Social media is a new dental marketing frontier with astonishing opportunities. Like it or not, social media is here to stay and it will continue to modernize the way people connect and do business. Think about it, over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old, and that generation lives and breathes technology. Today, digital reputations mean everything. Its impact on the dental industry and the dental practice in particular is still not completely understood, mainly because of a lack of data.
Social media is made up of many parts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogs, Flickr, Google+, etc.); you do not have to incorporate all of them to be successful. Start slowly, you should probably pick one or two that fit your personality, values and practice vision. Remember, every business and every audience is different.
Let’s talk a little about Facebook, which is probably the most common form of social media used in dentistry today. Here are some U.S. Facebook statistics according to www.socialnomics.net and social media today:
- Facebook is the most visited site on the internet!
- Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic.
- The average user spends 23 minutes on each visit, a total of 15 hours and 33 minutes per month.
- Facebook generates a staggering 770 billion page views per month.
- The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
- More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared each day.
- The ratio of male to female Facebook users is pretty close to equal: 51.2% of users are male and 48.8% are female.
Facebook is a great vehicle for potential new patients to find out about you and your practice, but remember a business page should be just that…all about the business. Did you know that 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust the opinions of unknown users? Here are some Facebook etiquette tips:
- Post consistently. Do not over post. Patients or potential patients do not want to be bombarded with multiple posts daily from their dentist, nor do you want your Facebook page to become a “ghost town”. Think about posting 2-3 times per week and remember every post you make is competing with all the other posts on your fans’ pages.
- Posts should consist of things such as: practice specials, new products, introduction of new team members, community or charitable involvement, important practice news as well as patient testimonials. (If you post any pictures of patients or video testimonials make sure that they have signed a Release of Likeness Consent Form).
- Ask your patients to “like” you on Facebook, just as you would ask them for referrals. Your Facebook success is a reflection of how much you talk about it.
- Try to keep the “friending” of patients to a minimum on your personal page, patients belong as “fans” on your business page.
- Unless the owner doctor is the one making posts on the page, speak about your practice in the third person.
- Display your “fans’” posts on your wall, not just posts from the practice.
Social media is a very inexpensive, yet powerful tool for you to market your practice if done correctly. As with any marketing we do, it needs to be monitored and updated regularly. Here are some tips to ensure your Facebook page is well received.
- Consider using a photo instead of a logo for the profile picture.
- Fill out the info and bio section completely so patients have a clear description of who you are and what you are about.
- Utilize your Facebook page as a vehicle for patients or potential patients to view your website.
- Don’t ignore your fans, respond to their posts.
- Remember who your audience is, people do not want to go on Facebook and see gory clinical pictures of implant or perio surgery; they want to see fun, happy pictures. This is not to say that you should not use educational tips or photos, but there should be a healthy mix of clinical and “light hearted” posts.
- Keep the content professional, remember not only will current patients be viewing your page, but potential patients will be looking for information about you and your practice. First impressions mean everything!!!!
Best of luck to you in your social media endeavors and remember to “like” Amy Smith Consulting, LLC