Best Social Media Strategies for Dentists
Social media is no longer optional for dentists, orthodontists, and other dental specialists. According to a study by PwC, 41% of consumers report that content found on social media will “likely impact their choice” of a health care provider. Another study reveals that 82% of U.S. residents are active on at least one social media platform. Like caries reaching the dentin, social media is something dental practices simply cannot ignore.
But with so many platforms and limited time to engage, how can dental practices get the most out of social media? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the best ways to use social media for dentists, orthodontists, and other specialists — including 5 “must-have” strategies for practices looking to reach, engage, and convert potential and current patients.
1. Educate and Entertain
Consumers have different expectations when consuming content on social media. TV commercials and print ads don’t translate well in an increasingly interactive (and instant!) environment. Effective social media for dental practices means developing “edutainment” — content that educates and entertains. This is especially important when trying to connect with patients, many of whom may be dealing with fear, anxiety, or shame when considering a potential dental visit. When engaging on social media, dentists should strive to be professional but also approachable and, when appropriate, humorous and entertaining. Remember, dentistry can be intimidating to those outside the profession! Social media for dentists should help guide patients in their educational journey but also introduce them to your practice’s unique personality.
2. Ask for Referrals
Dental specialists like oral surgeons, orthodontists, periodontists, endodontists, and prosthodontists depend on referrals from other dentists to grow their practices. While many referral relationships are forged through personal interactions over many years, dental specialists should not shy away from social media to cultivate new referral partners. LinkedIn is a particularly important channel for driving referrals for orthodontists, oral surgeons, endodontists, and other specialists — but it’s frequently overlooked. From paid messaging to organic outreach, be sure to leverage the world’s most popular business networking platform for reaching potential referral partners. Even an occasional message that simply reminds another dentist about your practice and services can help drive new patient referrals.
3. Focus on Video
Social media platforms are increasingly oriented toward (and rewarding) video content. According to a recent study, marketers using video ads on social media get 66% more qualified leads per year. Think about it — what could 66% more qualified phone calls from potential patients do for your practice? While developing video content for social media for your practice might seem daunting or even impossible, there are many ways to streamline the process. At DentalScapes, our dentist social media teams incorporate video into every client strategy — without requiring extra time or budget from the provider or practice.
4. Boost Posts
Social media is NOT free. In 2022, social media is increasingly “pay to play” — for dentists and everyone else. For example, whereas 90% of a company’s Facebook Page followers used to receive that company’s updates, today that number has plummeted to less than 5% — and that may be optimistic. To be clear, your dental practice should be “boosting” or promoting every social media post that it publishes — even by spending just $3-5 per post. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok all have options for “boosting” or promoting posts.
The bottom line? You work hard to develop your practice’s content for social media; don’t let the algorithm shove it to the bottom of the barrel before you have a chance to reach potential patients.
5. Listen (Don’t Just Talk)
Social media is a two-way street. After all, it’s called “social” for a reason — consumers expect the businesses they follow to engage with them directly. Because of that, it’s critical that your dental practice follow up on questions and comments shared on social media. Monitor your practice’s social media channels and respond with a personalized message to every inquiry. Remember, social media is an increasingly “on-demand” space where consumers expect answers FAST. If you or your office staff don’t have the capacity to consistently monitor your social media comments and direct messages (and we don’t blame you), consider bringing on a social media agency for dentists to help.
Ready to Take Your Dental Practice’s Social Media to the Next Level?
Social media isn’t just about “vanity” metrics like follows, likes, and comments. Schedule a free strategy call with DentalScapes today and learn more about how we can drive more new patient appointments and referrals with social media for your dental practice.