Did you know that 73% of consumers use search engines when searching for information regarding their next dental treatment?
Advancements in technology have had a direct impact on marketing techniques over the last decade. With the rise in popularity of social media, businesses have found platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms offer incredible marketing opportunities for any healthcare practice, especially dentists.
Recent studies suggest that the Global Dental Market will cross the US $60 billion mark by the year 2024. As a result, the modern dental industry is leveraging social media marketing more than ever to promote products and services. Social media marketing offers dentists cost-effective ways in which they can expand their patient base, while also providing ways to meaningfully engage with their patients.
We’ve put together a helpful guide for you to use on how to effectively use social media marketing for your dental practice’s advantage.
Why Does Your Dental Practice Need Social Media Marketing?
As a dentist, you may ask yourself why would you need to be active on social media? The reason is because patients now use social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as tools to find businesses for their next product or service purchase — this includes healthcare services such as dental treatments. So, if you want to expand your patient base, social media marketing can help.
There was once a time when the only way to find dentists was through vocal recommendations. Now, internet-driven advancements make seeking new professionals in any industry as easy as pressing a few buttons. Such advancements also make it easy to read reviews and view photos of previous work done, which makes it easier for potential patients to choose who their next service provider will be. So if your dental practice is not active on social media, you are already losing out on potential patients.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Dentists
If you’re still wondering why your dental practice should be using social media, we went ahead and put together some of the major benefits of social media marketing for dentists:
Increase Brand Awareness
Social media marketing is an effective way of expanding your practice’s exposure to potential patients, and also helps you reach your target audience. With an optimized online presence across various social media networks, you make it easier for potential patients to come across your dental practice.
Influence Purchasing Decisions
Having a strong social media presence will also enable your practice to have a lasting impact on your target audience. Studies have shown that social media influences 71% of consumer buying decisions. Consider using your different social platforms to influence patients into choosing their next dental treatment through the use of exciting posts and messages.
Increase Brand Reputation
Social media marketing helps dentists establish their reputation online. How? Showcasing! By showcasing your best work on social media, you allow future patients an insight to what your practice can do for them, and establish credibility. Build your practice’s reputation through posts that provide meaningful, expert information your patients will like to hear about regarding procedures, advancements in the field, and much more.
Build Your Brand Voice
The dental industry is one of the fastest growing healthcare service industries worldwide. Whether you’re a new dental practice or one that is already established, you will need to make sure you continue to stand apart from your competitors. With social media relying on posts that are created by individuals, your dental practice’s social media is a great way to find and build your brand’s voice. Your brand’s voice is what patients will come to know as your own, and will help differentiate yourself from others who may be advertising similar products and services.
Foster Strong Relationships With Patients
Gone are the days when marketing was just one-way communication. Today, patients expect timely responses from service providers and understand social media as a way to connect with businesses they support. Effective social media marketing is reliant on building communication lines with your patients. Establishing relationships will aid in patient retention, and showing them their value to you will make it easier for them to choose your dental practice over another.
Attract New Customers
Social media marketing will help you connect with more patients by making your dental practice easily accessible. By creating posts that are relevant to your ideal audience, onlookers who are searching for their next dental services will be more likely to engage with a dental practice who has a page filled with their best work. The key is to create content that speaks to what your patients are looking for.
Advertising can quickly cost your dental practice hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on where you promote. However, with social media marketing, the cost of creating most accounts will be free, and sites make it easy to pick and choose exactly how much you’d like to spend if you’re interested in paid advertising. However, social media marketing has shown to be one of the most cost-effective marketing methods that can quickly connect you with new patients.
How to Build an Effective Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Dental Practice?
So now that you are fully aware of all the benefits social media marketing can provide to your dental practice, the next step is to make an effective plan that will help your practice accomplish its goals.
Understand Your Target Audience
To get the most out of your social media marketing, your dental practice must know who your target audience is. To easily find out who your target audience is, try drafting a persona that represents who your ideal patient is. If you have a specialty, write down the traits of the patient who will need your services. When drafting your audience persona, focus on demographics such as age, gender, preferences, and services of interests to pinpoint who will be viewing your posts. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to reach them.
Follow these tips when building your audience persona:
- Know basic characteristics of your current customers
- Find shared personality traits
- Identify services they may be interested in
- Focus on what makes you different than your competitors
- Record the type of content they consume
The Four Major Social Media Sites
With so many social media sites out there, how will your dental practice know which to use? Each site is unique and tailored to host specific types of content, so it is important that your dental practice only joins those that will be of benefit. When it comes to social media marketing, there are 4 major sites your dental practice should maintain an active presence on.
