Facebook for Dentists: The Definitive Guide to Regularly Attracting New Patients to Your Dental Practice
Social media marketing has transformed dental practices in an almost unprecedented fashion. My team and I have spent years studying, testing, and analyzing the best strategies for using social media for dental practices.
At first, we used Facebook to build an audience of over 50,000 raving fans for my dental practice and turn those leads into dozens of new patients every month, all by utilizing the best social media marketing techniques available on Facebook to share our story and build great connections with our Facebook fans and people who had never heard of us.
After testing and refining those strategies, we started helping other dentists and dental practices utilize social media marketing strategies to grow their practices, too.
We found the most powerful social media site to market a dental practice to be Facebook.
Just some of the benefits of Facebook marketing for dentists include that:
- Facebook gives the most robust ad-targeting capabilities out of all social media marketing options.
- Dental Facebook marketing costs less than traditional marketing and other social media platforms.
- Facebook makes available to everyone the same tools that only big companies used to be able to afford.
- Facebook allows you to act fast to fill last-minute cancellations or promote an event or special offer, getting organic and paid posts up in minutes.
- Facebook gives dentists sophisticated performance data for all Facebook ads they post so you can know your exact return on investment.
- Facebook allows you to change different variations of the same Facebook ad to split-test ads against each other.
- And more…
Because of how powerful Facebook can be to build a dental practice, my team and I now use the same strategies we used to grow my practice to help other dentists and dental practices as part of our dental-marketing services. The strategies we use for our dental-marketing clients are the same strategies I share in this guide to Facebook for dentists and can help dental practices of all shapes, sizes, locations, and specialties. They can help you create a Facebook marketing presence that is effective, efficient, and predictable—no matter what your practice looks like.
Don’t worry if you’ve tried using Facebook to promote your dental practice before, don’t understand how Facebook can help grow a dental practice, don’t think you have the time for Facebook marketing, or think Facebook is expensive. You’re not alone. Many dentists feel this way about using Facebook for dentists. I assure you, each of those objections can be overcome, and I’ll show you exactly what to do to help you get reliable, affordable, and consistent using Facebook to grow your dental practice.
Whether your dental practice has been open for decades, is still months from opening, or anything in between, you can use Facebook marketing to grow your practice and get patients in your chair for a fraction of what you’d have to spend on traditional dental-marketing techniques.
The Best Dental Facebook Marketing Techniques to Build Your Practice
This definitive guide to Facebook marketing will walk you through the three things my team and I do to build Facebook marketing campaigns for dentists around the world to help you do the same for your dental practice. First, I’ll share the most important things you can do to build a Facebook page. The best dental Facebook pages have a few things in common. We’ll share what makes the best Facebook pages so great, and how you can do the same! If your dental office Facebook page is bland and ineffective, this section will help you give it life and get it ready to build fans and convert them to new patients. If you’re a dentist looking to build an individual presence on Facebook, this section will give you tips to build a great Facebook page to build your individual reputation and following.
Second, I’ll share the best strategies for creating great Facebook posts. Creating social media posts for dentists is one of the favorite things my team does. I’ll share the best strategies for creating Facebook posts that will help you build a group of raving Facebook fans!
Third, I’ll help you plan and prepare the most effective Facebook ads. Facebook advertising allows you to reach people with unprecedented precision to help you get better and faster results at a fraction of what dentists and dental practices typically spend on dental ads in traditional media and other advertising. I’ll teach you how the best Facebook ads for dentists perform and how you can get the most effective Facebook dental ads strategies working for you.
If you’re ready to have the best social media marketing strategies for dentists working on your behalf to build the best Facebook page possible for your practice, the best Facebook posts building engagement and raving fans, and the most efficient and effective Facebook ads directing people to your special offers and dental marketing funnels, then follow the steps I outline in the rest of this definitive guide to Facebook marketing for dentists!
How to Build the Best Dental Facebook Pages
Every dentist or dental practice needs a Facebook page to act as their home base on Facebook and give them a platform to grow and connect with their patients, prospects, and Facebook fans. Here’s everything you need to know to build and optimize a Facebook page for your practice even if you haven’t opened the doors yet.
