As a dentist, if you are wondering how social media can be beneficial to your business, then you’ve come to the right place.
While word-of-mouth publicity and reputation were the biggest drivers of business for dentists in the 90s, the advent of the 21st century has bought in more competition in terms of the growing number of dentists and how people look for and connect with dentists.
Search engines, local business marketing, and social media channels are now the tools to watch out for when it comes to dental marketing.
From these tools, the one that stands out as a means of direct communication and engaging with specific audiences is Social Media Marketing.
Dentists around the globe are using it to connect with new patients and strengthen their bonds with existing ones, which is why it makes immense sense to spend time and effort promoting your practice through social media.
But, just don’t take our word for it!
Let’s look at some numbers that prove it’s the right way ahead.
Approx. 82% of US Citizens have at least one social media account. In the age group 30 – 49, 81% of people use social media, while 73% do so in the age group 50 – 64. In addition, 54% of this audience uses social media to research products and services before buying or trying them.
These stats indicate that social media can be a very effective tool for dental marketing, provided it is implemented strategically and efficiently.
Among the various social media channels, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are the most popular social media channels for both brands and consumers to connect with each other.
Social Media Marketing For Dentists
To get you going, our team of digital marketing experts share some of the ways you can grow your practice and attract high-value patients using social media marketing.
- Increase your social media presence
With 75% of people admitting to purchasing a product or service they saw on social media, it’s time to scale up your presence on social media.
By the term scaling up, we are referring to both increasing the number of followers you have and being more regular and consistent with your posts.
However, increasing the number of page followers you have organically takes too much time and effort. As an alternative, you can opt for paid advertising to increase your follower count for at least 2 – 3 months.
People are more likely to start engaging with your content if they find it useful. As per research, people are more likely to conduct business with you if they see at least 2 to 3 posts about your product or service, get a comfortable, trustworthy feeling about it, and decide to follow your page.
That is why you need to create and share content regularly and consistently. However, do note that each social media platform is different, and the frequency at which you should post on each forum varies as per your target audience.
Social media experts suggest maintaining the following schedule.
One of the other best organic ways to increase your social media presence is to engage continuously with all the people who respond to your posts. Given the fact that they have taken time out from their busy lives to respond to your content, the least you can do is thank them for it.
Being proactive in responding to comments and brand mentions shows that you genuinely care about people. That can help build goodwill for your brand in the long run.
- Experiment with different content formats
Just as there is no similar solution for all dental problems, so is it with social media. Given the diversity of the audience on social media, it may take you some time till you discover the content style that works best for you.
You can experiment with different content styles such as humor, entertaining, informative, or even testimonials to see what connects better with your audience.
Remember, there is no perfect formula for this, and it all depends on how your audience receives it and finds it useful. The social media experts at The Dental Connect recommend following a content style based on the social media platform.
The same piece of content can be repurposed and presented to appeal to the audience on that platform.
For example, if you have created a blog on “How to improve your oral health” and posted the same on your website, you could create different formats of the same content as per the social media platform.
On LinkedIn, you could share it as an infographic, on Facebook as a social media post with the blog link, a series of images on Instagram, and a short video on YouTube & TikTok.
You can also plan your content based on what works best on a particular platform. For ex, surveys are a big thing on LinkedIn, while short videos & reels are big on Instagram & TikTok. On the other hand, Facebook users like to engage with content that is entertaining, informative, and useful to them.
When it comes to content, an important fact to remember is that 49% of people say they share because they find it informative and valuable to others. Creating high-quality content gives you an opportunity to show off your experience and authority in the dental industry. It also helps make a positive impression on your patients about your skills and experience in dental procedures.
Social Media Marketing Tip: Getting your patients to post pictures of their visit to your clinic and tagging your clinic is a great way to increase awareness about your clinic on social media.
- Use Paid Advertising
For dentists who specialize in a particular field of dentistry or would like to focus on patients from a specific town, nothing works better than paid advertising on social media channels.
Some of the benefits that paid advertising offers are;
You can customize your ads for specific audiences based on demographics, lifestyle, education levels, and even the smartphones they use. That is immensely beneficial when you want to target patients for any high-value services or run a generic oral health campaign.
