We asked over 600 dental practices to us about the biggest roadblock to building their online presence and using social media to marketing their dental office. Can you guess the top answer? It was “It is too hard, and takes up too much time to come up with ideas and create posts.”
Maybe you’re not surprised, because this is how you feel in your own practice’s social media endeavors. Running a marketing campaign can feel unattainable but trust us, it’s much easier than you might think.
In this article, you will learn from real dental and orthodontic practices who have gone from searching the web for something to post, to easily creating personalized and unique social media content that builds their practices.
Why is social media marketing for dentists so important?
Social media marketing gives your practice the ability to stay on your patient’s minds. Almost everyone nowadays scrolls through Facebook at Instagram throughout the day. When your patients scroll through and see your posts, it helps them think about you when they otherwise wouldn’t.
This kind of awareness not only helps you stay personally connected to your patients but also reminds patients to reschedule that appointment or refer your practice to a friend. Social media brings your practice into your patient’s homes and everyday interactions. Your marketing plan is about bringing in new patients, yes. However, it is also about making sure your community knows where to get the dental care they need. At the end of the day, these dental marketing tips are about ensuring great dental health for your community.
Additionally, search engines (Like Google!) and social media platforms give superiority to content that meets people’s needs, connects with them on a personal level, and is relevant to their interests and communities.
When people come across worthwhile content, they’re far more likely to like and comment on it. Content marketing means more interaction, strengthened patient relationships, and expanded visibility for your dental practice.
The team at Erin McLendon, DDS, went from wasting precious time searching for something to post to easily creating their own unique, personalized, and engaging social media content!
Becoming a true social practice requires a change in your team’s mindset.
It’s a shift from just “selling treatment” to “building lifelong healthcare relationships.” It’s about becoming comfortable sharing the human side of your dental practice. It’s about looking for opportunities to continue the positive patient experience through social media, long after a patient has left their appointment.
A great example of this type of practice transformation is Erin McLendon, DDS. They went from wasting time sharing boring, generic posts to posting engaging content that attracted attention from their local audience.
We talked with the Office Manager at Erin McLendon DDS, Brittany Tadlock, about the benefits they have seen from using My Social Practice’s dental social media ideas.
“Our patients and community get the opportunity to know our staff and recognize them by name, not just Dr. McLendon. We’ve also seen an increase in follow up visits. If we are constantly in front of a patient on social media, it reminds them to schedule their appointments. Patients see us as more personable and not so stiff.”
Michelle Camp, patient care, and marketing coordinator at Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontic explain which social media efforts have been most effective for growing their practice. Take something from what their team has learned to apply in your own social media strategy!
“The social media tool or tactic that has been most successful has been our “Fun Fact Friday”–where each staff member shares a little fact about themselves that our patients may not otherwise know. People love getting to know our staff and doctors through these posts. Our patients look forward to this post in particular because it is fun to see everyone’s unique answers while also thinking about what their answer would be for each week’s fun fact.”
Dental social media is about looking for opportunities to continue the positive patient experience long after a patient has left their appointment.
Contemporary Dentistry is one such team that knows how to stay connected with dental patients on social media! Their fun team culture, sincere care for patients, and passion for total well-being shine through in their online presence.
Because of this, patients are eager to share their content, participate in contests and giveaways, and introduce their friends and family to the practice. These are helpful for dentists by dentists’ Facebook and Instagram ideas.
Hoda Winkler, director of practice growth and development for Contemporary Dentistry, shares some insight on their marketing strategy. She shares how they are growing their practice and what’s been working for them.
What has been the biggest challenge of dental social media marketing for you?
“Our biggest ‘a-ha moment’ has been realizing that people just want to feel that you’re real and that they can relate to you. The more authentic we show we are as people and not just a dental practice, the more connected patients and prospective patients feel.”
“Facebook Live has been a big success for us, as well as the ‘In My Feelings Challenge’ — we got almost 15,000 views and 22 shares, and lots of engagement! Patients have asked the doctors, ‘Oh, was that you dancing while seeing that patient?’ Then they share a laugh together.”