How to Build the Best Dental Facebook Page for Your Practice
If you haven’t set up a Facebook page for your practice, setting up a Facebook page for free is a simple five-step process. If you’re just getting started, don’t worry. The best Facebook pages all got started by following the same five steps.
To set up the best Facebook page for your practice, you first need to go to the Facebook page creation page. Most dental offices will select the “Local Business or Place” option on that page. After choosing the right option for your dental practice, enter your business category and practice contact information. Common options for business categories for dentists include “Dentist & Dental Office,” “General Dentist,” “Cosmetic Dentist,” and “Pediatric Dentist.”
After you set up your Facebook page, whichever is appropriate for your practice, you will next need to upload an appropriate Facebook page profile picture and cover photo. I suggest using a high-resolution, professional close-up of you for a profile if you’re building a dentist Facebook page, or of your logo if you’re building a dental practice Facebook page. Make sure your images are the ideal size for Facebook pages, which change from time to time. Any quality graphic designer or dental-marketing company will know the right size for a Facebook profile picture and cover image.
The best Facebook pages also have robust, custom profiles. Specifically, when you’re setting up your Facebook page, Facebook will ask you to enter a short description of your practice. Enter a couple of sentences to tell people what your practice is all about. Let them know why your practice is different. You will also be asked to enter hours of operation, team members, and links to your website. Fill out all the demographic and contact information possible.
You can also customize a button Facebook under your cover photo. By default, this is usually set to read “send message” and lets people message you on Facebook. You can change it to a number of things. For dentists, I usually suggest editing the button to allow people to schedule an appointment, but if you’re building dental-marketing funnels, you can also change it to send people to your dental marketing funnel or to learn more about your practice. You can also include links to your website or a dental marketing funnel in your about section.
How to Optimize a Dental Facebook Page
If you just set up your new dental practice Facebook page through the instructions on this page and the additional Facebook page setup tips, congratulations! You’re ready to begin posting and promoting your page.
If you already have a Facebook page, make sure your profile includes all the elements on this page and the additional tips for effectively using Facebook for dentists.
Specifically, to optimize an existing Facebook page, make sure:
- Your Facebook page has complete practice contact information.
- Your page has accurate hours of operation.
- Your profile picture and cover images are professional, hi-res images that convey your practice’s culture.
- Your about section includes complete and accurate statements about what makes your dental practice different.
- You add trusted team members to your dental office Facebook page list of team members.
- Your button under your Facebook page cover photo directs people to engage with your dental practice how you want them to, such as to send you a message or schedule an appointment.
With these things in place, your dental office Facebook page will be ready for posts and promotion so you can build a loyal audience and attract new patients to your office.
How to Grow Your Dental Office Facebook Page Following
Once your dental office Facebook page is set up and optimized, you’re ready to build your Facebook following and convert strangers into patients. The first thing you can do to start building your dental office Facebook page following is invite your Facebook friends to like your page. To invite your Facebook page to like your Facebook page, click the gray button with three dots on it under your Facebook page cover photo, to the left of your blue “Learn More,” “Schedule an Appointment,” or “Send Message” button. Next, click “Invite Friends,” and click the “Invite” button next to all friends you want to invite.
This is a quick and easy way to get your first one hundred or more Facebook fans. Although many of these people won’t be patients, they will be family and friends who know, like, and trust you; and your invitation to like your page might help you get some of them to become patients. Even if it doesn’t encourage them to become your patients, they will be likely to like, comment on, or share your posts when they appear in their timeline, thus increasing the odds of your posts going viral! You can also ask patients to like your dental office Facebook page when they come in.
With family, friends, and patients liking your page, you will be well on your way to growing your impact and reach through creating the best Facebook posts on your Facebook page and placing the best Facebook ads for specific promotions and additional reach.
In addition to asking friends, family, and patients to like your page, a great way to get people excited about your practice on Facebook is to create a contest where you hold a random drawing to give away a free treatment to one person who likes your page and then likes, comments, and shares a specific post within a certain timeframe. You could even ask your family, friends, and Facebook page fans to nominate someone else to receive the free service.
