Table of Contents
- How To Find New Patients With Social Media For Dentists?
- Which Social Media Channels Should You Use?
- How Much Time Will We Need To Spend On Social Media?
- How Do I Know When Social Media Is Working?
- Should You Hire A Dental Marketing Expert Or Agency?
- How We Help You Succeed With Dental Social Media?
- What Happens When I Request a Demo from My Social Practice?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How much should I pay for dental social media marketing?
- How do I market my dental office using social media?
- What should I post on my dental Facebook page?
- Why do dentists need social media marketing?
- What is the best social media for dentists?
- How do dentists use Instagram?
- 21 Essential HIPAA Dental Questions You Were Afraid To Ask
- Webinar Recording: We Got Hacked! How To Prevent Your Facebook Page From Being Hacked, Like Ours Did
- Dentist Website SEO: What To Know About Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Update
How To Find New Patients With Social Media For Dentists?
I get the chance to speak with dentists and dental marketing managers often. The other day I was on the phone with a dentist who wanted to know more about the professionally managed dental social media marketing service we offer and he said this to me:
Social media works for big companies, but not for dental practices.
– dentist whose name we won’t mention.
Why Social Media for Dental Practices Is A Prime Marketing Opportunity
The reality is that small businesses, like dental practices, actually see more benefits from using social media than large companies with big budgets? The reason for this is because social media success depends not on how many followers you have or how much you have to spend. Rather, social media success is dependent on how much engagement you get.
Being Local and Community-Focused Is A Social Media Benefit
Dental practices are local and community-focused, which means it is much easier for your dental practice to be authentic and receive engagement with your community online.
Social Media Helps Find New Patients In Real-Time
The marketing power of being able to connect with a potential patient in real-time, cannot be overestimated.
Tools like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Nextdoor have the ability to drive awareness for your practice and interact with patients in real-time. Practices that have a solid social media strategy and a social media manager in place to monitor activity, quickly find increased new patients and scheduled appointments.
The Future of Dental Marketing Is In Real-Time
Consumers have become adept at connecting with businesses through social media accounts because nearly all of them allow for real-time engagement, via messaging capabilities.
If a dental practice does not appreciate, use or monitor these technologies, it sends a signal of unacceptable customer service.
Most dental offices, simply don’t understand just how powerful social media can be to connect and find new patients in real time.
Which Social Platforms Are Best For Real-Time Dental Marketing?
Multi-Channel Marketing Is Misunderstood, but Key To New Patients.
When social media is managed correctly and the right kind of content is being published consistently, the practice will see new patients.
In my experience, the reason why a dental practice would think social media isn’t creating new patients, is because they don’t understand how to track new patients correctly.
New Patient Tracking Is Vital To Practice Growth
Digital marketing is a far more sophisticated marketing system than traditional marketing. It used to be that you could run a television commercial and buy a billboard and you were good-to-go.
But that’s not how marketing is done now-a-days and tracking methods are far more granular.
What Is Multi-Channel Marketing?
Multi-channel marketing is a marketing method that uses multiple marketing channels to relay your practice message, and it requires that you track each channel and apply value to ALL CHANNELS that were involved in converting a new patient.
An example of a marketing campaign that is multi-channel would be, Facebook ad campaign, Instagram and TikTok advertising, Nextdoor zip code advertising, email marketing, blogging, Google review aggregation, referral programs, billboard ads, and possibly LiveChat on your website.
Do I Really Have To Do This?
Multi-channel marketing is the way that forward thinking dentists are finding new patients. The internet’s effect on information gathering is tremendous. In a couple minutes a potential patients can gather information from multiple channels.
So, if you don’t have great Google reviews then the patient may not call and schedule, even though they were referred. All marketing efforts work together in conjunction to convince the patient to call.
An Example of Multi-Channel and Social Media Tracking
To further illustrate, here is an example of the problem.
A new patient schedules an appointment. Your front desk team member asks, “How did you hear about us?” and the patients says, “Oh, I read your Google reviews.” Your front desk team member attributes the new patient to your Google reviews, which encourages you put together an initiative to get more Google reviews.
BUT, there is a problem with this logic. The real story is that this new patient was referred by another patient. But before the new patient calls and schedules, she gets online and checks your Facebook page, your Instagram account, reads your website bio and mission statement, scans a recent blog article, then checks your Google reviews.
The new patient is satisfied and goes to your website and uses the LiveChat widget to connect with a team member.
