You may have heard that social media can grow a business. But why do dentists need social media? This guide will walk you through why social media is important, the benefits of social media, which platforms to use, and some best practices when posting.
Dentists can no longer strictly depend on word-of-mouth advertising to keep new patients walking through their doors. Your local community has ever increasing competition when it comes to dental practices. So why should a new patient choose your dental practice? You will need to show them why they should trust you. There is no better way to establish that trust between a doctor and patient than through social media.
Why Do Dentists Need Social Media?
Now more than ever, dental practices need to be using social media for their practice to thrive. Turning new patients into loyal patients can be easily achieved through consistent and well-thought out social media usage. Essentially, you will need to build a relationship with new patients through trust and confidence.
Dentists have one thing going for them compared to other businesses. The service and product dentists offer is known to be a necessity. If potential new patients know your services are necessary for them, you need to convince them that your dental practice is best at fulfilling those services. Social media will allow you to convey messages that attract desirable new patients. As a dentist, being able to convince patients that you will provide a comfortable, pain-free experience is key.
Before a patient even steps foot in your dental office, their comfort should be your priority. Doing your best to negate common anxieties from visiting the dentist can be achieved through a friendly and comforting tone used on social media.
As a dentist, showing off your knowledge, expertise, and professional history will also allow patients to feel more comfortable about visiting your dental practice. More than any other factor, patients just want to know that they are receiving the best care.
Dentists face stiff competition for new patients. Most people allow first experiences to dictate where they will receive dental care. If your dental practice is not careful with its brand identity, a potential new patient will not think twice about going elsewhere. This is where social media plays a huge part towards new patient sign-ups.
A carefully crafted social media persona for your dental practice is like a cheat code. If a person is already pleased with an outside view of your dental practice because of social media, you just need to provide your professional care to convert a potential new patient into a life-long patient.
As a reminder, your goal is to showcase professionalism, patient comfort, trustworthiness, and expert care. If potential new patients believe your dental practice is in fact showcasing these values through social media, you will see a steady flow of sign-ups. These factors will provide a top-tier experience for patients. Now, you just need to create social media posts that will demonstrate these values.
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Benefits of Social Media
In our digitally-centered lives, online content is king. Marketing for your dental practice is no different. In 2021, the majority of your marketing mix needs to be focused on digital aspects such as social media. Building a brand name for your dental practice is easily attainable with a little bit of planning. Before you begin a social media campaign, be sure to decide who exactly your target patient is.
After making this decision, deciding what to post becomes much easier. Whether you are using the main platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or want to get more creative with TikTok, YouTube, etc., make sure you are reaching out to your desired clientele. Some ways social media can help your dental practice is with: new clients, better relationships, and demonstrating your expertise.
It would be very easy to just say that dentists need social media because they need new patients. But there is plenty of nuance to this. A dental office probably won’t see direct success with new patient sign-ups if they randomly start posting on social media without an agenda. Sure, a couple patients here and there may be drawn in to your office because a post on Facebook was appealing to them. However, the goal should be to create a steady flow of new patient sign-ups with consistent, well thought out social media posts.
If your dental practice is being proactive with posting online, you will be answering questions potential new patients have without having to spend time communicating one-on-one with each individual. Being a credible medical professional online with well crafted social media posts will allow potential new patients to feel more comfortable with your dental practice.
Social media is not just useful for advertising your dental practice to potential new patients. You can easily respond directly to any questions or concerns people comment on your social media posts. Be sure to stay interactive to improve relations with patients. Current patients usually will just call your office because they have familiarity already established, but being easily accessible can only benefit you.
Patients may not want to call because of the convenience of asking questions on social media, so be sure to stay active in this area. As for new patients, if your posts are their first interaction with your dental practice, be ready and prepared to answer any question they could have. A positive first experience from an answered question can start the relationship off right.
Your dental practice also needs to utilize patient reviews and referrals on social media. Post positive reviews online to show off another happy customer. Potential new patients will immediately feel more comfortable with your dental practice if they know current patients are satisfied with your services.
Your current patients can be rewarded for leaving positive reviews or referring others to your dental practice, which will only make them happier. Focusing on and establishing positive relationships as a dentist is easy with social media.
Just because your dental practice posts on social media does not mean it is valuable content. New and current patients want to know if you can be trusted with their health and well-being. There are plenty of options for dentistry, and clients are not going to stay dedicated to a dental practice that is not demonstrating expertise.
You need to be able to back up your statements and claims that are posted online. Posting videos answering frequently asked questions, writing articles on various topics, and showing off successful services provided will prove you are an expert. These types of social media posts are highly valuable.
Be sure to regularly utilize these types of posts. All of your posts do not need to focus on this area, though. Finding a successful mix of what is posted will make your dental practice shine as a professional source of knowledge.
Patients won’t be the only people who see your posts. Other medical and business professionals will stumble across your social media content. This is a great way to create relationships with people who can refer their patients or customers to you. Building a network in your community will provide that steady flow of patients you are seeking out. This starts by demonstrating your expertise online.
