Marketing For Dental Practices: 6 Strategies To Fill Schedule Gaps

By November 18, 2020 September 16th, 2021 No Comments

dental marketing

If there is one thing that we know for sure, it’s that social media is influencing the decisions of dental patients immensely. The most effective marketing for dental practices is happening on social media more every day. In this article, we are going to talk through 6 social media action items that you can use right now to attract new patients using the principles of persuasion. 

The principles of influence and persuasion play an enormous role in the success of marketing for dental practices.

Powerful dental social media uses digital marketing to grow your dental practice, attain new patients, and maintain strong relationships with the ones that you have.

According to Robert Cialdini, a researcher on what leads people to say “yes”, says that there are 6 principles of persuasion. What do these principles have to do with attracting new patients to your dental office?

marketing for dental practices

What role does social media play in attracting AND retaining patients? How does social media influence people’s decisions?

Social media influences us a lot. Maybe more than we care to admit. Social media affects how we think and how we act. There is no denying that social media has influenced people from their political and social opinions to what businesses they buy from.

Some aspects of social media might seem questionable. However, there are many positive aspects to consider when using social media to attract new patients to your dental practice. The best marketing strategies for dental practices in today’s world are done using social media.

dental marketing support

67% of people say that they are likely to purchase a product or service after a friend or family member shares it via social media. 

74% of consumers allow social media proof to influence their purchasing decisions.

72% of Instagram users say that they have purchased a product that they saw on the Instagram app.

Brian Solis, a well-known speaker, author, and digital analyst said, “Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.”

The reason that social media is so effective is that it allows you to reach people emotionally and socially. This is why the best dental marketing strategies include social media. Strong digital marketing strategies for dentists means more thriving practices. Your future patients worry less about the technology and clinical side of your dental practice as they do about how they will be treated during their visit and the kind of experience you can provide. The ideas in this blog are designed as content marketing for dentists.

Let’s dive into the 6 social media action items that you can use right now.

The first principle of persuasion is reciprocity.

Essentially, reciprocity means that as people we feel obligated to return favors to people who have done favors for us.

The action item tied to reciprocity is to give another local business in your community a “shout out” on your dental social media accounts!

Visit a local business in your area and post about how much you appreciate them. Successful social media marketing for dental offices means connecting with your community. Make sure to tag the business in your post! Do this for multiple businesses in your area to start building relationships with them.

social media marketing for dental

What can you expect from creating strong ties and “shouting out” local businesses? What will happen is they will return the favor and share about your practice on their accounts.

Slave Lake Dental talked about a local boutique in one of their posts and you can see that the boutique returned the favor! These two businesses are now sharing audiences and getting the word out to a larger number of local individuals.

social dental

If you don’t have time to visit a business and snap a photo, there is another strategy to doing this. Take a screen capture of the Instagram page of the business and share that to your account saying how much you like them.

dental marketing strategies

Another strategy for making connections with other local businesses is to buy a gift card from that business and run a small social media giveaway on your page. If you tag the business, they will share your post on their page.

dental marketing strategy

Doing favors and creating ties with businesses in your area means that they will do those same favors in return.

The second principle of persuasion is scarcity.

The lesson here is that people value scarce commodities and information more than things that are in abundance.

The action item tied to scarcity is to boost a dental social media post that focuses on a unique benefit of your practice, and what patients stand to lose if they don’t come to you.

Take a selfie-style video and explain a service that is unique to your practice. Use your phone to talk directly to your patients about a service you provide.

In your video, emphasize that a lot of people need what you offer but you have limited appointment times available.

Here is an example by Precision Dental- Bowling Green:

dental marekting strategies that work

Boost your video to your local geographic area telling people to send you a message if they are interested in your service!

If you are uneasy about taking a video of yourself talking, enlist someone else to take the video for you. Make sure to talk about how many people want to service and that appointments are filling fast.

social media dental marketing

The third principle of persuasion is authority.

Authority is that we believe what other trustworthy and credible sources say.

The social media action item for authority is to get just ONE influential current patient to talk about you to their followers.

In your next team huddle, ask your dental team if they know of any current patients that have a larger local following. For example, over 3K followers.

Think of these categories of patients to help you find someone: Are any of your patients’ athletes? Podcasters? Photographers? Bloggers? Musicians, artists, or stylists?

marketing for dentists

Once you have decided on a patient, reach out to them and offer a free or discounted service in exchange for posting about you.

