Every dentist in private practice knows that it’s not enough to be a good dentist. You’ve got to be a good business person too. For your dental practice to be successful you need to grow your client base, as well as retaining clients as loyal customers.
Thanks to the rise of social media, the marketing landscape for dentists is rapidly changing. How many people still use a phone book? No one. Who uses Facebook? Everyone. Your social media presence can be the difference between your practice floundering or thriving.
Attracting New Clients
Good reviews from friends and family are up there with the most important factors that influence a patient choosing a new dental practice. Having patients follow you on social media, leave good reviews, or recommend you to their friends and followers is one of the easiest, simplest ways for you to generate more business.
A single “Like” of an article or status you post on Facebook will appear on the news feed of every friend of the “liker.” That’s, on average, hundreds of potential clients that will see your special teeth whitening offer. In fact, running a “like this post to go in the running to receive one free treatment” type of offer is likely to grow your exposure exponentially. For the cost of one treatment you are getting your name and the name of your practice out to thousands of potential clients.
Then, as much as we hate to think about this uncomfortable truth, bad reviews are inevitable. People are going to have their say on the internet whether we like it or not. You can do a hell of a lot more damage control or even reputation enhancement after a bad review if you have an online presence.
One of the lesser known advantages of using social media to attract new clients is actually indirect. Believe it or not, some Luddites don’t use social media to find their next healthcare professional – they use Google. And for these people you want your website at the top of the results page when they type “dentists in YOUR CITY HERE” into the search bar.
Your website is more likely to be at the top if you have social media sites integrated. This means that if you have Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, and/or YouTube accounts linked to your website, your page is more likely to be up the pointy end. Social media marketing works for even those clients who aren’t ON social media!
Building Brand Awareness
Social media is a great way to build your brand awareness. YouTube videos of a particular procedure can increase your credibility as an expert in your field, and even just raise awareness of your practice. Pictures of teeth whitening before-and-afters can be re-pinned again and again on Pinterest, spreading your name further and wider.
Posting informative articles on Twitter or Facebook not only increase the amount of exposure you get across these platforms through likes and shares, but also can help patients to adopt better oral health practices or adhere to their treatment plan. Greater patient outcomes and increased brand awareness – a win-win situation!
You can pay to advertise your business on almost every social media site, and often the going rate for that prime bit of advertising space is quite cheap, especially for the amount of exposure you receive. But if you play your cards right and run your social media accounts effectively, you need not even spend a cent to increase your brand awareness and attract new clients.
So, as far as low-to-zero cost, little effort, and reward business marketing goes, it doesn’t get better than the social media sphere. When you’re a dentist running your own private practice, a presence on social media is all but essential for creating brand awareness and attracting new clients. It’s not a question of IF you’ll participate in social media as a dentist and dental practice anymore, it’s a matter of WHEN. And the answer is: the sooner the better!