Thinking of implementing social media marketing strategy for your dental practice? Social media marketing for dentists is not really any different than social media marketing for other small businesses. Dentists or health practitioners have primarily relied on word of mouth to build their reach and reputation for decades. But as we move into the 2020s, social media is gradually taking center stage for reaching an audience, regardless of which industry you operate in.
In fact, a PwC report says that around 40% of healthcare consumers are looking for health information as well as client reviews on social media.
This creates an incredible opportunity for dentists to reach existing and potential patients where they are the most active. Let’s see how to build an effective social media marketing strategy for dentists!
Why Is Social Media Marketing Important For Dentists
Social media provides dentists a unique platform that can drive promotions as well as inform patients at the same time. Apart from relaying information such as location, offered services, working hours, and more, social media allows dentists to build rapport with patients and create a strong brand for themselves.
Let’s face it. Nobody is really enthusiastic about visiting their dentist. People generally have a sense of anxiety associated with dental visits, which can cause them to repeatedly delay appointments.
As a dentist, you can work on building good relationships with your patients, and social media can help you do that effectively.
Social media is a space for connecting with people. Engaging with your audience on social media will allow you to connect with existing and potential clients, which is an opportunity to build trust with them.
If your patients perceive that you are prioritizing their well-being and comfort, they’ll likely put their trust in you. On the other hand, if they perceive you as someone who means “strictly business”, it’s likely to increase their already existing fear associated with dental visits.
Creating A Reliable Brand Voice
Having a good social media presence will help you create a brand for yourself. Like every brand, you need to create a brand voice to help you stand out in the crowded social media landscape.
While many brands portray themselves as playful, or sophisticated, or even exclusive, as a dentist, your best bet is to have a brand voice that gives off a sense of reliability.
You can promote your experience and track record to let your audience know that they can trust you. You can offer them valuable information or advice to showcase your authority.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give off a “dull doctor” vibe. You can incorporate some humor in your content and put an interesting personality on display so that people look forward to meeting you in person.
Your goal is to leverage social media to put together a brand voice that assures people of comfort, trust, and relief. Not the usual jaw clenching pain that comes to their mind first when they think of a dentist.
Position Yourself As A Leader
While you can easily build great relationships and create a reliable brand voice using social media, its viral nature allows you to take it to the next level and position yourself as a leader.
Being a leader in the digital landscape follows the same principles as in real life: authenticity, credibility, and consistency.
You can start by featuring testimonials or reviews from patients on social media. To be perceived as a leader, you need to assure your audience about your expertise and reputation.
You can share informative articles, participate in awareness events online, and actively respond to your audience’s queries.
You can also communicate relevant research insights in digestible form or inform your patients about new forms of treatments and procedures. Collaborating with your peers can be a great way to build trust as an industry leader.
Attract New Clients
When people look for a new dentist, they’re usually not looking to pay a visit and then forget about it. Patients don’t easily change dentists unless they are dissatisfied with the treatment. This makes acquiring new clients more important.
Social media allows you to get a patient to book their crucial first visit. You can do so by offering a limited-time offer, or discounts on referrals. If you have a good enough audience already, this won’t even cost you a dime.
Choosing The Right Social Media Channels For Dentists
Facebook in social media marketing strategy for dentists
Facebook is a no-brainer as you’ll find most of your prospective clients on this platform. With over a billion visitors every day, Facebook can also be quite crowded, which requires extra efforts on your part to get your message across.
Nonetheless, the value of Facebook lies in the connections of your audience and how easily word of mouth can be spread across the platform.
Facebook offers a range of content formats including texts, images, videos, and live streaming. You can use it to give a “behind the scenes” look of your work to your audience by sharing photos of your team and office.
You can also share links to informative articles and blog posts that can be useful for your clients. To engage with your audience, you can host weekly or monthly Q/A sessions. These can be very effective in generating engagement.
Make sure you always have updated information on your Facebook page regarding working hours, location, and more.
Instagram in social media marketing strategy for dentists
While Instagram doesn’t have a massive audience or diverse content formats like Facebook, it can still be an effective platform for establishing your brand voice. Instagram is particularly popular among Millenials and Gen-Z, who also happen to be the most active people on social media.
Instagram can be an ideal platform for you if your practice focuses on cosmetic dentistry.
You can share photos of clients featuring their photo-ready smiles or some behind-the-scenes photos of your workplace. Instagram content can be quite engaging if you can incorporate storytelling with it.
Here, Savannah Family Dentistry (@savannahfamilydentistry) shared a behind-the-scenes picture featuring a young aspiring dentist, which is guaranteed to make you smile.
Note that the post uses a number of hashtags in the caption. Hashtags can be a great tool for driving engagement if used properly. You can also introduce a branded hashtag that helps you build a unique identity as a brand.
Twitter as part of social media marketing strategy for dentists
When it comes to reaching a broad audience, good ol’ Twitter isn’t very far behind. Although content on Twitter needs to be more specific and compact, you can use it to your advantage if you play it right.
Twitter’s short-form content makes it easy to attract attention using a few words. Here, Aspen Dental (@aspendental) combines texts and images to engage their audience by sharing amusing replies to a question. They also used a branded hashtag (#AspenNation) which they can use to create a series of posts and maintain consistency.
You can also use Twitter to share dental hygiene tips or create a thread to answer popular questions.