In my practice, we regularly give back through something we call Project Smile. We do everything on Facebook to reward people who follow our Facebook page, and we don’t even tell our patients. The way Project Smile works is we announce that we will give away a free smile makeover and ask people to share our announcement post on their Facebook timelines.
The post we ask them to share directs people to nominate someone who deserves a free smile makeover with an image of their smile, so we can see if they’re a candidate. We narrow down the list, invite the finalists for a cleaning to take a closer look at their mouths, and then choose a winner for the full smile makeover. Our Facebook fans love following and sharing our Project Smile posts and often see what other services we provide and come to us for an appointment.
Between invitations, contests, and community- or giving-based promotions, your dental office Facebook page can build a large audience of raving fans for your dental practice.
In the next section, I’ll teach you how to draft the best dental practice Facebook posts to build raving fans and loyal patients from Facebook.
How to Create the Best Dental Facebook Posts
Many dentists get overwhelmed by the idea of coming up with content to post to their dental office Facebook page. The reality is, creating the best posts for your dental practice doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, if you follow two simple rules, your Facebook page can be full of high-impact posts that position you to build deeper relationships with existing fans and patients while attracting new patients into your chair.
How to Know What to Post About on Your Dental Office Facebook Page
The most important part about creating the best Facebook posts is to make sure your posts are interesting and engaging. Interesting and engaging posts by a page with likes from family, friends, and patients make it more likely that people will like, comment on, and share your posts. This is important because the more likes, comments, and shares your Facebook posts get, the more Facebook will show them to other people, and the more chance each one has to go viral. Also, people are more likely to like, comment on, or share your Facebook post when they see others have liked, commented on, or shared the post, especially others they’re friends with on Facebook.
To make sure your posts are interesting and engaging to encourage people to like, comment on, or share them, it’s important that most of your posts aren’t promotional offers or even dental tips. Although some promotional offers and dental tips are fine, the vast majority of your posts should be about three things:
- Facebook posts showing people your dental practice vision and story to let them know why your dental practice is so great
- Community-oriented Facebook posts, such as events you’re participating in or hosting at your practice and other local businesses
- Facebook posts highlighting great things about your team members and patients (with their permission, of course)
- Testimonials from happy patients
These four types of posts help you get people’s attention on Facebook, make connections with the right people to grow your dental practice, and encourage people to like, comment on, and share in order to get better reach for your Facebook posts. They also make the promotions and dental tips types of posts get more attention because Facebook will view your page as one with posts people want to see. Finally, they make it much easier to regularly come up with great fresh content for your page so your Facebook page isn’t inactive or full of promotional posts.
Creating Dental Facebook Posts About Your Practice Story and Vision
The best Facebook posts tell your practice’s vision and story so you can let people know why being your patient will be worthwhile. These posts show people the things you’re building toward (your vision) and the things you’re already doing and have done (your story). These posts humanize your practice and build connections.
In my practice, our vision is to have the best dental practice in the country that treats all our patients like the VIPs they are and delivers WOW experiences to everyone from the moment they walk in until they leave. For example, we provide complimentary gourmet coffees and teas, iPads and noise-canceling headphones to use during an appointment, and hand-and-arm massages by our trained staff to make sure our patients leave feeling more like they just visited a luxury spa than a dentist. We also commit to being active in our community and giving back to important causes.
These things are core parts of who we are as a practice, and we want everyone to know it, so we post pictures of our coffees and teas, our patients receiving their relaxing massages (with their permission, of course), of community events, and charitable initiatives. By regularly posting about who we are as a practice, we get many likes, comments, and shares on our posts and build deep relationships with our Facebook fans because they get to know who we are as a practice and will want their dental-office experience to be like our patients’ experiences!
Even if you haven’t opened your practice yet, posts about your story and vision for your practice can help connect you with future patients. In fact, one of our dental-marketing clients used this strategy to get hundreds of leads and over fifty appointments scheduled before she even opened !
