For decades, dentists relied exclusively on their reputation and word-of-mouth marketing to help them build dental practices. But it’s 2020, and certainly, almost all of your audience is now spending their time on social media. Whether it’s blogging, video marketing, paid social ads, or even podcasts, you have to learn the specifics of social media marketing to stay alive in the dental marketing world.
According to Statista, the dental industry is expected to grow to a value of around 37 billion U.S. dollars by 2021. To fall into this momentum, you need to scale up your practice, with a social media marketing plan targeting your specific target audience.
For many dental practice owners, the world of social media marketing is an unmapped territory filled with potential blunders they must be guided through. But social media marketing is not as complex as you think. To avoid these potential blunders and reap the benefits of social media marketing, you need not have to be an advertising genius. With the right approach and persistence, your dental practice can flourish beyond the boundaries.
Let’s get started!
Of course, yes! Today, most of your patients are going online to research dental care options.
Social media marketing is your ideal way to build and nurture relationships with your target audience. For a dentist, broadcasting their services through social media is a means to convince their patients that they can deliver a superior patient experience compared to others in the competition.
However, dental practice owners need to understand how well they should handle their social media handles by enabling multiple checkpoints to avoid potential blunders. Any content that you share will stay there forever, and therefore each post should excite, inspire, and engage your potential and existing patients, and motivate them to book an appointment with your practice. Any other kinds of posts are certainly a waste of time and can often severely backfire too.
Here are some of the reasons why dental marketing is important for your practice:
Helps you to gain both visibility & new patients
Builds credibility & manages your reputation
Communicate & strengthen patient relationships
Beyond just reaching out to your patients, social media presence has become a crucial tool for your dental practice. Patients use it to verify and judge your practice before booking an appointment. Maintaining an active and engaging social media presence portrays you as a dynamic dental practice that constantly interacts with its patients. This, in turn, develops trust and ensures you get more new patients.
Thought leaders are here to stay in the lead!
Find a thought leader from your niche and tell them that you would like them to come over for free treatment or cleaning. Request them to document the process on their social media. Let them offer a special discount to all their followers to book a new patient appointment with your practice.
Short-lived content engages more.
Bring in more content that disappears quickly. A good example of this is Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook stories. Stories work for real as they have a FOMO factor attached to them. You get the engagement you want because your stories disappear, and people don’t want to miss what you have recorded or offered.
Social Media as a customer service tool
Patients today are using social media as a tool for communication with brands. Patients are likely to forward questions, ask for help, and book appointments through social media rather than in person. Develop a workflow around this engagement, so your team is ready to answer patients’ service requests.
Geo-Targeting for the target location
You have the convenience of geo-targeting all of your social posts in ads. Through this, your ad will not be broadcasted across the internet. Instead, it will be shared exclusively with the target audience that you set within the ads. This ensures that you target prospects that will later become new patients, within your location.
Personalize to speak your brand’s voice.
The highest-performing posts are usually driven with an emotional angle and are personalized to your practice. Keeping posted on your social channels is two-fold: extremely impactful imagery should go well, along with educational content and engaging and funny posts. These posts should speak your brand voice and educate the patient.
Post good pictures:
Photos help you establish credibility online. Post good photographs of your facility, team, and patients, or even deliver important messages through pictures.
Post a casual campaign like #tbt:
A #hashtag campaign helps promote your content among a larger circle by encouraging your followers to join in. For example, a picture from the past of you, your practice, or your team posted as nostalgia on a Thursday may be picked up by your patients, and they may actively post their pictures with the hashtag.
Tag real people and show patient transformations:
There is nothing that establishes credibility like a real person who transformed. This improves your credibility and showcases your skill, but it also encourages more people in your vicinity to go ahead with restorative procedures. Instagram was made for this.
Always make it a point to be supportive and participate in local events such as fundraisers or community events that cause the local population to see you as a member of the community and less as a business.
Questions and interactive messages are especially valid because every time you get a member of the community to respond, you add their social circle to your interaction. Posting interesting questions and interactive posts, asking something from your followers and patients, are great ways to promote social media engagement.
Another upcoming trend is the use of videos. Everyone has a fast internet connection on their mobiles, and many people prefer video content. They are short and precise and convey your message much better with a human touch. Post more videos on dental advice or even post a wish to engage users during the festival season.
Social media requires constant updates and dedicated attention. This can become tricky in your busy schedules. One way to balance this is by using automation and scheduling posts so that interactions look regular, whereas your attention can be in other areas without distraction.
Be genuine, casual, and real:
Social media works on the principle of being human. Every bit of data in there has a human element attached. That is why we find it attractive. Do not miss this crucial element. Make your posts genuine, and be open and real in your conversations rather than following a formal template.
Post customer testimonials and reviews:
It is useful to post good reviews from time to time, thanking your patient or the author. This helps your patients and followers trust your messages more since 3rd party reviewers vet them.
Freebies might seem a bit too much. But, the reality is freebies still draw human interaction, and people still chase rewards. Use freebies from time to time to promote specific campaigns. Design your campaigns well so you can reach out with the best message.
Choose the right social media network
Address your target audience
Share engaging content
Add value to your social media posts
Keep a tab on patient engagement
Maintain USP across your posts
Promote deals and offers
Consider paid advertising
Measure and rework your social media plan
Social media marketing for dentists is becoming more important as time passes, and you don’t want to fall behind your competitors. Now is the time to start!
As a dentist, there’s no universally valid solution to being successful in the social media marketing world, just like any other marketing strategy. The success lies where you recognize the importance of building a friendly, personalized relationship with your target audience through your social channels, and beginning to create a brand that’s more credible, and engaging for today’s patients.