In this example, what marketing effort should receive the attribution? Is it the first interaction? Is it the last interaction? Or is it all of the interactions?
Do you see the problem?
Tracking digital marketing is a multi-touch, multi-channel process. In the example, without the efforts of word of mouth marketing, social media, website, integration of LiveChat, a blog article, and Google reviews, the patient may never have called in to schedule.
Solving Social Media and Multi-Channel Tracking
You want to attribute a new patient to ALL of the media channels that were involved in converting the patient. The simplest way to do this is to, update your new patient intake form.
A typical dental intake form has the question, “How did you hear about us?”, with a single line for the answer, which forces the new patient to choose only one media channel. But as discussed above, knowing only one media channel throws off your data.
Make sure to get precise. Update your intake form and change the “How did you hear about us question” to:
Tell us ALL the ways you found out about us. (Please circle all that apply.)
- Google Search
- Bing Search
- Yahoo Search
- Google Maps
- Patient Referral
- Drive By
- Mail Piece
- Radio Ad
Correct Tracking Solves Marketing Mysteries
Once you’ve updated your intake form to multi-channel tracking model, it won’t take long before you start seeing new patients who found you through one of your social media platforms.
Real Life Example Of Two Dental Practices
Every practice will be different. Some practices see patients start coming in within a few weeks, and others it takes a few months. Whenever this question is asked of me I tell this quick story…
On October 28th, 2011 I spoke with two practices and both of them signed up for our dental social media service. The first practice was all-in. We trained their team, sent them ideas, and they did everything that we asked of them.
It took the practice a couple years but before long she had more than 25,000 followers on Facebook. the doctor reported that she was consistently generating close to 50 patients a month from social media.
The second practice didn’t do anything. We would call for appointments and the practice would be busy. We’d send them emails and they wouldn’t open them. We all wondered why they kept paying us. And, if they happened to get some patients from social media, no one will ever know because they never tracked anything.
Which Social Media Channels Should You Use?
You want to put your time into the social media platforms that consumers use to gather information about a local business.
Most people use Facebook and Instagram. You definitely want to include those two channels in your marketing efforts. If you decide to leverage Instagram you should look into Instagram Influencer Dental Marketing.
Up and Coming Dental Social Media Channels
TikTok is on a serious rise, especially since the pandemic. There’s been more downloads of TikTok in the app store than any other social media application. If you’re interested in implementing TikTok into your marketing you should read our blog post titled 13 Awesome TikTok Dentist Accounts to Follow.
Nextdoor is an up-and-coming social media platform that we encourage our client practices to set up. Nextdoor’s advertising platform has hyper-local targeting ability. You can get right down to specific neighborhoods with Nextdoor ads.
Dont’ Forget About Pinterest & Youtube In Your Dental Marketing
Pinterest can be helpful in finding new patients but you have to be willing to take lots of photos. If you have a team member that likes to do photography on the side, Pinterest could be valuable. Approximately 85% of all Pinterest users are female, with the majority between 30 and 49 years of age. So, if you’re trying to reach mothers, Pinterest should be on your list.
Will LinkedIn & Twitter Help You Find New Patients?
LinkedIn is a professional network that’s great social media platform if you’re a specialist looking to connect with general dentists and increase referrals. But it’s not a great channel to reach the local consumer.
Twitter has become a news outlet, and not designed well to find new patients for dentists. We’ve tried many dental campaigns over the years with Twitter and it’s not proven to be a reliable social media channel, at least not for dental practices.
How Much Time Will We Need To Spend On Social Media?
We all know, especially in a post-pandemic world, that the bandwidth of team members is maxed out. Because of this, when most practices begin with social media they ask this questions. There is no one size fits all answer, but there are a few rules.
Where Is The Time Spent In Social Media Marketing?
Most of the time that is spent on dental social media is used in finding creative ideas that will get great engagement. It’s not that actual publishing of content. But once you have identified an engaging social media idea, the execution is pretty quick.
Some ideas are simple, like posting a photo of a team member. Other’s may be more intricate, like a campaign to raise money for a local charity. Either way planning is needed.
Why Your Doctor Should Be LESS Involved In Social Media Management?
Notice that I said ‘management’ not ‘participation’.
Only in rare cases will a dentist correctly manage a social media campaign. Trust me, we’ve worked with thousands of dental practices and as committed that a dentists says that they’ll be when we get started, inevitably that get swamped with more important tasks. Nearly every time we put the dental social media management on the shoulders of the doctor, tasks get delayed or dropped.
