Social Media Marketing Strategies for Dental Practices
The landscape for dental marketing and orthodontic practice marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years. It tracks closely with the change in healthcare marketing. You already know how important it is to have a professional-looking dental website.
Having a professional-looking Google Business profile and a portfolio of photos and patient testimonials won’t hurt, either. Adding a social media strategy to your dental marketing arsenal is essential to reaching more potential patients and growing your practice.
In 2023, the average social media user spends nearly two and a half hours per day scrolling through social media sites. But that’s just the average. To successfully market your dental practice, you need to reach your potential patients where they are. And they’re definitely on social media.
Simply creating a dental social media profile isn’t enough. There are additional social media marketing strategies you will need for your dental office to see the greatest return on your effort.
Here are some of the questions you should be asking in terms of social media marketing for dental practices:
Do I Need Social Media Profiles for my Dental Practice?
The short answer is: YES!
The long answer?
Many dentists already know the anxiety that patients have about coming in for dental appointments. One of the first concerns is getting people to remember to schedule their appointments. That, as well as helping them overcome the stress and costs associated with dental work. It’s a lot of work to build trust and earn a patient’s confidence. A social media marketing plan that tackles these obstacles from your patients’ perception can help you build a trusting relationship with existing patients and potential patients.
Your social media presence can help your dental patients feel more at ease before they arrive at the office. You can showcase your track record, experience, and compassion by letting your potential patients know that they’re in safe, caring hands. If you can give your dental office a comforting, trustworthy personality via your social media page, your new and existing patients will look forward to their visits with your dental team.
Social media can be a space for you to focus on the more pleasant aspects of dental practices. Instead of featuring root canals and dentures on social media channels, you can showcase the comfort, confidence, and trust your practice provides.
Younger generations who grew up with social media are reaching the age in which they independently search for dental clinics via search engines like Google. In addition to being able to rank well in Google, your younger patients might be more likely to come to you if you have a strong social media presence, which only occurs when you have a strong social media marketing strategy.
What Happens If My Dental Practice Doesn't Have Social Media?
For dental practices without a solid social media marketing strategy, patients might assume:
- You are a small or out-of-touch dental practice that doesn’t have the resources to create an online presence or reach patients.
- You are a brand-new dentist and might lack experience.
- Nobody is talking about your practice online because you aren’t an established dental office.
This is why it is essential to focus your social media marketing efforts on your dental office.
Some social media managers take shortcuts with this and buy social media profiles for networks like Instagram. This is appealing because the accounts already have a loyal following, but you’d need to make sure that the audience is primarily local to your service area. If not, you won’t appeal to any new local patients.
How Active Do I Need to be on my Dental Social Media Pages?
To maintain your brand’s level of trust and care, it’s a good idea to reply to social media posts and reviews from your patients, especially the positive ones. You’ll want to post a variety of relevant content on your social media accounts, as well.
Potential patients are more likely to want to go to a dentist whose office is easy to reach and communicate with on the most commonly used platforms.
If you want to reach your target audience, you want your dental social media posts to stay consistent and engaging.
This is where it might be a good idea to hire someone to manage your social media full-time.
Respond to Feedback
Patients can write reviews of your dental practice on social media. It is important to respond to these reviews in a timely manner with care and respect, as the opportunity to create a good impression on these has a short shelf life.
Here are a few social media marketing tips for responding to feedback:
- Thank patients for their good reviews and welcome them to come back soon.
- Respond carefully and respectfully to negative reviews. This will make sure new dental patients see that you care about patients that are unhappy and want to make it right.
- Share patient testimonials (the positive ones, of course) on your social media platforms to not only promote your business but to give your loyal patients a shout-out.
Respond to Direct Messages
Platforms like Facebook often let customers know how quickly businesses respond to direct messages. You’re more likely to boost patient engagement if they can be confident you will write them back on social media platforms.
Post Relevant Content Regularly
Content ideas can include sharing photos of your practice and dental team, instructional posts, interesting dental hygiene facts, applicable community events, before and after pictures of your patients (with their consent, of course), links to your dental website‘s blog, and more.
Seek Patient Engagement
Once you’ve finally established an active presence on social media, engage with your target audience.
Here are a few social media marketing tips if your dental office has an established social media presence:
- Ask patients or potential patients questions and tell them to post their responses in the comments.
- Post content that is informational and tell your patients to share it with anyone that might benefit from it.
Establish Brand Authority
Keep consistent with your practice’s brand image. If you use a certain font and color all the time, try not to use anything that doesn’t remain consistent.
