For years, many dental practices built their patient base simply through word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations. While this is still an important way of bringing in new patients, more than ever, social media and social marketing are helping consumers make educated decisions for just about every item or service – including dental providers. Below, learn more about the importance of social media for your practice, and our tips on where to begin.
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Does my practice need to have a social media marketing plan?
The short answer: yes. Today, more than 69% of all American adults are on social media. That is a huge population of potential patients that you simply can’t leave unreached! With an active social media presence, your practice can instantly become more visible, more personal, and more accessible to people in your area.
What’s the benefit to me?
Social media offers an endless opportunity to build your practice. The main benefits include:
Gaining visibility: by supplementing your website with an additional online presence, you can become much more visible to prospective patients who may be searching for a new provider.
Building your practice’s trustworthiness: the larger digital presence your practice can create, the more reputable you can appear. Patients today are used to retailers and other businesses having vast accessibility online. Social media content can help demonstrate your expertise and quality care before patients even set foot in your practice.
Strengthening current patient relationships: there’s no easier (or less costly) way to connect with current patients than through social media. Everything from checking in after a routine appointment, and running contests for free services, to wishing them a happy birthday can be done easily through social media. Not to mention, this can help expand your visibility to their followers and friends, too.
Managing your reputation: when current or prospective patients have questions or concerns, a social media account is an easy way for them to connect with your staff. In addition, mitigating negative reviews help solve issues that can potentially damage your public reputation.
Where should I start?
Facebook is a great place to start. It still reigns supreme in terms of monthly active users (over two billion), when compared to all other social channels. Be sure to create or update your Facebook business page with all the correct contact information and operating hours. In addition, consider using Facebook as a way to:
- Share website blog posts
- Post weekly dental tips
- Interact with every user who leaves a rating or review (negative or positive)
- Run monthly drawings or contests for patients who #shareyoursmile (or something similar)
YouTube is another great resource for your dental practice. Having your own YouTube account makes uploading and sharing video content easy. Consider making short videos about:
- Office tours
- Q&As with the doctor(s)
- Patient testimonials
- Interesting technology and tools
Sharing these videos to your Facebook account is an easy way to help increase viewership, and cross-promote your various social channels.
Finally, Instagram can be a great tool for photography that highlights your patients and practice. Consider using Instagram to share:
- Candid photos of doctors or staff
- Patient photos or posts
- Before-and-after photos
- Upcoming events, contests and specials
Are you ready for a more prosperous practice?
These are just a few beginning tips for improving your practice’s public image via social media. We’ll be highlighting more social media best practices in future blog posts!
If you are ready to improve your practice from the inside out, Jennifer Pearce can help you create the practice culture, management, and team environment that will exponentially help your practice become not only more profitable, but a more rewarding place to work. Give us a call today to learn more about our services. We look forward to speaking with you!