Dentist Marketing: Use Social Media to Attract New Patients
How dental practices should use social media to grow their brand in their local area
By 2025, the global dental industry is projected to reach $40.5 billion, according to PR Newswire. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a piece of that pie? Well, if you want your share of the profit, you’ll need to ensure you have a solid dentist marketing strategy. In 2020, the name of the dental marketing game is social media.
For years, dentists have spent the minimal time they had relying on word of mouth and reputation to build up their clientele. But, in 2020, you’ll need to shift your passive marketing strategy to an active one.
Like any other industry, there are specific tactics you need to implement to attract, retain, and market to your ideal patients. In this article, you’ll learn how you can use social media to attract new clients even if you’re strapped for time.
Why Does Social Media Matter?
The fact is, many dentists aren’t using social media. But, the ones that are using it are able to grow their practice by reeling in new patients. Considering high dental fear affects nearly 1 in 7 Australian adults, what better way is there to attract new clients then by showing them they have nothing to fear?
Dental marketing, for the most part, requires a different flavour of marketing. Other industries like clothing, restaurants, and technology have to convince people that what they’re offering is worth someone’s hard-earned cash, even if it’s something they don’t actually need.
On the other hand, dentists don’t necessarily need to always try and convince people to get their teeth or gums check-up. Everyone knows they should visit their dentist. The main thing dentists need to do is to remind people to schedule an appointment and help them overcome their fear associated with dental offices.
So how can dentists reel in new patients?
It ultimately comes down to earning a patient’s confidence and building trust. That’s why dental social media marketing is so important. It helps you build relationships with your potential patients. And it also means convincing them you can give them a pain-free experience.
You should be using social media to help patients and patients-to-be feel comfortable with your dental practice before they even visit your office.
Demonstrate your authority, experience, and track record to let patients know they’re in safe hands. Dissolve the stigma of fear around going to the dentists by sharing fun and light-hearted social media posts. Give your practice a personality online and you’ll have a much easier time bringing in new patients. The number one thing to remember is that it’s all about trust.
Keep in mind, you’re not just selling root canals and teeth whitening… you’re selling good health, confidence, and comfort. Social media provides the perfect gateway to grow your brand and connect with new patients without taking a toll on your time.
How to Attract Patients With Dental Social Media Marketing
The reason traditional marketers placed there advertisements on television, newspaper, and billboards is that they understood where the consumer goes, they go. Well, since the average consumer has moved to the world of social media, you’ll have to move your marketing there too if you want to grow your practice.
Here are 4 ways to attract new patients with dental social media marketing.
1. Don’t Be Clinical, Be Personal
Remember, your goal is to convince clients that you’re a trustworthy dental practice. With that in mind, you should try to avoid being too “clinical” with your posts. Instead, be personal. People buy from people. Connect with your audience by showing them you’re human:
Post photos of yourself
Post photos of your staff
Post photos of patients
And remember… try to avoid sombre, or boring photos. Instead, make sure when you do post photos of people, they’re happy and smiling. This will show your audience your humanity which builds rapport, it will show off your ability to make your patients’ teeth shine, and it will also help relieve their fear of going to the dentist.
Action Tip: Post before-and-after photos of your patients. Just keep in mind certain social media platforms (like Facebook) have restrictions on before-and-after photos as advertisements.
2. Share Valuable & Engaging Content
When people go to their dentist, they want to ensure they end up with a great smile. This means their main goal is to buy the products or services to make that happen. But, they also want to learn what they can do to protect their teeth when they’re not at the dentist.
This is where you can come in and build up your expertise and credibility by giving valuable tips on dental hygiene.
You should regularly post content that’s informative, helpful, and valuable to anyone looking to improve their dental health. This could be a simple tip like how to floss properly, how often you should brush, what you should avoid doing, or even some simple tips on making your teeth whiter naturally.
According to Medium, 49% of consumers say they share content because they think it’s valuable and informative to others. If people think your posts are helpful, they’re much more likely to share them with their friends. The end result is you’ll get higher engagement and increased brand awareness.
Action Tip: Want to take your content to the next level? Repurpose it. If you make a blog post on a specific topic, summarise it as a social media post (or post a link to the blog post with a short description to entice people to go to your blog). Or, create a YouTube video on the same topic.
3. Talk to Your Audience
The key to a successful dental social media marketing strategy isn’t just blasting out as many posts as possible. It’s about connecting with your audience. In real life, when you’re working on bringing in new leads, you wouldn’t just go up to someone and yell a bunch of information at them every time you see them, then walk away. You would have a conversation.
The main reason a dental practice should post content is to get a response from their current and potential patients. Your goal with every post should always be to get people to like, comment, or share.
Action Tip: Want to boost engagement? Ask your audience a question on your post. Everyone loves their own opinions the most. So, give your audience a chance to share theirs by asking them their opinion on anything. Another idea is to create a survey or a poll.
Remember your tried and true method of word of mouth marketing? Reviews are the new and improved word of mouth. The more testimonials you get from happy patients, the better your potential patients will feel about choosing your dental practice over another.
What’s the key to increasing patient leads with reviews? Don’t just focus on stacking them up. You need to actually show them off. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing a happy photo of your client, with their testimonial in writing.
Action Tip: If you’re having trouble collecting reviews, set up an automatic “Thank you” email that’s sent to your patient after their appointment. In the email, ask your patient to leave you a review on your website or Facebook page. You can use the automated email to incentivise feedback by offering a discount on products or future visits.
Bonus: Different Platforms, Different Strategy
Not every social media platform is built the same. You’ll have to adjust your strategy depending on what platform you’re using.
When you’re first starting out, don’t worry about posting non-stop on every platform out there. Stick to one or two platforms then, only consider branching out after a few months of consistent posting, engagement, and most importantly, growth.
Depending on what platform you use, you’ll want to tweak your strategy:
Facebook For Dentists
Your Facebook marketing strategy should focus on check-ups and cleans. Since Facebook is dominated by an older demographic (30 years and above), you should create family-oriented content to engage mums who typically make appointments for their whole family.
You could also use Facebook’s incredible targeting to create dentures and root canals advertisements for elderly people.
Instagram For Dentists
Instagram marketing is a bit different. It has a younger audience than Facebook, which means you’ll have to shift your messaging. Plus, the platform is predominantly visual, so you’ll want to post high-quality photos and videos focusing on the aesthetics of your dental practice.
Target younger audiences with posts and advertisements of veneers, teeth whitening, and other cosmetic treatments. If you build up your reputation as a leader in the cosmetic industry, this demographic will be more likely to travel further to improve their smile.
YouTube For Dentists
YouTube is an incredible platform to build up your authority by sharing informative, valuable content with your audience.
You should use the platform to create content on how people can care for their dental hygiene. Create some different video series’ on specific topics like flossing, brushing your teeth, maintaining white teeth, or even proper diet.
Dentist Marketing Made Simple With Social Media
Like any other marketing strategy, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. However, if you want to ensure your dental practice receives a steady inflow of new patients with social media, you’ll need to focus on 2 things:
Establishing yourself as an authority in the dental industry
Engaging in a two-way relationship with your audience
While it may seem overwhelming to focus your effort on something like social media, the fact is, you’ll need to use it if you want to grow your brand. The truth is, social media doesn’t require much time at all. Even if you (or an employee) can dedicate 5 minutes a day to social media, you’ll start seeing results.
Remember, you can use social media to win over your audience’s trust. And if you can do that, you’ll tap into a steady stream of new patients every month.