When we think of social media, many of us associate it with pictures of our families and friends, and a place to let people know what we’re thinking or doing. While that paints a pretty good picture of the origins of social media, over the past couple of decades, it’s become much more than that. As it evolved, social media became an important part of top companies’ marketing plans. Companies in nearly every industry now invest time and money marketing on social media, and the dental industry is no different.
Dental social media marketing has become an essential part of building a practice’s client base and keeping them engaged. If you run a dental practice that isn’t yet marketing on social media channels, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
Why is Dental Social Media Marketing Important?
Marketing on social media is more important in some industries than it is in others, and the dental industry is one that can derive huge benefits out of a great dental social media marketing campaign. A good campaign can precisely target the audience you’re after, and give you the opportunity to interact with potential patients directly.
Unlike many forms of traditional print marketing, social media campaigns primarily reach consumers when they’re engaging in leisure activities. Not only that, but if you can get your current patients engaged, it directly ties your practice to their social circles.
Well formulated campaigns in social media marketing for dentists are great ways to connect with current patients, attract new patients, and even remind them of the importance of going in for a cleaning and checkup on a regular basis. The best part is, it may be easier than you think to get started. Here’s how dental social media marketing can help grow your practice.
Connecting with Current Patients
In order to cultivate a culture where patients feel that they are getting the care they deserve, it’s important to reach out once in a while. Keeping in contact not only lets them know you care about them and their oral health, but it also helps remind them to do the things that will keep their smiles bright and prevent cavities. Many patients will feel that certain methods of contact are intrusive, but most won’t mind those contacts coming in through their social media feeds and DMs.
Attracting New Patients
Dental social media marketing campaigns are a great way to bring new clients in the door. Not only does it give you the chance to show potential patients the things that make your practice great, but it allows them to see how you may be already connected to their lives. If it turns out they’ve got a friend or two who already has their cleanings and fillings performed at your practice, it provides an immediate connection. It also allows them to get first hand info from someone they trust, and that can make or break their decision on which practice they go with.
Drive Regular Visits
Sometimes we all need a little reminder to go in for our regular dental checkups. Life gets busy, and since we only visit the dentist twice a year, it can fall to the back of our minds. Social media is a great way to drop subtle reminders that don’t make them feel like they are being singled out or even have to respond. If you make it easy for them to schedule their next visit through your social media pages, you might fill out your schedule without ever picking up the phone.
Top Dental Social Media Marketing Sites
There was a day when MySpace and Facebook were the only social sites on the block, but times have changed. There are all kinds of popular social sites that people visit daily, and each for different reasons. With all the options out there, it can be tough to decide on which sites are the best bets for your social media marketing campaigns. Let’s look at some of the tried and true sites that make great platforms for dental social media marketing.
Facebook was one of the first big social sites, and it still commands the lion’s share of traffic. With approximately 2.9 billion monthly active users, there’s a great chance that a good portion of your local populace logs on regularly.
Facebook is also extremely personal. Most of the people we follow on Facebook are our friends, family, and the businesses and artists that we love. When someone encounters your practice’s page and finds that you are followed by someone else that they love, it gives you instant credibility and a personal source for referrals.
Facebook has also built in a robust marketing machine, meaning they can help point you in the right direction if this is your first social media marketing endeavor. When putting together mobile marketing campaigns, Facebook is still a fantastic option.
Twitter is another incredibly popular platform. One of the big things that differentiate it from Facebook is that we are far more likely to follow accounts of users we don’t know. The differences don’t stop there. The content is different too.
Content on Twitter lends itself incredibly well to the world of dental social media marketing. Since you are limited to 280 characters, it’s an ideal platform for quick bits of info that get users engaged. It’s easy to get started, and its utilization of hashtags to group content means you can target your digital content to people who are looking for related content.
Twitter does require you to actively post on a regular basis in order to maintain your following. It’s not a requirement of the platform, but users are quick to unfollow accounts that don’t provide them value on a regular basis. Find yourself some quality dental hashtags and post regularly to keep your follower count growing and drive engagement.
Another platform under the Meta umbrella, the company that owns Facebook, is Instagram. It’s an image-driven platform that allows us to connect with creators who produce the art and photos that brighten our days. Since posts with images or videos drive greater engagement than posts consisting of text alone across all social sites, Instagram can be a great way to build your online following.
But before you start posting pics of your patients’ recent dental work, make sure your posts don’t run afoul of HIPAA privacy laws. Any dental Instagram posts that contain personally identifiable information can land you in hot water, so make sure you get a release from anyone who may be pictured in your images or videos.
Just like with Twitter, you’ll want to find some great Instagram dentistry hashtags to maximize your reach. Find a nice balance between hashtags that have huge amounts of posts and ones that have fewer. Being a big fish in a small, quality pond can generate more followers than if you are always buried under millions of other posts.
LinkedIn is a little different from the platforms we’ve covered so far. It is designed for working professionals, job searches, and business networking, so a dental social media marketing campaign should approach LinkedIn differently than the other social sites.
You can use LinkedIn to connect with your patients, but it’s more often used to connect with professional groups and for sharing industry information. Users of LinkedIn are not generally as active as those on other platforms, so it’s important to provide high quality content in every post. If you’ve got interesting dental facts for social media consumers, this is a great place to post them.
LinkedIn is also a great place to search for new talent, given its reputation as a job search engine of sorts. You can showcase your company culture and find top talent all in the same place.
How to Get the Most from Your Campaigns
Social media for dentists is undoubtedly an incredibly important part of marketing plans, but it’s got to be done right to get the results you want. Once you’ve decided which platforms are right for you, it’s time to create content and begin posting. Here’s how to get the most from your dental social media marketing campaign.
Post Original Content
You can get a handful of likes from reposting other peoples’ content, but you’ll find you get much better engagement on original content. Posting original social media content for dentists and patients is a great way to connect with the community. It also allows you to showcase your company culture and sense of humor. Greater connections result in a thriving business.
One final benefit of posting original content is that you’ll fill feeds with your practice’s brand identity. Using your brand imagery and colors will familiarize the public with your practice, and they’ll know who you are when it comes time to choose a dentist.
You should be able to generate some decent traction on each of these social platforms organically, but taking the extra step and promoting your content can dramatically improve views and engagement. Promoting your content allows it to reach new audiences in exactly the right places. Whether you’re targeting a specific demographic or region, you can tailor your promotions to hit the target with your advertising dollars. Targeted advertising gives you the same benefit of boosting SEO, but can allow you to target your audience more effectively.
Get Help with Your Dental Social Media Marketing
There are a lot of ins and outs associated with social media marketing, and it can get tricky to balance a busy practice with an effective marketing campaign. If you ever feel overwhelmed, enlisting the help of social media pros can help take the edge off and ensure your social media campaigns are a success.
You don’t want just any social media pros, either. Dental social media marketing campaigns require not just knowledge of social platforms, but also of HIPAA laws that regulate what kind of patient information you can share online. They can come up with dental social media marketing ideas that deliver results, and save you time and money at the same time. If you want to see how a professional marketing company approaches social media marketing for dentists, reach out for a consultation.