Do You Need Social Media for Your Dental Practice

September 8, 2017 Pankey Gram

No matter what generation you grew up in, marketing a dental practice with social media can be a deceptively simple endeavor. What we mean is that social media, when done right, is not challenging to actually carry out. It’s not rocket science, but it does follow some rules that are easy to overlook.

Do I Really Need Social Media for My Dental Practice?

Yes, you really do. It’s not that you need a social media presence run by ten professional marketers capable of soaking up dozens of hours and tons of money. It’s that the absence of adequate social media can damage the way potential patients view you when they look you up online or are referred by a friend.

Not having a social media is odd nowadays. It’s the measure by which we as a society determine the popularity and even the viability of a business or practice.

Simple Ways to Maximize Social Media Effectiveness

Personal and professional social media should not be carried out in exactly the same way. This is the most significant issue with many dental practice’s social media accounts.

In a personal profile, it doesn’t matter if: the pictures are posted randomly, the quality is low, the info isn’t particularly useful , and the grammar is poor. That’s basically expected.

Professional social media should be the opposite. It should be curated on a regular basis with high quality imagery and equally high quality writing. Once you’ve done that, you’re on your way to social media that effectively markets your practice. It should embody the same qualities and sensibility you want patients to associate with your particular dental brand.

Your profile provides a look inside your practice that personalizes/humanizes it and encourages communication with patients. This does not mean it is a place to break down professional barriers between practice and patient.

Finally, don’t feel obligated to use every social media platform that exists. You can safely assume that the trifecta of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will cover the majority of your bases. There are pros and cons to all three. Younger generations are losing interest in Facebook, but older generations seem to love it. Instagram attracts a wide variety of ages that include millennials and younger audiences. Twitter’s shortcoming is that information circulates rapidly; one post a week isn’t enough to make much of a difference.

But like we mentioned before, you don’t necessarily have to invest heavily in social media, attempting to acquire new patients from this avenue. First and foremost, social media simply provides more easily accessible information about your practice to potential patients and should help them be more comfortable choosing you as their dentist.

What do you love or dislike about social media as a marketing tool? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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One thought on “Do You Need Social Media for Your Dental Practice

  1. Great blog. More to keep in mind…While social media is a great way to keep people engaged and reify your brand, most people who are looking for a dentist have what’s called an “intent.” Sixty-six percent of the time, this intent takes the form of searching online for “a dentist near me,” and 93% of those people are going to make a decision based on what they read online. Google pay-per-click and AdWords ads are what drive your practice to the top of the first page, where you will be noticed. They will immediately look at your star rating. When they click on your linked website or mini-site, what do they see? When they go to your listed reviews, do you have a handful of high star reviews, dozens or hundreds?

    While you do not need dedicated experts to do your social media, you do need them for your online advertising and SEO. Today, you need to drive your search ranking to the top to attract new patient calls. There are an average of 250 people each month searching for a dentist in any given zip code. The search engine has to put them in front of you. What they see will determine if the type of patients you desire call. (Our Patient Prism research indicates, new patients tend to click on the top two listed dentists, maybe three; and when these are highly rated, those are who they call.)

    The first step, as always, is consistent, excellent service that is patient focused. This drives the 4 and 5 star reviews. New patients are intentionally looking for your star rating and how many reviews compose that rating. This is your social credibility rating.

    In addition to looking at your linked website or mini-site (for example, a video landing page that is focused on a welcoming practice overview and patient testimonials, or a landing page focused on a high value service you are advertising), some new patients will go to Facebook and some to Instagram. Our Patient Prism research indicates that people looking at dentists rarely go to Twitter. They will, however, go to YouTube and intentionally search for you. I recommend that you have a presence on the current “must have” social media three: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The same guidelines presented in this blog apply to your YouTube videos. Make them engaging but also “professional,” so potential patients feel comfortable coming to you.

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