“Patients enjoy seeing us have fun, which helps lessen the anxiety often associated with coming to the dentist office.”
Hoda Winkler shares some of their challenges as well,
“I think the HARDEST part of social media marketing is figuring out the algorithm and all of the technical details. But I know I can always call Alex, my consultant at My Social Practice. She’s pretty awesome!”
“I asked Alex for help with a social movement project I’m working on launching, and she shared my inquiry with the My Social Practice team. In less than 24 hours, she submitted a number of helpful hashtags that we could use for our project! There’s nothing like personable customer service!”
Michelle Wood, Director of Patient Experience at Gentle Dental of Siloam Springs, gives some advice to dental practice’s just started out on social media.
“Keep in touch with patients is fun! It’s a non-clinical way to show off our team’s personality. This forms a foundation of trust that will pay off in spades in word-of-mouth referrals.”
Looking for inspiration on how to get your team members and patients more involved? Look no further than s.m.i.l.e Dental!
S.m.i.l.e Dental has been able to get patients to participate through fun and consistent content. The practice manager, Dana Stavole, gave us some insight into how social media has helped them attract new patients.
“The biggest surprise about social media has been the fact that people love seeing what is happening in our office. The more we share about what we do and the silly things we post really engage our patients and helps to bring new ones to us.”
Wheeler Orthodontics has seen significant benefits to using social media marketing like dental SEO. Marketing Coordinator Jacquelin Wheeler explains,
“The number one benefit to our practice due to our dental social media marketing efforts is that search engines find us and provide our name when potential patients and current patients search for an orthodontist. We have had wonderful reviews. Parents really like it when we post pictures of their kids with braces just on or just off.”
“We were told that the more personal the post, the more engagement we would see. That really hit me with the first Christmas Lunch post that we did. It was just a picture of us all out to lunch together. We couldn’t believe how many people took the time to engage with that post!”
Getting over initial doubts about using social media to marketing your practice is something nearly all our clients face.
Sharing your team culture online, involving your patients in social media, and asking for reviews all take you out of your comfort zone. Check out Adventure Dental and you’ll see why it’s worth it!
Adventure Dental maintains a fun and well-rounded online presence. They post valuable content to their social media pages regularly. Additionally, they run great practice campaigns, have prize giveaways, and include their patients whenever they can. They also really impressed us with their patient reviews! With over 400 favorable reviews across Google and Facebook, Adventure Dental has elevated their profile as the premier pediatric dental practice in their community — and parents are noticing.
We reached out to Jenny Moses, a Marketing Specialist at Adventure Dental. She gives us some understanding of how social media is growing their practice.
“Social media connects us to our patients. For example, we have a summer contest, ‘Don’t be BORED, get on BOARD.’ We had our patients send us pictures and post pictures on our social media profiles how they were not BORED this summer. We were able to see what our patients were doing this summer and comment on their posts.”
Allie Widenhouse, office manager at Oak Ridge Dental Arts Rockwell says this about dental social media marketing,
“In turn, they get to know us and what we are all about. Our mission is: Big kids taking care of little kids — one tooth, one smile, one family at a time. We want our patients and their families to know how much we love what we do at the office. Social media is how we can capture that.”
Social media for dental offices is about growing through increasing reach, enhancing local reputation, and building relationships with patients and potential patients.
My Social Practice has remained laser-focused on these key objectives for over a decade as we’ve built the perfect dental social media solution.
We know social media can be difficult. It doesn’t matter if you have little or no digital marketing experience. There has never been a better time to start building your dental practice’s online presence. Request a free demo of our services and we’d love to show you step-by-step how to do it! My Social Practice is a dental marketing company that tailors your dental marketing. Your marketing strategy will be tuned to exactly what your dental practice needs to be successful.
(Some of the responses in this blog have been edited for length and clarity.)