Marketing is no longer just mailers and radio ads: dental has gone social. But with the growth of social media marketing is an overwhelming amount of advice and ideas on how to market your business on social media.
Social media gives your dental practice a unique way to connect with your patients (and potential patients), so here’s how to do it the right way.
How to Leverage Social Marketing for Your Dental Practice
1. Become a Resource
Social media needs to be more than pushing your services; it needs to give them value. One of the best ways to do so is to become a resource for your patients. This means sharing relevant information, like why flossing is still important, or what foods could hurt their dental health.
This can be two-fold. You can publish your own content, and you can also share content from other sources. By using both these methods, you can share more content with less work, which gives your team time for other tasks while still being a resource for your patients.
2. Be Where Your Patients Are
This is one of the most important pieces of social media marketing: be where your audience is. Even if you’re doing a great job on your social media marketing, you could be missing your audience, which means wasted time and resources.
Your social media outlets largely depend on your practice’s demographics. If you have largely younger patients (20s and 30s), look into Instagram and Snapchat. (Really!) If your practice is made up primarily of older patients, Facebook is a good bet.
3. Engage with Potential Patients
In today’s social media heavy culture, many cities have their own Facebook or Instagram pages. Engage with those outside of your current patient base by interacting with users on these pages. Note that we said engage, not sell to.
Engaging with these users could mean answering health-related questions, but it also means talking about topics that may be completely unrelated to dentistry. By engaging with users you’re again giving them value; when they start thinking about a dentist appointment you’ll be at the top of their mind.
4. Utilize Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads is some of the most affordable advertising you can use, making it a great option for any practice, regardless of size. The targeting information available in their Ads Manager allows you to narrow in on location and age, among other factors.
By creating both an editorial calendar for your page and putting some of your budget into Facebook Ads, you’ll be able to create a fairly comprehensive marketing plan. Add in some Google Adwords, other social media outlets, and the time to do it well, and you’ll see the rewards.
5. Engage with Your Patients
Engaging with your patients doesn’t stop once they leave your office. By creating an open dialogue and encouraging them to review you and to post pictures, you’re creating an open and welcoming environment. You could run a contest or promotion where patients that post a picture while in your office are entered to win a prize, or they get a discount on a cosmetic service.
By creating this open dialogue and creating some motivation, you’ll be able to connect with your patients between visits and give them more value while promoting your practice. Win-win situation, right?
Final thoughts: take your time
Now, this can seem pretty overwhelming when you look at every piece that you want to try, so our biggest piece of advice is this: take it slow. You don’t want to burn out a month into your new marketing plan, so try implementing one new thing a month, a week, a quarter… take your time to get it right through experimentation, and you’ll see the rewards.