An “aesthetic” looking profile can definitely attract patients to your business page.
Dental social media can take a lot of time to do well.
It’s worth considering having an agency work on your social media management so you and your staff can focus on what you do best. And that’s taking care of patients and their oral health.
What Kinds of Content Do I Need to Share on my Dental Social Media Platform?
You don’t want to consistently share the same type of content to social media. Instead, you need to change things up, in order to keep the attention of your potential patients and existing patients.
If you want to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts, your dental practice will need to plan your social media marketing strategy using a content calendar or something similar.
At Digital Logic, our social media managers use Kiopi, a social media management platform, to schedule posts and plan social media content.
Here are a few different types of social media posts that work well for dental practices:
Branded Social Media Posts
Keep all of your posts on your social media channels consistent with your practice’s brand image. This means customizing each image and post to include a mention of your brand.
If your practice tends to use one color on your website or in your office, be sure to continue this trend on your social media profiles.
Informative Posts From Your Website
Remember that many Americans use the world’s largest search engine, Google, to research medical problems. Many older Americans use the second largest search engine, Bing.
Having helpful patient information on your website is a good start.
You can share those pages on your social media channel to bring in more traffic. Even better, you can turn dental tips and facts into appealing infographics on social media that link to your target blog post or website.
Remember that almost every social media site is a visual platform. You can reach patients by creating content that’s both informative and aesthetically pleasing.
Talk About Your Staff
You can reach more potential patients by reminding them that you and your dental professionals are people, just like your prospective patients!
Additionally you can share images or live videos of your team working as well as doing their everyday activities, just make sure you don’t violate any HIPAA regulations when doing this.
Lastly, you can talk about dental care anxiety or dental care phobia and how to overcome it by showing personable content about your team on your Facebook page, TikTok channel, etc.
Build a Content Strategy
Producing content that can help your dental SEO strategy can be a lot of work.
If you don’t already have a blog, you should definitely start one!
You can boost your dental practice’s traffic by sharing interesting content from your blog on your social media platforms. Try to avoid only selling your services.
Instead, focus on:
- Before and after photos
- Funny or informative video content
- Biographic information about your staff and doctors
- Behind-the-scenes photos with interesting captions
- Educational posts from your blog. Possible topics could include:
- Adult braces
- Teens with braces
- Invisalign costs
- Zoom teeth whitening
- Overcoming dental phobia or anxiety
The more you can create an inviting, trustworthy image, the more likely you will be able to bring in new patients. Let your paid advertising do the selling. That is what your ad spend is used for. Allow your social media profiles to provide your future patients with more information about you.
Creating dental content that ranks can be an uphill battle, especially if you aren’t well-versed in digital marketing. If your dental practice really needs new patients, we recommend hiring a good dental SEO agency so they can create a solid dental marketing strategy.
What is Sponsored Content, and How Can I Use it for my Dental Social Media?
Sponsored content, also known as native advertising, is an advertisement that looks like it’s supposed to be there. Rather than looking like an invasive advertisement, it seems natural to the platform that it’s in. It appears in someone’s news feed.
Social media users can react or comment on it just like they would with organic, unpaid content. By using sponsored content, you can reach people that don’t follow your dental practice. Just like other advertising, you can target specific audiences by location and interests.
Paid media can often be interruptive and annoying. Sponsored content is a way to pay for exposure without annoying people. It can also be versatile: it could be a photo, video, or text.
Sponsored content also helps local businesses spread brand awareness. This means patients who are not yet ready to visit your dental practice when they first see your page will remember you later when they need a dentist. An analysis by Facebook found that ads that were seen at least once per week increased potential brand lift in ad recall by 80 percent.
How Can I Generate Dentist Leads with Social Media?
A lead refers to contact with a potential customer, also known as a “prospect.” If you want your site’s visitors to become new patients, you need to convert them into leads.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Usually, the best way to do this is by asking for their email addresses. A lot of people are hesitant to give away their email addresses, but with good social media marketing, lead conversion can be a lot more fun for your prospects.
Host a Contest or Giveaway
You might host a contest that offers a free giveaway of a special toothbrush or a gift card to a local restaurant. People can sign up for the contest by following or sharing your page. Once more people follow your page, the bigger your reach becomes and the higher the likelihood that your visitors will turn into leads.
Remarketing is a digital marketing technique. It allows you to target users who have previously visited your website in order to get them to return and further engage with your brand. Social media can absolutely help you generate leads for your dental practice with remarketing.