Here is a great example of a micro-influencer with local followers. Her dentist offered her a discount on veneers to share about her experience on her social media platform.

dental social media

She shared about her new smile, tagged the practice, and talked about how much she enjoyed her experience at the office.

Here are just a few messages she received after sharing her experience:

This is a perfect example of authority. Instead of asking the dentist about the treatment, they are asking someone that they already know and trust. This kind of recommendation makes future potential patients loyal to you before they even step foot in your practice.

“A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message.” – Mark Zuckerburg

The next principle of persuasion is commitment.

Commitment means that if people make small, voluntary, public commitments, they will follow through with larger commitments in the future.

The social media idea action item tied to commitment is a simple one. Ask for a photo, like, or follow. Great social media marketing for dental office

Something that we have been doing for a long time here at My Social Practice, is providing opportunities to take photos.

Ask a patient to take a photo with you for you to share on the practice’s social media platforms. Do this the easy way with MSP’s photobooth and photo-sharing app.

If you use our app or use your own HIPAA forms, you will want to make sure that you have HIPAA-authorization before you share the photo to your pages.

marketing strategies for dental

Next, invite your patient to share the photo to their own feed or story. It could be uncomfortable to ask patients to share so lighten things up by incentivizing them with a giveaway. Explain that they will be entered to win your giveaway.

While your patients are in your office, ask them to follow you Instagram or Facebook pages face-to-face.

The conversation could go something like this:

online marketing strategies for dentists

If you ask in the right way, most patients will be happy to help you out.

This practice placed a gift basket on their front desk and asked patients to like and comment on their pages for a chance to win.

strategies for dental marketing

You could also put up table tents with codes that link directly to your Instagram and Facebook pages for easy follows.

The fifth principle of persuasion in dental marketing is the liking principle.

This principle says that if people like you, they are more likely to say yes.

The social media action item with liking is to build relationships with others by engaging with them on social media.

Are you still sending your patients birthday cards like this? These aren’t bad, per se, but there are better ways to show patients that you care.

online dental marketing help

Blake Hadley, President of My Social Practice, recently shared a photo of his newborn twin boys. Hammons Family Dental took the time to write a short personal message to congratulate Blake.

social media marketing for dentistry

This kind of marketing for dental practices is what works. This interaction is much more powerful than sending the same birthday card to every patient. If you could spend 5 to 10 minutes a day commenting on posts, it would go a long way.

Another way to get people to like you is to use local hashtags to find local influencers to engage with.

marketing dental practices

When you share like-able and engaging content patients lean in. People like doing business with people that they like and relate to. Dr. Peter H. Yi, DDS, PS donated masks to a local hospital, check out one of the comments from a patient:

online dental marekting ideas

If you do things that resonate with people, they will be your patient for life.

Another way to be liked is to show how much you care about keeping your valued patients safe. People will “like” you when they feel safe with you!

dental social media

The final principle of persuasion is consensus.

Consensus means that people will do things that they see others doing. We call this “social proof”

The social media action item for this is to get more online reviews!

Robert C. Cialdini said, “We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.”

To get more reviews, ask patients that you KNOW would give you a positive review. Look at your schedule each day and choose one or two patients you have a good relationship with to ask for a review.

Ask those patients for a review as though it is a personal favor to you. Ask them to “help you out” by sharing their experience on Facebook and Google.

dental reviews

Make it easy!

online dental reputation

Show off some of your great reviews on your social pages! Lake Oconee Dentistry, PC shared a review they received that demonstrates how safe patients feel while they are in the office.

dental reputation management

When you are a busy dentist, there is a lot to stay on top of. Let the dental social media experts at My Social Practice help you!

We will assign you your own personal social media consultant that will customize a solution for your unique practice.

We provide social media post ideas and props so you never have to think about what to post again. Get new followers, engagement, and reach new patients with our Photo Idea Box.

social media ideas for dental

We provide a full dental marketing solution for your practice, not just social media. To really have effective and successful online dental marketing you’ll need to combine the power of great SEO, dental website, online reviews and social media to thrive.

Whatever your digital marketing needs are, we can help.

Set up a quick call to talk about how we can help!


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About the Author: Natalie Marinos is an expert dental marketer and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Natalie is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of SEO for dental practices or our dental websites service, you can learn more here.