Easily track results and make changes to your ad campaigns for better results. For example, well-designed social media ads usually have a CTR (Click-through-Rate) of 2%, with 3% being considered top-end. Therefore, any ad that performs below 2% should be reviewed and changed as required.
A good CTR % is essential because it results in a lower cost per lead. For example, an ad with a CTR of 1.50% may cost you $50 per lead, while a similar ad with a CTR of 3% would cost you just $25 per lead approximately. That can make a big difference to your overall advertising budget and the number of leads you can generate through your ad campaigns.
Social media channels even offer the option of downloading the leads generated by your ads into a (CMS) customer management system directly so that you can follow up and monitor all the leads generated more efficiently.
Compared to traditional advertising formats such as television, billboards, and radio, where it is difficult to monitor the ROI on ads, you can easily track these metrics on social media platforms. Moreover, there is hardly any or minimal wastage of your advertising resources since the ads are shown only to an audience you define.
Apart from these benefits, the biggest reason that you need to consider paid social media advertising is the fact that 49% of internet users say they are likely to purchase from brands they see advertised, as per a survey conducted by GWI. That’s quite a substantial number for your business to engage with and something you would definitely not like to miss out on.
- Build positive reviews
Guess what! More than 90% of consumers are influenced to buy products & services based on the reviews they read online. That’s something you should capitalize upon.
Interestingly, 86% of consumers also decided not to buy a product or service after reading negative online reviews.
These facts make it essential to generate positive reviews from your customers. The more the number of positive reviews you get, the better the chances of a prospective patient picking your clinic over that of the competition.
At The Dental Connect, we believe that your best sales or marketing people aren’t your employees but your past and existing customers, who can help build your brand with their referrals and word-of-mouth publicity.
However, collecting reviews from customers is easier said than done, as people usually don’t have the time or want to make an effort to leave a review about your business, whether good or bad.
Some of the tips that you could consider implementing to get more and good reviews using social media marketing are:
Call out and respond to the people who have left a good or bad review
Being recognized for their efforts is an inherent desire among many people, be it for something as small and simple as leaving a review.
Responding to customer reviews and comments on social media channels, whether good or bad, shows that you pay attention to your customers and are open to feedback on improving your services. Many customers consider this to be a good trait among companies and are more likely to do business with such companies.
Address negative reviews proactively
When it comes to negative or one-star reviews, make sure you and your team take time out to understand the reason for the same. No business is perfect, and there could be problems at your end, due to which the patient was dissatisfied.
Addressing all the reviews you generate on social media channels proactively, and seeking a resolution instead of being defensive or offensive, can go a long way in generating more positive reviews for your business.
In fact, as per a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, businesses that respond to negative reviews end up getting more better reviews over a period of time.
Make the first move
You don’t have to actually wait for a customer to review your services. Instead, you can turn the table around and give a positive review about your customer first and how fantastic the experience of working with them has been.
That will surely prompt your patient to respond and positively acknowledge your comments.
You could even present a special offer for customers to leave a review about your business within 7 to 15 days of using your services. Using a time-bound incentive program can work wonders in generating positive reviews from customers, as the experience of their recent visit to your clinic is still fresh in their minds.
Follow up good reviews with a referral request
Once you’ve got a patient, who has written a positive review about your practice, make sure you thank them and ask them for a referral. A happy and satisfied patient is more likely to refer your services to people within their network who may need dental services.
You can do the same via email marketing if you want your referral program to be more personalized and discreet.
Social Media Marketing is an indispensable tool for dentists
Social media marketing is one of the critical tools dentists can use to increase the presence of their business and grow it substantially in these post-pandemic times. Social media marketing can help you generate a regular flow of clients and help attract high-value patients for procedures such as dental implants, crowns, and clear aligners.
Being able to differentiate your business from the competition and highlight your achievements is the need of the hour and something that social media marketing can assist you with. Moreover, the flexibility and detailed tracking social media offers are invaluable to gauge your ROI.
Used effectively, it can also help you collect positive reviews and referrals, which are highly beneficial in the long run.
To create a brand image that patients find credible and trustworthy enough to work with, it’s time you spent more effort on your social media marketing efforts. Once you’ve built up a long-term relationship with your patients, you can look forward to more busy times ahead.