I’m not bagging on doctors. Running a practice is brutal, and social media management easily gets kicked down the road.
Think about managing social media like answering your telephone. Manning your social media channels is just as important. But, would you put the task of managing your telephone on your doctors plate?
Which Team Member Should Manage Your Social Media Marketing?
Create a social media marketing position and allocate time for them to do their job. The person on your team who is most excited about social media, or the person who has had the most experience on social media, should be the person that gets this new assignment.
Their tasks will include creating a content schedule, executing ideas, and reporting on the success of the campaign. They’ll need some time to do all of these tasks. We recommend about 2-3 hours per week.
You’ll find that this time investment will become extremely valuable. Depending on the size and competition of your community practices report finding 3-5 new patients a month on the low end, all the way up to 20-25 new patients a month on the high end.
How Do I Know When Social Media Is Working?
As I’ve mentioned above you need to change your new patient intake form to include multi-channel attribution. But there are a few other data sets you can look at to know when your social media is working.
Social Media Engagement Is The Measuring Stick
Engagement is the activity on your posts. When someone likes, comments, shares, loves, saves, follows, they’re engaging with your content. Engagement is what the social media platforms look at to know whether a piece of content should be shared with more people or not. The higher the engagement the more your post will be seen.
All of the social media platforms has engagement tracking resources allowing you to see how well one post did over another post, and how much engagement you received this month over last month.
Make Sure To Watch Your Impressions
You receive an impression when your post moves through the visible portion of someones screen. That’s right, everything you look at is being tracked, but this does not mean that Illuminati is after you… unless you think that Mark Zuckerberg is the Illuminati.
Impressions are an easy measurement of how many people see your posts and it works hand in hand with engagement. The higher your engagement the more impressions you’ll receive. It’s that simple. Which is why we focus on engagement first and then impressions come naturally.
Should You Hire A Dental Marketing Expert Or Agency?
If you already have a successful social media strategy in place and you’re tracking your new patients correctly, then you probably do not need to hire an outside agency. But, for everyone else there are two options with regards to getting help.
#1 If the statements below sound like you, then you need an agency to help set everything up and provide minimal supports.
- I have someone on my team that wants to manage social media but they’ve never done it before and would need some training.
- My team wants to be involved in social media marketing but we’re not sure which team member should take on the responsibility.
- We have 3-5 hours per week to allocate towards social media but are not sure where to start.
- I have someone on my team that is managing our social media but I’m not sure if it’s working.
- We’ve already hired a company to do our social media for us but we’re not sure if it’s working.
#2 If the statements below sound like you, then you would want an agency to professionally mange your social media.
- We want to get involved with social media but we’re completely slammed.
- I’ve already done this but the team member who was in charge of social media left the practice and I don’t want to invest all of the time again into training someone else.
- No one on my team wants to answer LiveChat or Facebook Messages. They’d rather just answer the phone.
- I want to find new patients with social media but my team members don’t believe that it’s something we should do.
- I’ve tried social media and it didn’t work.
How We Help You Succeed With Dental Social Media?
With over thirteen years of trial and error, in the dental industry, we’ve put together two dental social media marketing solutions to help practices that fall into the scenarios mentioned above.
Self Managed Dental Social Media Marketing
Your team is assigned a social media consultant. This is your point of contact at our offices. They’re your go-to person when you have any question about social media.
They’re also in charge of training your staff, implementing correct softwares, providing social media content ideas, setting up tracking and reporting, and anything else needed in social media consultation.
Professionally Managed Social Media Marketing
In the professionally managed social media service, you’re given a social media manager. This person takes over your online presence on social media. They’re in charge of setting up accounts, posting content, responding to comments, improving your reputation, setting up automation when necessary, following up with the marketing manager with success reports.
The practice is only required to send in a few photos or videos each month. Everything is taken care of by the manager beyond that.
You can rest assured that your consultant or manager knows the ins and outs of social media marketing strategies for dentists. They will be sharing photos, creating opportunities for engagement, and carrying out a plan for your campaign.
The dental social media package allows you to build an awesome online presence, whether your busy schedule allows you to stay engaged or not. You can participate as little or as much as you like.
It cannot be overstated how significant social media content is to the success of your practice, and the value of social media for dentists is only growing. Social media management for dentists can feel daunting. That’s where we can help.
We wanted to create a service that would be just as effective as hiring a social media marketing specialist but easy enough for dental professionals to do themselves, without breaking the bank.
