4 Social Media Ideas Every Dental Practice Needs
Historically, dental offices never really had to jump into the world of marketing or engage consumers beyond scheduling appointments or keeping their smiles healthy and patients happy.
In today's online world, however, everyone has to become a marketer. You have to go an extra little online mile to build a relationship with your current clients and catch the eye of clients searching for a dental office right for them.
If you work in a dental office, you already know this! You've likely been on Facebook for years, Twitter a bit more recently, LinkedIn even more recently, and perhaps dabble in a smattering of other social platforms that help your office grow and continue to provide value to your social media flock.
But managing this online presence takes time and consumers have so many voices shouting at them from all directions. How can you stand out? Whether a small dental office or a large chain, here are four tips to maximize your social media presence in 2016:
1. Not all that Glitters is Gold
Oftentimes it is tempting to chase every shiny new platform out there, but it might not be worth the time. Take a step back and make sure the platforms you're on are where your customers actually WANT to engage with you. A good place to start is with Facebook to establish a “home base” and grow it out from there. Twitter might be right for one practice, but not right for another. If you're unsure where else your customers want to get information from you, it never hurts to ask!
2. Consistency is Key
Tying in to the previous tip, when you find the core platforms that work for you, work out a realistic, consistent posting schedule you can commit to. A good rule of thumb for Facebook is 2-3 posts a week to keep things fresh. If you are limited on resources, try to plan ahead what you want to post as early as you can to help you stick to a tried and true posting schedule. Just because you're a dental practice doesn't mean you need to focus SOLEY on dental. Is there a community event that is happening near your office? Do you support any local organizations? Share a post about that!
3. Be Visual
A picture is truly worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to social. When users scroll through post after post after post, imagery has stopping power. This especially applies to Twitter and Facebook. A good rule of thumb is to ALWAYS try to include an image or video with your posts on Facebook, and almost always try to with your Twitter posts. As people scroll through their social feeds, images provide visual stopping power to help you cut through the clutter.
Pictures are also a good way to show “behind the scenes” at your office or office staff, educate patients on different tools you use, post a “smile of the week”, or demonstrate the correct way to floss. Original photos from your office are best – remember to ALWAYS make sure you own any stock photography you use and that if you use a patient's photo, you have their consent.
4. Be Social
Now that you know what platforms to focus on and have thought about ideas for how and what you could post, don't forget that being social is a two way street! Part of managing your social channels is listening to your Facebook Fans or Twitter 'Tweeps. If you see that they loved your “how to brush” video and your dental floss picture got no likes, this helps you gauge what your audience is interested in and how you can better reach them.
If you receive a complaint among your comments, don't panic and don't immediately delete it. It would be wise to spend some time thinking through what your process is to respond to negative comments to either turn the instance into a positive one, or recognize the negative post as a troll post and nothing else. Any feedback is good feedback because it lets you know what your patients want or need from you.
There are hundreds of articles on social media tips and tricks, but we hope these four basic tips will help you your office's social presence as healthy as you like your patients' smiles. Have a specific social media question you're looking for help with? Message us in Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below and we'd be happy to help!