Social Media Platforms to Use
Now you’ve answered the question, “why do dentists need social media?” The next logical inquiry is, “which social media platform do I utilize?” Each platform offers their own unique use. Your dental practice needs to pick and choose which social media platforms best fits your goals. There may be other platforms that offer you an avenue to grow. You are greatly encouraged to explore what works best for your dental practice and create an effective social media marketing mix.
Facebook is the gold standard for advertising on social media. The platform offers paid advertising tools for businesses to use. This is where your dental practice can really target who sees your ads. Effectively targeting Facebook users with specific ads makes this a no-brainer when considering which social media dentists should use. Besides their advertising tools, Facebook also offers a platform where your dental practice can post and interact directly with those interested in you. Commenting and responding to questions and concerns on Facebook posts is a free, simple way to spread information about your dental practice.
We know how to handle Facebook advertising.
Twitter offers many of the same benefits Facebook does with advertising tools and interaction. However, the big difference is in the demographics of Twitter and Facebook users. We are not dealing in absolutes, but Twitter users are for the most part much younger of an audience. Targeting young adults who are new to the workforce and in need of a new dentist is a key use of Twitter. Be sure to craft a slightly different persona for your practice depending on the demographic you are trying to reach.
Instagram offers a different avenue to advertise your dental practice on social media. Instead of focusing on various forms of original content and interaction, think of Instagram as a digital billboard. Your dental practice should be filling Instagram feeds with plenty of bright, white smiles. Allow the results to speak for you. A healthy smile is a direct sign that your dental practice knows how to get results.
Advertising on YouTube is not the reason your dental practice wants to use the social media platform. Posting engaging video content means your videos will show up on Google search results and will present a professional video experience when posting this content on other social media platforms. YouTube is the go-to video hosting site for your dental practice. The ease of posting your videos on other social media posts is great. Also, keeping all of your video content in one location means anyone could stumble onto your YouTube channel and find all of the dentistry information they could want.
The best way to get new eyes on your dental practice online is through TikTok. The social media platform is primarily used by a much younger audience, but the viral nature of TikTok videos can not go unnoticed. The use of hashtags makes TikTok extremely easy to target specific video content to interested users. Videos are limited to under one minute, so keep the content short and to the point.
Best Practices for Social Media
Now that you know why dentists need social media and where to post online, you need some best practices to really make your dental practice shine. As previously mentioned, having variety in your social media marketing mix is key to unlocking the full potential of the social media platforms. Your dental practice should utilize these tips to maximize social media exposure.
Post Helpful Procedures and Products
If a person is on a social media platform looking at dentists, this means they are in the market for some sort of service or product. Posting helpful information for a healthy smile will definitely engage these potential new patients. Be sure to include posts with dental products you believe in and want your patients to use. These types of posts are usually then shared by patients to their friends and family, meaning more eyes on your post. Valuable and helpful posts are the bases of social media posts.
Curated Content for Employees to Share
Professional content should not be posted and shared only by your dental practice’s main account. Utilize the social media community and network of your staff. However, do not leave these content decisions up to the discretion of your staff. Create professionally curated social media posts that they can post or share from their own accounts. This will give you total control of how your message is being displayed and distributed.
Also, do not expect your staff to be customer service experts. Be sure to answer any questions or concerns on the staff posts from the main dental practice account. This will provide a cohesive, professional image for your dental practice.
Professional, curated content can be a pain.
Mix Personal and Professional Posts
Nothing will bore your social media followers more than strictly sticking to clinical posts. Your dental practice needs to find a balance between informative posts and more light-hearted, entertaining content. You do not need to be a comedian to post the occasional joke or meme. Just make sure whatever type of content your posting is getting attention for your dental practice.
Utilize Video Posts
Most social media platforms allow you to start live video conversations. As a dentist, you could schedule a live question and answer session or provide a behind the scenes look at your office. Live video may be uncomfortable for some, so try your hand at recorded videos first.
Occasionally include YouTube videos in your social media posts to break up the monotony of static images and plain text posts. These videos do not need to have a high production value, but be sure to have good lighting, a quiet space, and topics your followers want to hear about.
Showcase Reviews and Referrals
These types of posts can be extremely useful for your dental practice. Showing off a satisfied customer shows potential new patients what they can expect if they sign up. Word-of-mouth advertising and referrals have been key to growing dental practices in the past, and this is just another form of that. Many people who are searching for a medical professional are going to look at online directories or online ratings and reviews. Capture those searchers and show off your patients all in one place.
Why do dentists need social media? Because advertising your dental practice can not be accomplished without these digital tools. Building a healthy doctor-patient relationship is the main purpose of a social media campaign. This can be easily accomplished with some planning, creativity, patience, and perseverance. Become a dentist that people trust and you will have a steady stream of new patient sign-ups soon.
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