As a dental care practitioner, you have to wear many hats in order to run a successful practice. Besides being a dentist, you are also an entrepreneur, an administrator, an accountant, etc. In that list, many dentists forget to include a very important role, that of the dental marketer.
It‘s been ages since anyone checked print ads or brochures with images of crisp white coats and sparse dentists’ offices. For years now, patients turn to their phones and computers to find out about any service they may need. As a professional service provider, the internet is your best source for patient acquisition.
Social media marketing gives businesses the visibility that helps them connect with their potential customers. A dentist social media page is part of a wider dental marketing plan that will help you promote the services you have on offer. Let’s find out how to make a social media page for your dental practice.
But first, let’s get familiar with a few basics terms about dentist social media marketing (SMM).
What is Social Media Marketing?
Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc to create brand awareness of a service or product, such as your dental billing and dental insurance verification services, is called social media marketing. All activities on these platforms are done with the clear intent of bringing in more web traffic and hence leads.
Every business has a unique challenge when using social media for marketing purposes. For dentists, it is about being the public face of your practice with the aim of giving the patients confidence in your ability to provide the best care for them and their families.
Without a definite product to sell, dental social media pages often need to show credibility and authority through the information they share about public health-related issues such as those raising awareness about common dental conditions.
Your dental social media page can share useful tips and guidelines in an appealing manner about maintaining oral health. This should ultimately bring value to the lives of readers all the while positioning your practice as a leader in the dental health community.
What Needs to Go On A Dentist’s Social Media Page?
The type of information posted on the social media page largely depends on the platform being used. For more visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, the best content is in the form of infographics and image macros. The more eye-catching the design, the more likely it is to be shared by viewers.
All large platforms for visual content are YouTube and TikTok (yes, TikTok is also a dental SMM platform). These sites can be described as video-sharing platforms however they are often used by businesses exclusively for promotional and branding purposes.
A dentist posting short videos on TikTok or YouTube shorts can get much more traction with the younger generation than through any other platform. Video content for these sites can include demos on common procedures, done with a bit of humor and creativity for the age group of the audience.
For more text-based platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, be prepared for more user engagement. Users of these sites expect responses to their queries almost in real-time, or at least within 24 hours. Facebook is still the best platform for patient acquisition due to the high rates of users being adults.
Another great opportunity offered by these types of platforms is patient testimonials. Have a satisfied patient? Request them to post an account of their experience with your services on your social media page. People are more likely to trust a user’s review than any claim posted by the dentist themselves.
The content on text-heavy platforms needs to be informative but brief. The page or account administrator should be knowledgeable and proactive in responding to questions and requests. If given time and consistency, these two platforms are the best way to acquire patients online.
Further than that, we have more serious platforms such as LinkedIn which is mainly used to connect industry professionals with each other. This is another great opportunity for building credibility for yourself and your practice by participating in professional networking and discussions online.
Increasing your professional network can help you stay up-to-date on the latest procedures, aid in hiring new staff, and build a community of patients and care providers not limited to those patients you meet in real life. Word-of-mouth is powerful when it is borne from a reputation of authoritativeness.
Developing a Dentist SMM Strategy
The key to getting results from dental digital marketing, as with any other marketing, is maintaining consistency. Whether it is the overall style or theme of your page design, including colors and visuals, to the content itself, maintain consistency for achieving optimum results.
A dedicated social media marketing strategy requires consistency of output. It means that you should schedule when content will be posted on your social media page, and then maintain that schedule diligently. Consistency of posts builds a habit among your followers of checking your account.
Building a following of habitual visitors to your page will lead to more interactions and engagement. Because of the way social media algorithms work, consistency of output and steady engagement, even if at a small scale, bring up your page in search results on the platform.
Once you have decided how and when and where to post you must answer the most important question of all i.e. what should you post? Dentist social media has some pretty clear-cut directions that you can take. As we mentioned, the content needs to be informative in order to build your credibility.
Having knowledge of dental procedures and advice for patients is nothing new from the patient’s perspective. Every competitor and even independently managed, non-affiliated dental care page will be doing the same thing. To differentiate yourself from the rest, you need to create your own voice.
What is a brand voice? It is the manner in which brands convey their message that represents the kind of business they are and who they are most likely to be serving. This means defining your position as a dental care provider. Do you specialize in treating preventative procedures or in implants?
Deciding on the type of authority and image you want to project gives focus to your posting efforts. Random messaging on general matters of dental health may still be a strategy to follow but it is not the best one for building up your brand identity and patient engagement levels.
Technical Requirements for A Dentist Social Media Page
You must be familiar with the platforms mentioned through your private accounts, or you may already have been using them for posting updates on your practice. However, for the management of a professional social media account, there are certain unique requirements.
Every business, and not just a dental practice, needs to include complete business information available in a sharable format for easy access. Moreover, you must include a call-to-action for booking a consultation or an appointment straight from the social media page.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or other design element, with a short text written to ask the reader to take an action. The CTA has a link embedded in it that redirects the user to a separate page, called a landing page, which then gives more information on the action mentioned in brief on the CTA.
The entire purpose of the CTA is to get the reader to make a decision and follow through on it, fast. The presence of a CTA enables you to acquire clients from those people in the audience who have been inspired by your social media content to take action for the health of their teeth.
Maintaining a strong online presence with regular posts and quick responses to queries is what a sound social media marketing strategy looks like. Creating a dental marketing strategy for your practice may sound unnecessary as you may think that your periodic posts are enough to manage the socials account.
But the reality is that social media platforms are the real sources of patient acquisition these days. As such, your brand’s online presence needs to be carefully cultivated and assiduously managed. The rewards of a thoughtful approach to social media marketing are manifold, in the form of qualified lead generation.
Invest some time and effort today and build a thematically consistent and professionally designed social media page for your dental practice. Regularly post useful information on a specialty category or procedure and keep the high quality of your service front-and-center of the discussion.
Interact with visitors to your page and answer their questions in a timely and thorough manner. Finally, make complete contact and booking information readily available on your page and keep every piece of information updated.
This blueprint can help get you more traffic and interactions on social media. It can build both your brand awareness and credibility among potential patients. A well-curated social media presence also serves to differentiate you from the other dental care providers, giving a more human touch to your dental business.