With over 2.7 billion active users worldwide, Facebook is the leading social media marketing network. Because of this, it is crucial that your dental practice have an active Facebook account. Facebook also offers businesses valuable paid promotion tools that help you expand your reach and connect with a specific target audience.
Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that has shown to have the highest levels of user engagement. Consider using Instagram as a way for your dental practice to showcase some of its personality. Consider posting images that reflect what your patients will see when entering your practice, images of your employees, and images of your day to day. Creating a personal touch will cause your messages to be more effective and help convert viewers into patients.
Twitter is an effective platform to use as a way to implement a direct line of communication with your patients. Because Twitter mainly focuses on posts in the form of 140 words, Twitter is a great place for your dental practice to respond to patients, send mass alerts, or even as a way to promote a limited time deal. To have an effective Twitter presence, make sure your tweets are customer-focused, so your target audience will be more likely to engage. Also, be sure to find the optimal time when your tweets perform the best, and focus posting around that time of day for the best results.
LinkedIn currently has roughly 675 million users worldwide, making it the leading choice for professionals to connect with members in their industry and beyond. Use LinkedIn as a way to define your work through gaining valuable connections with other dental professionals, as well as your patients.
Share Engaging & Valuable Content
Everyday, millions of people share all types of content across all social media platforms. When creating content for social media, ask yourself, “if I saw this post, would it influence me to act?” Your content won’t help if it doesn’t grab viewers attention right away, nor will it help if viewers cannot relate to it.
To get the most out of each post, create content that defines your business, as well as posts that display your industry knowledge. As dentists, your patients may find posts that educate them on various dental procedures extremely valuable, and those posts will also help to showcase your knowledge. Also, engagement is directly tied to content, so the more unique your content is to your practice, the more likely it will have a positive effect on your content’s performance.
The best form of content for social media is visual content such as photos or videos. Studies suggest that Facebook posts that contain visuals draw 2.3X more engagement than posts that only contain text. When crafting your posts, be sure to always include some form of visuals to accompany your text.
When uploading a post, use appropriate hashtags to connect your post to specific trends, conversation topics, and any ongoing issues. Hashtags are the easiest way to reach a specific group of users, and they help you expand your reach. When you use a hashtag, your post is directed towards people who are also using the same hashtag. Put simply, hashtags make your post more likely to be seen.
Schedule Your Social Media Posts
The time you upload a post is as important as what the post contains. Many sites allow you to schedule a post ahead of time, which helps those who are unable to post during business hours. When planning when to schedule your post, consider various factors that will affect how many of your followers will see the post. Instead of posting at 10AM on a workday when most people are in the middle of working, post later in the evening when it’s more likely that people will be scrolling through their phone.
To make your social media marketing even easier, there are services that can even schedule and upload posts for you, automatically!
Establish Stronger Relationships With Your Audience
A common mistake many businesses make on social media is not engaging with their audience. After creating posts for your social media channels, it is crucial that your practice continues being active on your social media accounts to foster stronger relationships with your patients.
Creating an online environment that encourages two way communication with your patients and your practice will also help in establishing patient retention. The key here is to let your patients know they are appreciated and valued.
Replying to direct messages in a timely manner, engaging with patient’s comments, and responding to questions are all ways in which your dental practice can convey to its patients that they are valued.
However, with fluctuating workloads and appointments, you may find yourself too busy to put in the time required to effectively market on social media. If you don’t have time to interact with your patients online, consider using a social media auto post and scheduler for help.
Services like Practina automatically create, schedule, and publish posts to all your social media platforms, ultimately saving you time that would be spent building your online presence.
How can Practina Help Improve Your Dental Practice’s Social Media Marketing?
Practina is an automated social media tool that removes the hassle of social media marketing for your dental practice. Using artificial intelligence, Practina automates your practice’s social media posts, eliminating the time-consuming process of manually conceptualizing, creating, and uploading a post to each of your social networks. Practina operates at a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing specialist, helping you save money while improving your digital marketing.
With Practina, you simply let the system know what you’d like your post to be about and who your target audience is, and Practina automatically begins creating and publishing posts across all your social networks — it’s that easy. Practina’s intelligent system learns the best time to post to each social platform, so you’ll always reach the most people.
Unlock the power of social media marketing with Practina and take your dental practice’s social media marketing to the next level. Focus on running your practice, Practina will take care of the rest. Create your free account today.
Effective social media marketing provides your dental practice with endless opportunities for growth. Consider social media as a tool for engaging with your patients and increasing your patient base. For those who may find themselves too busy to become an expert at social media marketing, services like Practina are now available that simplify the process for you through automation.