YouTube as part ofsocial media marketing strategy for dentists
YouTube is the world’s most popular video-sharing platform and a perfect choice for dentists looking to build trust with their audience.
People are always looking for guides and tips on YouTube, including content regarding their dental health. As a dentist, you can create content that demonstrates dental hygiene practices and offers them valuable advice to maintain their dental health.
You can also host Q/A sessions or interviews with your peers. Here, Dental Health Group’s video features a doctor answering some common questions regarding cosmetic dentistry. Videos like this will help you build trust with your clients and help you establish authority in the field.
TikTok in social media marketing strategy for dentists
TikTok is a relatively new social media platform that’s growing very quickly. It features short videos that are fifteen to sixty seconds long and can be a great tool to share content that grabs the attention of their audience quickly.
The audience on TikTok is mostly Gen Z, with the app boasting more than 1.5 billion downloads already.
As it is a relatively new platform, you have the chance to get a competitive advantage by getting into the platform early.
You might wonder what potential a short video platform with a mostly young audience holds for you. Here’s an example to help you grasp the effectiveness of TikTok. In this video, Dr. John Yoo explains why you should avoid opening a bottle with your teeth in a quite humorous way.
While as a dentist, this might look like pretty basic advice you’d give to your patients, the video amassed more than 80 thousand views and 3000 shares.
6 Strategies For Dentists To Master Social Media Marketing
1. Take a Personal Approach
If you’re sharing content to build trust with your audience, try not to sound too clinical. Your goal is to have patients trust you as a person.
Sharing informative posts helps your audience perceive you as an expert. But sharing content with a personal touch, like behind-the-scenes photos or a client story, helps them humanize you as a figure they can be comfortable with.
A great way of adding a personal touch to your social media presence is by sharing an occasional meme that calls for a few laughs.
2. Publish Engaging and Informative Content
Publishing content that informs people about oral hygiene practices can be a great way of showcasing your authority. Besides, helping your clients prevent any dental issues helps them think of you as someone who cares about their health instead of someone who’s looking to get them to book an appointment.
For example, Collins Bay Dental (@collinsbaydental) shared the link to an article that helps people identify if they have cavities. Instead of simply putting a “Book an appointment” post out, they aimed to inform them on identifying dental issues early.
The power of social media lies in the extent of the network of your audience. If your followers find your posts helpful, they are likely to share them with their connections.
A study shows that 49% of people say they are more likely to share content if they believe it’s informative and valuable to others. So publishing informative content not only provides value for your audience but also boosts your reach and engagement.
3. Interact With Your Audience
Putting useful information on social media to boost engagement is not enough. Connecting to your audience is important to build meaningful relationships with them.
One way of interacting with your audience is by asking them questions. It can be as simple as asking questions about their dental health habits or their trusted toothpaste brand.
You can use Instagram Stories and ask questions using the question sticker. This will also allow you to share responses directly to your stories.
Another engaging way of interacting with your audience is by Live Streaming. You can go live using Instagram Stories or Facebook Live and have conversations with your audience in real-time.
Making an effort to have a meaningful conversation with your audience helps you gain credibility and, in turn, attract new clients.
4. Share Reviews From Dental Practics Patients on your Social Media
Reviews are a great way of showcasing word of mouth from your existing clients. People are more likely to be influenced by the opinion of other people rather than your marketing content. So why not turn the opinion of your clients into marketing content?
You can use the same branded hashtag in all of your patient review posts, making it easier for prospective clients to find all of them in one place.
If you don’t have reviews to feature, you can offer discounts to your patients for leaving feedback on your service. This will help you generate a number of quality reviews in a short span of time.
5. Invest in Paid Social Media Ads for Your Dental Practice
Advertising on social media is by far the most cost-effective compared to offline advertising like newspapers or magazines.
Social media advertising allows you to target the exact group of people you want to reach regarding demographics, geographical location, and interests. You can also upload a contact list and create lookalike audiences to find users who are similar to your existing client base.
Combining organic content and paid advertising on social media will help you reach the right people and build an audience.
6. Tailor Your Content To Each Platform
A common social media marketing mistake is posting the same content on every platform. Each social media platform has its own strengths and limitations. For example, text posts on Twitter may prove to be more effective than on Facebook.
Different social media platforms also have different sets of audiences. Sharing tips on dental health for aging people may be a great post for Facebook, but it’ll be out of place for TikTok.
To avoid making misplaced content, try to tailor your content to each platform. This doesn’t always mean creating completely different content for every platform. You can always repurpose content to fit the channel you’re using. For example, you can share the 15-second vertical video you made on TikTok on Instagram and Facebook Stories, and get a good engagement on both.
Should I reply to negative client comments on social media?
Yes. You should aim to respond to as many negative comments on social media as possible. It doesn’t end here. If possible, reach out to users who had the negative experience and try to understand what went wrong and how you could’ve avoided it.
How much does social media advertising for dentists cost?
The cost of paid advertising on social media varies greatly depending on the marketing strategy, budget, and audience. Average monthly ad spends can range from $200 to all the way up to $50,000 or more. You can also outsource it to agencies if it’s too much for you to handle.
How can dentists reduce the time required to manage social media marketing?
You don’t need to publish each of your posts manually. You can use Postfity to schedule your posts across multiple social media platforms and measure your performance with in-depth analytics.