Many dentists wonder if social media marketing for dentists is really all that important. In fact, it really is. With more dentists competing for fewer patients, social media can be a valuable tool for finding new patients and patient retention.
It’s easy to be consumed by the day-to-day business of running a practice and miss noticing opportunities like social media. After all, a majority of dentists run solo practices, so they have their hands full. However, social media marketing for dentists provides you with a powerful “tool in the tray” that shouldn’t be forgotten.
What dentists may not realize is that social media has been quietly transforming how people buy products and services (such as dentistry). It’s unsettling to think that people may search for a dentist in the same way that they search for a toaster. Nevertheless, dentists need to accept that social media and the internet govern buying decisions now.
Why is social media marketing for dentists a good thing? Here are several very compelling reasons:
Cultivate Relationships & Build Trust
In a service industry like dentistry, establishing patient trust is enormously important. Trust is how dentists retain new patients, a process that isn’t always easy.
Dental phobia is a common thing for many patients. People associate the dental office with pain (even if they’ve never actually experienced any themselves). Part of what eases that fear is trust in the dentist and the staff. When patients can sense your commitment to providing high-quality care, the trust they develop will help keep them in the practice. Now, the real trick is to build that trust in multiple ways, including social media.
Social media is a busy environment. And your practice needs to be immersed in it. It’s an excellent way to engage patients and solicit real feedback. Some of that feedback won’t be useful, but a lot of it will be.
Social media marketing for dentists allows doctors and staff members to answer questions, offer giveaways or announce contests. It’s not an excuse to talk glowingly about your practice. It’s about offering added value to patients and becoming part of their online community.
Trust building doesn’t happen overnight, and you probably won’t see instant results from social media. However, if patients can connect with you on social media and not your competitor, they’re probably going to stick with you because the relationship has been established.
Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Can Be Powerful
Traditional marketing (direct mail, newspaper and TV ad) is expensive… sometimes, very expensive. Meanwhile, word-of-mouth marketing, like what social media can generate, can be a powerful and intensely cost-effective alternative for dental practices.
Social media plays a large part in referral marketing for dental practices. This should actually not come as a surprise. People value the opinions of friends and family, whether it’s restaurant picks, deciding on a vacation destination or choosing a dentist. Social media encourages this human tendency on a grand scale. That’s why social media marketing for dentists must include a social media component.
Facebook serves as a classic example of how social media can work in your practice’s favor. If people see that their friends “like” your practice’s Facebook page, they might “like” you as well. If they’re looking for a dentist, this electronic recommendation could be just enough to get them into your office. And every patient that comes into your practice this way is doing so at a very low cost to you.
Your social media presence doesn’t have to be extensive. Even a little can go a long way. Of course, there’s a snowball effect that can occur if your social media campaign is effective. It may start with two people who recommend your practice. They tell two friends… who tell two more, etc. Then before you know it, word-of-mouth marketing is working strongly in your favor.
Effectively Manage Your Practice’s Online Reputation
You hope for recommendations in online reviews. However, you may also get negative reviews of your practice. If you’re not on social media, you may never know about them. If your practice is engaged in social media, you can respond quickly to negative reviews. When you do so calmly and professionally, you can often negate the odd bad review.
Look carefully at any bad online reviews. Are they fair? Could your practice have done something to prevent what happened? If the reviewer being truthful? It’s often possible to reach out to disappointed reviewers and actually turn them around. Social media marketing for dentists allows rare opportunities like this to correct misconceptions that patients may have. It’s certainly worth a try.
Social Media Marketing for Dentists – Are You All In?
Social media offers dentists a valuable opportunity to build patient trust, decrease stress and increase their average production per chair as a result. However, not every dentist has a social media presence.
Admittedly, dentists aren’t always comfortable with something that falls outside their area of expertise, like social media. That’s why it’s so important to empower outside experts to guide you through the process.
Dreamscape Marketing, a Premier Google Partner, has designed, built and maintained hundreds of websites for our healthcare clients. We know the marketing needs of dental practices. Call us today at 888.307.7304 or email us at [email protected] and let’s discuss your web and social media needs.