Creating Community-Oriented Facebook Posts
Posts about events, companies, and people in your community are a great way to become known as a practice that’s active and involved in things that matter to your patient pool.
In my practice, we participate in charity runs, host food drives, and have events at our practice. We also form strategic alliances with different local businesses each month to offer special deals to their employees. If you do this, you can create a post announcing how excited you are to team up with the business.
Creating Facebook Posts Highlighting Team Members and Patients
Creating Facebook posts that encourage, congratulate, and promote your patients and team members is a great way to highlight people who often go unnoticed. Your team and patients are doing great things in your office and community. Let people know how excited and proud you are about them (with their permission, of course). These posts build deep relationships and get lots of likes, comments, and shares, too!
Posting Patient Testimonials to Your Dental Office Facebook Page
Testimonials from happy patients make great posts. You’ve earned those testimonials either through online reviews or testimonials given specifically to post to your Facebook page. Like online reviews, patient testimonials allow other people to boast about why your dental practice is so great, which makes it more likely that people will view it as more trustworthy than if you tell people why your practice is so great.
The Best Types of Dental Facebook Posts on Your Dental Office Facebook Page
Once you know what the best Facebook posts are about, the next step is to make those posts interesting, varied, and engaging by posting them in different types of posts. Generally, you can and should post a variety of text, image, and video Facebook posts to get more attention and engagement without seeming repetitive and monotonous.
Most dentists are comfortable with text posts, but less are comfortable with video and image Facebook posts, so here’s how you can utilize videos and images on your Facebook page.
Creating Video Facebook Posts for Your Dental Facebook Page
Video is powerful on Facebook for three important reasons. First, video gets people’s attention, especially if their page is set to auto-play. Second, video makes better connections with people once you get their attention because it invites them into your practice, lets people make virtual eye contact with you, and allows them to hear your voice and see your expressions. Finally, Facebook loves video and will show your post to more people if it has a video.
Video posts on Facebook for dentists doesn’t have to be complicated or overproduced. In fact, a good cell-phone camera can be even better than a heavily produced video, because it seems more real and not like a stuffy company.
Great uses for video on Facebook posts include Facebook Live video office tours, short recorded video patient testimonials, Facebook Live video Q&A sessions for your patients and the community to ask you what’s important to them, Facebook Live or recorded videos of community events, recorded video highlights, and explainer videos with tips about dental insurance, teeth care, new procedures, and more!
Creating Image-Based Facebook Posts for Your Dental Facebook Page
High-quality image posts get people’s attention on Facebook and encourage more engagement than text posts. Some of our favorite ways to use images for my practice and our dental marketing clients include showing high-quality images of what makes our practice great, like a picture of the iPads we let our patients use and our gourmet-coffee-and-tea station.
Other ways to use image posts with Facebook marketing include posting images announcing community events, celebrating patient accomplishments, showing off how great your team is, and highlighting new procedures and equipment.
Like Facebook video marketing, Facebook image marketing doesn’t need a professional setup. My two rules for creating the best image-based Facebook posts are that a well-lit image you take with a quality cell phone is the best type of picture, and if you can use a picture you take of real patients, team members, and doctors, that is generally better than using a stock image. You can make great impacts with high-quality stock images, but nothing connects with people on Facebook like well-lit, authentic pictures of real people and your real office.
The Best Facebook Ads for Dentists
The real power of Facebook for dentists is your ability to post highly targeted Facebook ads. Facebook knows more about their users than almost any company in the world. They know their income, net worth, location, interests, behavior, family status, age, and more.
For advertisers like dentists and dental practices, this information is highly valuable, because it allows you to target the right people with your ads and only pay to reach people who are likely to take action on your ad.
Here are three important steps to creating successful Facebook ads.
Improving Your Dental Facebook Ads by Improving Your Message
Before placing Facebook ads, be sure each post has an objective. Otherwise, you won’t know who to target or what to say, and the people who see your ad are unlikely to take action. Here are eight common goals for ads:
- Building awareness of your dental practice’s culture
- Showing people what makes your practice different from other practices
- Talking about your services and how you can help people
- Highlighting testimonials of happy patients
- Attracting people into a dental marketing sales funnel
- Filling spots left open by last-minute cancellations
- Promoting a specific procedure you want to highlight
- Introducing a new dentist or other team member
Once you know the purpose of your ad, you will have a better understanding of whom to target and what to say to get people to take action to help you achieve your goal.
