If you’re ready to get new patients using social media but don’t know how, these four simple tips can help. Before social media, marketing a dental practice was slow, expensive, and inefficient. A single ad would take days to create and weeks to reach your audience. If you needed to make a change, you’d have to start over, spending days more creating the ad and weeks more waiting for the new ad to reach people.
With social media you can move much faster and more efficiently. You can create an ad that reaches people within minutes. And if you need to create a change, you can do it in minutes, too.
Even better, the cost to reach people using social media marketing is much more cost-effective than in traditional platforms. With my practice, I get more patients using a $500 per month social media budget than I was getting spending thousands on traditional marketing methods.
If you want to use social media in your dental marketing plan, these four tips can help. Tip four, alone, is a gamechanger.
1. Set a strong foundation.
Too many dental practices sign up for social media accounts and immediately start blasting marketing messages to the world. They move forward without a plan, goal, or foundation in place. That’s a surefire way to get frustrated. Within days, they run out of things to say, begin to think social media doesn’t work, and give up.
To avoid this, plan a few ideas for how you will create content that dental patients are likely to connect with. What is your practice story? What is your practice known for? What can patients expect when they come to your office and what do you do differently? Do you give hand and arm massages like we do in my practice? Do you provide gourmet coffees and teas?
Write down the answers to all of those questions. Be as specific as you can. Then, for each question, write down why that item is important to potential patients.
For example, if you give back to your community, write down all the ways you give back. Then, write down why you give back. Did you grow up in the area? Do you want to make a special impact on the neighborhood? Or, do you want to help advance a cause or solve a local problem? Write those down. Soon you will have a long list of content about what your practice does differently than others and the reasons why those are important to you.
The answers to those questions give you a strong database of content that builds relationships with potential patients.
2. Regularly create sharable content.
Take a look at your social media accounts. How much engagement do you get? Do a lot of people like or love your posts? Do they comment or share? If not, begin to focus on making emotional connections with your social media following.
Ask yourself why someone would want to share your content. If you only post about dental care, nobody will share that. But what if you post about how you impact your community or all the amazing things your patients are doing in their business and personal lives? How much more likely will people be to share those posts?
You can also share video testimonials and office tours explaining all the things your patients experience and why you do it. Think of all the things that make your practice unique. For example, one thing that makes my practice different is that we have the kids go to the toy box before their appointment. This allows us to make friends first. Kids and parents love it! When we share about this on Facebook we get strong engagements from parents who know the difference this small change can make to their kids’ dental experience.
3. Run community engagement campaigns.
One of the best social campaigns you can run is what I call community engagement campaigns.
Examples of community engagement campaigns include Project Smile Makeover competitions and gift card giveaways donated from local businesses in your community. They also include things like Tooth Talk Thursdays, and even crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for local charities.
Community engagement campaigns work well because people will want to share them. When done well, hundreds or even thousands of people in your community will see them.
4. Always offer people the next logical step.
With a strong foundation, shareable content, and community engagement campaigns in place, you will be ready to achieve incredible growth and connection. You will grow your followers and build trust and familiarity with people in your community. That level of following and trust will position you to convert social media fans to patients at a much greater clip than before.
With social media, however, it’s critical to actively offer people the next logical step to moving forward if you want to convert followers to patients. People will rarely take the next step without you asking them to do so.
While there are several ways to call people to action, one of the best ways to do so while achieving a high return on your investment is to place targeted ads for high-dollar services, such as dental implants. Your ads can direct people to a dental marketing funnel, to schedule an appointment online, or even to take an online quiz to qualify for a free consultation.
Are you ready to get more patients using social media?
Now that you've gained clarity about how to use social media in your dental marketing plan, it's time to take action.
To get started, join our Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge, which has changed how more than 400 dentists grow their practices. To join the challenge, click here. And if you’re ready to join a community of dental bosses just like you, I have a Facebook group where dentists come together to support each other and take action.