For many dental office managers, running a successful social media campaign ranks as one of the trickiest parts of the job. Social media platforms offer businesses an ideal way to better connect to their customers through special offers, promotions, and establishing personal connections. However, many in the medical field fail to see how social media marketing fits their practice considering many of the ways retail businesses use these platforms don’t work in a world of copays and insurance deductibles.
However, just because insurance rules and HIPAA compliance may prevent you from running the same type of campaigns as retail businesses doesn’t mean that social offers your practice no value. Social media still offers incredibly reach, and an ability to further establish your brand.
When searching for a dentist, patients want to see the personal side of a practice. Everyone assumes a dentist knows how to clean teeth and fill a cavity. What they don’t know, and what they want to see, is the very human side of a dental practice. Whether through images, patient interaction, or posts, prospective patients will feel far more comfortable scheduling an appointment with a dentist who appears friendly, compassionate, and caring. If nothing else, this is an area where social media marketing can really shine for a dentist.
For dental office managers looking for a way to fit social media into their practice marketing, consider the following tips.
Always Use Original Photography
The ability to craft your brand message using imagery is one of the biggest advantages social media marketing has over similar platforms. Why then would you use stock photos and generic images to promote your brand?
According to a recent study, it’s estimated that 60 percent of Americans experience some kind of dental anxiety. This can range from the minor (flinching at the sound of a dental drill) to the severe (refusing to schedule dental care). Putting a personal spin on how you visually market your practice goes a long way towards helping patients put those feelings of unease to rest.
Prospective patients want to see photos of your dentist pleasantly interacting with patients, not some stock photos of a model smiling while sitting in a dentist’s chair. Don’t miss an opportunity to show how your practice stands out from the competition by using stale photos that pop up in every corner of the internet. Establish your brand identity with original photos that express who you are as a dental practice.
Don’t Post and Ghost
Social is a very important part of social media. Your practice won’t get very far with its social media marketing plans if you simply log on, post something to your account, and then log off for the day. “Post and ghost” is a phrase that should never apply to how your marketing campaign is run.
Successful social media strategies depend on frequent and consistent interaction, both with patients and other profiles. When you post something and a patient responds, you need to acknowledge that interaction with one of your own. This works to create a dialogue, and informs the patient and all other social media users that your profile acts as portal were everyone can contact you.
Responding to comments and posts is half the battle when it comes to establishing a strong social media profile. You also need to embrace posting on other sites. Try setting aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to engage with your account and others. Like, comment, and share posts to establish your brand as actively engaged in the conversation.
Collaborate with Other Local Businesses
Reaching out to other local business is never a bad idea. Look around for other local businesses on the same social media platforms your practice uses and send them friendly messages asking if they’d like to collaborate. You can propose jointly sponsored giveaways, mutually highlight each other in posts, and discuss important mattes going on in the community.
Reaching out to other businesses on social media works to establish a connection and a community between local businesses. In turn, you help to raise their profile with your patients and your practice with their customers. This organically increases your exposure locally, and further illustrates your practice as a leader within the community.
Success on social media requires sharing stories, not posting overly technical medical stories or industry specific jargon that does nothing to help you connect with your audience. The type of content most engaging consists of photos that allow your audience to get to know your practice on a personal level.
Opening up by sharing personal goals, motivations, and obstacles to your audience will enable you to connect on a deeper emotional level. Emotional connections act as the driving force behind social media engagement, so the better job you do of connecting the more your campaign will thrive.
Keep an Eye on What’s Working
Make sure you know what types of engagements and platforms have yield the most successes. If a Facebook campaign fails to take off, but your Instagram account has earned you a bunch of likes, lean further into what you do on Instagram. While you should still keep up a presence on Facebook, there’s nothing wrong with spending the majority of your time managing and interacting with whatever is helping you to better connect with the audience.