Unfortunately, it will take a bit more time and effort than simply setting up your profile and posting sporadically if you want to see results. But there are plenty of ways you can make your social media accounts stand out from the pack.
Let’s face it. Social media for dentists isn’t easy. But by following these 10 tactics, you’ll be able to stand head and shoulders above the pack.
1. Post Regularly, but Don’t Over-Post
Here, I’ll elaborate a little more on #1 from the previous section. An important aspect of social media that you’re sure to appreciate is that most users get instant updates when you post something new. But not everyone checks their Twitter or Instagram every day, or at the time of day when you happen to post. So, it’s in your best interest to post regularly if you want to maintain the interest of followers.
Whether you’re linking to new blog posts, sharing industry news, touting an updated dental website design, or letting followers get to know your staff via candid office photos, keeping up with the conversation is an important part of managing your social media accounts.
All that said, if you participate in social media from a personal perspective, then you probably know how annoying it is to get pinged incessantly because someone is blowing up your pages with overly frequent posts.
Unless you want to risk raising the ire of your followers and getting unfriended as a result, it’s a good idea to limit the number of items you post daily. Note, however, that you can post on Twitter more frequently than on other networks.
2. Use a Conversational Tone
Business websites are formal, professional, virtual extensions of the real-world businesses they represent. And while social media profiles are linked to those pages, they are certainly more casual in tone.
Of course, you want to maintain a professional demeanor at all times in order to preserve your authority and credibility in your field. And of course, you want to make sure that your social media activities support and enhance your overall brand image.
But you should also adopt a more conversational tone when using social media. It is definitely a more relaxed forum, and a stiff, sterile, or technical tone won’t get the engagement or traction that an informal, personal tone will get.
3. Reach Out
Dental office SEO ensures that all of the platforms you use on behalf of your business are more visible to both search bots and consumers. But when it comes to social media, retention demands that you try to communicate directly with followers.
A good way to do this as a dentist is to follow up with patients after they visit. You can ask them to rate visits, participate in surveys, or share their experiences so that you can post it for other followers to see.
4. Get Personal
Your social media accounts are more than just a forum to inform followers about new blog posts or new services your practice is offering. They also provide the opportunity for you to show a more personal side of your business.
Adding a personal face to your professional accounts makes you far more relatable, trustworthy, and frankly, more interesting.
Now you don’t have to spill your guts about your life’s problems. But DO NOT continually try and pitch for your services. It doesn’t work. Nobody likes being pitched to. Instead, show what you do, show what you offer, but throw in some funny, zany, quirky stuff every once in a while. Show that you are a normal person and normal business owner. Be smart, though, and don’t discuss politics or religion.
5. Provide Value by Giving Solutions
Be creative. Being creative will drum up interest. Some status updates may include ways that your product or service can improve one’s everyday life. Don’t be too “sales-y” in these posts, but be more interesting and engaging. In other words, you need to provide value.
So, what, exactly should you include in status updates? Here are some ideas:
- Photos of your business
- Photos of products/people using products
- Photos of your staff and staff highlights (brief bios of your staff, tagging their photo)
- Photos of customers or patients
- Recent blog posts published on your website
- Shared posts from other professionals in your network
- Answers to customer questions
- Videos (business tours, answering questions, funny montages, etc.)
- Quote of the day
- Recent customer reviews
- Weird or interesting facts about your profession
As long as you provide valuable information, insights, or entertainment in your posts, people will find them interesting and engaging.
6. Hold Promotions
Free giveaways? Drawings for free stuff? Sure, whatever you can think of, if it makes business sense. But don’t do it just for the sake of doing it. You want to get something in return, even just a retweet, or a Facebook “share,” or a “check-in” to your location.
Though you will probably spend more on promotions than you receive in return, you should still do them. If you have a high lifetime value of a new patient like most dentists do, then it makes sense to draw people in with a “loss leader.” You know that with the amazingly awesome service you provide, people will want to come back.
How do you do this?
- Have occasional drawings for cool free stuff, but make people do something to enter, i.e., something that raises awareness to your brand.
- Give existing customers additional value by having some sort of loyalty club.
- Have a 12 days of Christmas, a Christmas in July, etc., where you give something away every day.
- Host limited-time sales or offer online coupons that are only valid for a short time.
Once your have your promotional plan all set up, advertise it by sharing the links and information on your Twitter and Facebook (the most popular social networks) for the duration of your contest.
7. Focus on Share-ability
Dental practice SEO and online marketing will only get you so far, especially if your budget for online campaigns is limited. Luckily, social media gives you the chance to encourage others to do some of the heavy liftings for you.
When you post items of interest and make them easy to share via a single-click action, you’re likely to extend your reach by a significant margin and gain access to an ever-widening circle of potential followers (and prospective patients).
You offer great services and products, right? So, be excited about it! Be creative! Be exciting!
Focus on creating easy-to-share blurbs, links, graphics, infographics, and even viral videos that could take off like wildfire on social media.
8. Prep for Posting
When you run a thriving business, you might not have a lot of extra time to spend on updating your social media accounts daily. But there are tools that can help keep you on track, even when you’re short on time.
For example, you could use automated tools that do your posting for you, provided you pre-load them with content. This should save you some time each day on having to post.
Of course, you’ll still need to check in with your profiles regularly in order to manage the flow of communication, but prep work can make your daily operations a little smoother. Try to plan out posts across all of your social networks a month in advance.
9. Remember Communication Is a Two-Way Street
This means that it’s not enough for you to post to your profiles and for followers to comment. If you’re able to get a foot in the door and inspire action (i.e., commentary), you can’t afford to not follow up.
Building and maintaining relationships is an important part of your online operations. Your business website can certainly offer interested parties the information they seek, but social media is much better for making a connection and forging an emotional investment in your brand.
This occurs largely as a result of ongoing, personal interactions with an otherwise anonymous, online community.
When your fans engage with you by commenting, sharing, liking, reviewing, whatever it may be, thank them! Maybe ask them a question. If appropriate, share their comments or tag them in a reply. This will get you more exposure and encourage others to participate in the discussion.
10. Monitor, Track, and Analyze
Social media requires constant monitoring of your accounts, as well as the tracking and analyzing of associated metrics.
Use tools like Facebook Page Insights to see how your audience is growing, and to view how many shares and how much engagement you get on your posts. You should also track the amount of sales, new customers, and website visitors you get from social media.
I’ll be the first to admit that social media often doesn’t provide a quantifiable ROI, at least not initially. HOWEVER, it is where your target customers are. Go where they are. Build relationships, add value, and when they are ready to buy, you’ll be in a better position.
Social media strategy for dentist comes down to strategically positioning yourself as a leader in your market and industry. Build and engage with your following so that when people are ready to buy, or are ready to procure a service, they remember you.