Improving Your Dental Facebook Ads by Improving Your Targeting
Once you know the goal for your ad, make sure you target each of your ads to the people who are most likely to resonate with it and take action. Here are a few examples of how to match your ad targeting to your goals:
- If you want to build awareness of your dental practice culture, you might not want to target current patients, because they will know your culture, but you might target an audience Facebook can generate that is similar to your patient population. This is called targeting lookalike audiences.
- If you want to fill spots left open by last-minute cancellations, your current patient population is likely going to be your best bet at achieving your goal, perhaps by offering a free upgraded service or discount to the first person who takes action.
- If you want to advertise dental savings plans, you might consider targeting retired people who no longer have dental insurance.
- If you want to promote a new service, targeting current patients will be more likely to lead to people taking action.
- If you want to get people into a dental marketing sales funnel, you can target people who have been to your website (called “retargeting” in the Facebook marketing world) with an ad that gives them a call to action to download a free guide or come in for a consult based on the pages they viewed on your site.
Improving Your Dental Facebook Ads by Choosing the Best Images, Videos, and Copy
Certain words drive people to take action more than others, especially across audiences. The same is true with images and videos. Once you know what you want to accomplish and who you want to target, test different versions of your copy, images, and video. You can do this by creating a split test in Facebook’s ad manager.
Split-testing ads is one of the most powerful ways to lower your advertising costs and getting better results because it’s not always possible to know what words, image, or video will resonate at any given time.
Split-testing Facebook ads is also easier than you think. In its basic form, to split-test an ad, all you need to do is create an ad, duplicate the ad, replace the text, image, or video, and submit. Here are detailed instructions on how to create a split test in Facebook.
When my team runs dental Facebook advertising campaigns for our dental-marketing clients, we always split-test the ads we set up. By doing so, we lower costs and get better results. To achieve these results, we set up the split-test with a small budget of $3 to $10 per day until we learn which version of the ads is performing the best. Once we choose the winner or winners, we shut off the underperforming ads and let the winners run with an appropriate budget.
Are You Ready to Have the Best Dental Office Facebook Marketing Working for You?
Social media marketing for dentists can be the most powerful way to grow your dental practice, or it can be a complete waste of time or money. By far, the best way to get the highest return on your time and money is Facebook for dentists.
My team has helped hundreds of dentists increase profits, attract new patients, improve social media presence, and lower their advertising costs using Facebook.
If you want help doing the same for your practice, my team and I would love to help you achieve your practice and personal goals through better, lower-cost, and more effective social media marketing.
If you’re comfortable doing it yourself or having your team do it with (or for) you, I’ve created a full Facebook Mastery course as part of Delivering Wow U, my online learning center with full step-by-step instructions on everything you need to run and grow your dental practice.
The training in Delivering Wow U covers:
- Facebook for dentists
- Facebook marketing for dental offices
- Email marketing for dentists
- Online reviews for dentists
- Dental office SEO
- Facebook Messenger bots marketing
- How to create a 12-month marketing plan
- How to create an in-house dental plan
- How to set up strategic alliances
- How to recruit and train a R-O-C-K-S-T-A-R team
- How to get your TEAM aligned with your vision
- How to create consistent systems and KPIs
- How to get your patients to say “YES”
- How to reverse engineer your production goals
- How to set your fees based on margins
- How to save on dental supplies
- How to decrease overhead
- How to create a practice that can run without you
- And more!
Delivering Wow U also includes private forums to get advice and feedback from me, my team, and other Delivering Wow U members, free social media images to share on your channels and make your social media marketing even easier, and a roadmap to walk you through building your dream practice!
If you’re ready to get started, please do! We offer a no-risk, 14-day trial to Delivering Wow U. During your trial, you can get started with my Facebook Mastery course, which covers these topics and more!
You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.