We absolutely love working with dentists and orthodontists.
Our social media gurus are standing by to help you build your practice using social media. Just give us a call or request a dental social media demo.
What Happens When I Request a Demo from My Social Practice?
When you fill out a demo request, you’re not required to purchase anything. The purpose of the meeting is to see if we can align your expectations with the marketing services we provide. In most situations we are able to improve digital marketing results and save a dental practice hard earned dollars. In a few situations, we may not be able to help. But if that is the case, we’ll be honest and up front with you. You can count on transparency from every member of our team.
Our dental marketing consultants analyze your practice to identify weak areas that we can help improve, and also to see where we can best leverage your strengths. My Social Practice will tailor a personalized dental marketing strategy based on your practice size, patient needs, personality, staff, and location. We want to know everything we can about your practice to create the best possible course of action.
Frequently Asked Questions
On the low-cost end, many patient management services offer “social media” as a bonus or add-on for $50 – $150 per month. This type of social media marketing typically consists of pre-made graphics, posted automatically to your social media accounts once or twice a week. While this is certainly inexpensive, and checks the social media box, it’s not an effective way to run a social media campaign. Unfortunately, this is how many dental practices are currently running a social media campaign, and they don’t even know that it’s wasted money.
On the high-end of the social media for dentists marketing scale, are agencies. A marketing agency will design and develop custom content for your social media campaign. The content is usually fantastic but the budget is high. It’s typical to pay $5000+ depending on the services included in the package.
Enter…. My Social Practice. Our social media service fits nicely between these two extremes. We are far more unique and custom than auto-posted pre-made graphics solution, but not so custom that campaign costs are way out of reach for the majority of dentists.
We also are one of the only dental companies to offer managed social media services. This type of service allows our professional social media agents post, advertise, respond, and run full fledged campaigns on behalf of the practice.
Chat with us and get set up with what your dental practice needs, simple social media for dentists. No fluff or extras, just a great social media marketing plan that fits your practice. We offer the most valuable, out-of-the-box dental social media marketing solution on the planet.
Social media for dentists is the process of increasing dental practice revenue through attracting potential dental patients via online digital dental marketing methods. Social media for dentists creates awareness for a dental practice within the local community. When done successfully, social media for dentists has the power to target thousands of new patients. Social media allows potential patients to see exactly what your specialties are, as well as the culture and brand of your office.
In addition to social media for dentists, a dental practice should also use dental SEO, reputation management and Google review aggregation, paid social advertising, content creation, Google ads, email marketing, and dental website conversion techniques.
An integrated dental marketing plan that includes several of these services, will allow your office to stand out from the competition.
Many practices are effectively marketing their practices by posting relevant content to Facebook. Facebook has continually proven to be a successful social media tool in increasing awareness about a dental practice. It is important that dentists keep their Facebook marketing pages up to date with authentic photos and videos.
Authenticity is a big deal when it comes to social media for dentists. Dentistry is not an industry that crates a lot of interest. Even dentists get bored of dentistry. Think about how difficult it is to get a local consumer interested.
The best content to post to social media is content that is created inside your practice. Photos and videos of your team interacting with patients and each other. Check out one of our favorite dental social media clients in this case study.
Once upon a time… dental marketing was about word of mouth, billboards, television ads, radio ads, and shamelessly begging for referrals.
Then the internet happened, and social media for dentists has evolved into one of the most cost effective ways to market your dental practice. Social media for dentists is the new word-of-mouth-marketing.
Social media for dentists allows patients the ability to connect with your practice through the social media tool of their choice. This could be Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Nextdoor, Pinterest, LinkedIn, WhatApp, Youtube, and all the tools that are yet to come.
Dentists should focus on using Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok as the social media marketing platforms because these tools have the highest potential engagement in social media for dentists.
Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are incredibly effective because the algorithms give a dental practice a leg up on big brands with larger budgets. Social media for dentists is more effective because they can leverage personal relationships to increase engagement. And, engagement means more visibility.
Instagram marketing can be an important part of social media for dentists plan, but only if it is done correctly. To get the most benefit from Instagram, a dental practice should follow a dental marketing strategy that encourages engagement. The dental marketing strategy should include some fun content on the practice Instagram page, which will encourage people to engage with their page and share it with others.
About The Author:
Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and a key member of the dental social media team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping practices grow through social media for dentists. Interested in learning more about the benefits of social media for dentists please schedule a complimentary consultation. And, don’t forget to read our Google My Business reviews.