation.
- Strengthen patient relationships.
But how do you figure out the best strategies for social media marketing for your dental office? And how do you come up with engaging posts? Here are some ideas.
Facebook is the most widely-used social media platform, so it makes sense to use it as part of your social media marketing.
Post articles and/or videos containing informative tips or interesting trivia
Delivering information like this introduces potential patients to your practice. It’s more engaging because they haven’t just come across you randomly – as through a Google search, for example. They take notice of the information you provide because it’s coming from a trusted member of their own online community.
Ask a question
Posing a question encourages interaction from your current patients and prospective new patients. The question can be serious – How do you cope when your baby’s teething? – or light-hearted – What’s made you smile in the last few days?
Post about your practice’s community involvement
If you and your practice team play an active role in the community – visiting schools to educate youngsters on oral healthcare care, for instance – tell people about it. Mention any volunteer activities or sponsored events you or your team take part in.
Tell people your practice team news
This can include staff birthdays and other anniversaries or special occasions, and fun facts about your team members. Make sure they’re OK with it first! Example: Jenny from reception has just passed her driving test!
With their permission, you can turn the spotlight on your patients by demonstrating the results of treatments to showcase the quality of your dental services. People will regard these posts in the same way as a positive patient testimonial.
Contests and giveaways
These encourage involvement from your patients. If your practice provides free toothpaste or mouthwash samples, offer them as prizes. Example: The best selfie of a patient’s smile wins a prize!
Post about special occasions
Tell people what you’ll be doing in the run-up to occasions such as Christmas or Halloween, and health awareness events like National Smile Month and National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Use Facebook Live
Facebook Live allows you to interact with your audience in real time. Give them a tour of your dental office, host a Q&A session, show off new equipment, feature chat sessions with your dental hygienists and office staff.
Twitter provides a powerful platform to share quick, focused updates and connect with your existing and potential patients.
Post links to credible content
Share informative dental articles and relevant statistics from trustworthy sources. Sites like DentistryIQ – although aimed at dental professionals – publish a wealth of material that patients will find interesting.
Share a new blog post or dental tips
As you add new blogs to your dental website, point Twitter users toward them. People particularly like articles with titles such as “Five Top Tips to Prevent Gum Disease” or “Myths About Orthodontic Treatment.”
Tweet dental service or product reviews
Keep an eye on review sites for positive comments about the type of services and products you offer. These posts could include products such as Invisalign, for example, and dental insurances accepted by your dental office.
Use the Twitter poll facility
A Twitter poll provides a further way to engage with your followers and find out exactly what they think about dental issues. People like these polls because they provide an easy way to make their voice heard. Example: Do you put off going to the dentist?
Stay relevant to trending hashtags
This can help dentists to consolidate their engagement with current and future patients. Trending topics provide an effective tool to reach a wider audience with your blog posts. These people then become aware of your shared values.
The photo- and video-sharing platform Pinterest gives dental offices the opportunity to create valuable content to drive traffic to their website.
Share your blog content through quality images
Showing before-and-after pictures of patients – with a link to a relevant blog – will demonstrate the effectiveness of your dental services. Remember to get their permission first. You could also pin photos of your team so people can see the faces behind your practice.
Infographics will immediately grab the attention of your targeted audience. They allow you to present dental topics in a way that’s more easily understood than words alone – the timeline of how teeth develop in children, for instance.
Include relevant content
Your dental practice could pin items such as a series of images based on "All You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry" or "Foods You Can Eat When Wearing Braces."
Like infographics, images showing step-by-step oral healthcare techniques are easy for people to grasp – ideal for offering advice on the right way to brush and floss, for example.
Your Pinterest content doesn’t always have to be serious. You can use fun images as an effective way of presenting oral health tips, for instance.
Instagram provides dental offices with another means of sharing images to boost their online presence.
Quotes are an easy way to motivate your patients to practice good oral health routines, and you probably have a few quotations displayed on your dental office walls. Using photos of them on Instagram can encourage interaction.
Show off photos of your happy, smiling patients (with their permission) after treatment. Or run a series of Patient of the Week/Month pictures, with a mini-biography containing interesting details about them.
Introduce a meet-the-team section with photos of your staff, adding details of their qualifications and experience. Include content about their life away from the dental office – such as hobbies ¬– to show the human side of your practice.
Show your fun side
Publish pictures of any fun-themed oral health awareness events your practice may be running. If you or any staff member wins an award, throw an office party and post pictures of it. You could also consider an ongoing Team Member of the Week/Month series of photos.
Give people a virtual tour of your dental office, with some quick tips from staff members on oral healthcare. Use these clips to promote new posts on your feed and make use of the poll facility to find out how important dental care is to your patients.
You can use YouTube to post videos of your practice from your website or take it a step further by presenting a steady stream of quality content.
Go behind the scenes
A behind-the-scenes type of office tour video will give people an insight into how you and your team care for your patients on a day-to-day basis. This can be particularly effective in attracting new patients.
Highlight a specialist service you provide
For instance, if you offer cosmetic care such as teeth whitening or veneers, post a clip of a patient showing off their smile after treatment. This will show prospective patients exactly what you can achieve to make them happier about their appearance.
A Meet the Staff video can help people get to know your team members on a personal level. It can also encourage interaction if your patients or potential patients find they share similar interests or hobbies with a member of your team. You could also use compilations of clips from your team’s experiences at dental conferences or seminars.
Short video testimonials from happy patients after treatment can send out a strong message about the effectiveness of your practice in delivering the best possible dental care.
Discuss typical worries patients and potential patients may have about certain dental procedures to help them make the right decision. A video explaining the various forms of sedation dentistry will help to put particularly nervous patients at ease.
Remember that you need to get permission before publishing any written, photographic or video content about your patients – or team members. In the case of young patients, parental consent is a must. Be sensitive when soliciting patient testimonials, particularly if including before-and-after treatment images.