Effective lead generation will also need to include a plan for nurturing your leads. If you’re executing a plan for SEO and digital marketing, you need to make sure you’re able to handle the potential increase in the volume of calls and appointment requests that come from it.
Which Social Media Platforms Should I Use to Market my Dental Practice?
While spreading the word about your business as far and as wide as possible is probably your goal, you want to make sure you’re allocating resources to the methods that work best for you. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and risk seeming unresponsive or unprofessional.
The top social media sites, Facebook and Instagram, are usually your best bets. Some dentists find success by branching out with Youtube, Yelp, and Twitter.
Your digital marketing strategy will probably require you to create and maintain social media accounts, as well as invest in social media advertising.
Dental Marketing on Facebook
Billions of people sign into Facebook every day, which means this is the broadest possible platform for dentists.
With Facebook advertising, you can target your advertising to specific locations and audiences. You can match your Facebook marketing strategy to fit your budget.
If you haven’t already, read our guide on how to create the ultimate Facebook business page.
Facebook Marketing Tips for Dentists
Follow some of these tips to get the most out of your Facebook page:
- Provide dental tips and answer patients’ questions
- Host Facebook live question and answer sessions
- Run promotions and contests
- Ask customers for input
- Post updates to your practice
- Share blog posts from your website
- Share photos of your team, office, and consenting clients
Dentist Marketing on Instagram
When people are happy about their smiles, they usually aren’t afraid to show it off on Instagram. This platform can be a great way for you to show off your happy patients.
Instagram Marketing Tips for Dentists
Follow some of these tips to get the most out of your Instagram account:
- Post polished, inviting images of your practice
- Share photos of happy patients, HIPPA permitting
- Run a #Bestsmile or #healthysmile contest
- Repost images from patients that might relate to their experience at your office
Dental Marketing on Twitter
Twitter is also a great way to run contests with hashtags like #BestSmile or #HealthySmile. Not only that, but Twitter is one of the best social platforms to drive traffic to your website or blog posts via links. Lastly, you can easily tweet to your local patients about sudden office closings due to inclement weather, holidays, or even major accidents on the same road.
Dentist Marketing on Yelp
Just like Facebook and Instagram, you should set up a business profile as well as run ads on each platform. As you already know, online reviews are not just for food and entertainment. Reviews play a vital role in decision-making for consumers, especially in healthcare and dental services.
Yelp Marketing Tips for Dentists
Follow some of these tips to get the most out of Yelp:
- Respond to reviews by patients to help control your image
- Pay for promotion so locals will find you first when searching for dentists in your area
- Run Yelp check-in promotions
- Encourage existing patients to leave a review on your Yelp page. If they’ve been with you for a while, chances are they are happy customers! Share that with your community!
Benefits of Using Dental Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the best and most powerful modern marketing tools for any local business. Why?
In the new age of social media, most dental offices are struggling to get their name out into the community in order to bring in new patients. With the right social media marketing strategy, you can easily turn website visitors into new patients and new patients into loyal patients that stick around forever.
Brand awareness is a crucial part of social media marketing. Posting random pictures, videos, and status updates won’t get you anywhere on your social media platforms.
Instead, you must create content that looks cohesive and unique. You also have to create content that’s relevant to your dental practice every time. That way, when someone in the community sees an ad or infographic, they will remember your brand for the future.
Engagement is also crucial for successful social media marketing. The more you encourage patient engagement by responding to comments, reviews, and messages, the more you’ll appeal to potential patients.
Impressions on social media are different from just likes and comments. In contrast, impressions are the total number of times that social media sites have shown your content to users.
So even if no one likes or comments on your social media posts, you’ll likely still be getting impressions with every new post. More impressions can eventually lead to more engagement, which can eventually lead to new patients, if you’ve done a good job marketing on social media.
Does Dental Social Media Management Work?
Yes, dental social media marketing does work, but definitely not overnight.
Successful lead conversion from dental social media posts can be a slow and tedious process, especially without help from a top-notch digital marketing company.
But social media is how we connect and conversate now. Without a strong social media presence in your community, your dental practice can certainly suffer.
If you’re still not convinced that dental social media marketing is right for you, check out our case studies, and imagine your success if you just say “yes.”
Grow Your Dental Practice With Digital Marketing Services From Digital Logic
When it comes to dental marketing, having a dentist social media presence is an important piece of the puzzle. But it’s not the only one.
Digital Logic is a leading dental marketing agency. We can provide you with a strategy that includes dental social media services, dental web development services, and effective dental content marketing. Get your free dental social media marketing plan here.