To successfully attract new patients and grow your practice, dental social media marketing is an indispensable tool. If you’re a dentist that has been practicing for some time, you may argue that your long-held reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations have worked just fine until now. While this goodwill is no doubt well earned and will occasionally bring in some new clients, the landscape has changed considerably.
From a business standpoint, your best move when attracting new patients will be to target a younger clientele who will end up being your loyal patients for a long time to come. Without a doubt, these young patients are very active on social media. Even middle-aged individuals will have been interacting on social media for many years at this point. Also, the ability to add a large amount of media (photos/video) to highlight your work before and after stories, as well as to put a friendly face to you and your team, is perfect for the marketing needs of a dentist.
When it comes down to it, social media is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to attract new patients as well as to retain current ones who may otherwise be lured away by dentists savvy in the use of these platforms. Of course, as a dentist, you can’t be expected to learn the ins and outs of this type of marketing or have the time to enact all you’ve learned. That’s why obtaining the services of a marketing agency skilled in dental social media marketing is an excellent investment in your practice’s future – especially considering you’ll be earning a larger slice of the $36.8 billion pie that is the dental industry! Here’s a crash course on how it all works.
Facebook is generally considered to be the most effective platform when it comes to dental social media marketing – because it is perfectly tailored to a dentist’s needs. Dentists don’t need to convince potential clients their service is important, but rather that they can be trusted and are the best at what they do while taking away the inherent fear many have of the dentist. As a platform made of intimate connections, Facebook is the perfect place to instill that feeling of confidence and have it backed up by all your customers, whose connections will then share that trust. If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, Facebook Live is a great way to connect with your audience. Your posts should consist of the following:
- Photos of your pristine office, welcoming staff and, above all, happy and relaxed clients
- Before and after photos showing the quality of your work
- Posts highlighting special promotions and contests
- Links to articles and blogs with relevant information, as well as original content to show your expertise (your marketing agency can help you with this)
- Features on specific team members
- Features on valued patients
- Question & Answer posts
- Quick tips
With billions of daily visitors, there is no platform with a reach as vast as Facebook. However, it won’t do you much good advertising your San Diego based practice to someone in rural Cambodia. Thankfully, Facebook Ads allows you to target an incredibly specific audience – that is, your current patients and exactly the audience most likely to becomepatients.
Facebook’s PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising allows you to very specifically target your audience by age, location, interests, demographics and more in order to reach the people that most resemble your current patients, as well as the type of patients you aspire to have. The real beauty of Facebook Ads, however, is that their capability does not stop there.
Referred to as ‘Custom Audiences’ in Facebook-world, this allows you to re-target individuals that have already interacted with you in some way – whether they have visited your website, your Facebook page or signed up for your mailing list three years ago – and show them ads as they scroll through Facebook. You can even target people that visited specific pages on your site with relevant ads (e.g. an ad for your invisible braces directed to those who looked at your ‘teeth straightening’ services page).
This allows you to target audiences that closely resemble loyal customers and those that have reacted favorably to your ad campaigns. Choosing a dentist is a very personal thing – as a result, the things about you that appeal to your current patients are sure to appeal to individuals with similar interests, tastes and beliefs. An excellent example is the San Ramon, CA-based practice Rock ‘N’ Roll Dental. Without a doubt, his clientele will be younger and have an interest in music (especially rock). While Dr. Harris is unlikely to have success attracting an 80-year-old pensioner who listens to classical music, targeting a young rock fan without a dentist through lookalike audiences will almost certainly be met with success.
Being able to analyze your campaign’s success ( or lack thereof) is a must. Facebook has impressive built-in analytics, allowing you to see which parts of your campaign are resulting in interactions and conversions, and which need to be reworked.
Instagram may not have as wide a reach as Facebook, but its focus on pictures makes it perfect for dentists. Showing off the results of your work is the number one way to instill confidence. This is especially pertinent if you work in cosmetic dentistry. Also, if you have a particularly warm and welcoming looking practice, this can help attract patients with qualms about dental visits. Instagram Stories allows you to get a bit more personal, without having to worry too much about production value as these pictures and videos are temporary. Some great ideas for posts include:
- Before and after pictures
- Reposts from patients’ own Instagrams celebrating their results
- Special promotions and contests
- Features of your friendly team members
- Features of your loyal patients with testimonials
- Posts using popular hashtags (e.g #iloveyoursmile)
- Posts using branded hashtags (encourage your patients to use these)
As a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram Ads have all the capabilities of their Facebook counterparts. There is the added advantage that you can link your Facebook and Instagram Ads (ads created on one platform can also be displayed on the other).
The use of video in online marketing has been a steadily growing trend. Consumers now expect impressive content and production value from videos, especially those posted on dedicated video sites like YouTube. Your digital marketing agency will be able to help make your videos look professional and appealing without breaking the bank. Video can be even more effective than pictures at building trust and showcasing your work when you include the right content, including:
- Emotional patient before and after stories
- Office Tours
- Demonstrations (e.g. ‘right and wrong way to brush’)
- Professional Tips
Social Media is an excellent online dental marketing tool as it builds trust, and eventually a lasting relationship with your audience. The secret to success is creating a plan that fits yourparticular practice and needs. To find out more about how Madison Ave Media can create a customized plan for you, contact us today!