Dental Office Social Media Will Help Find Patients
Dental office social media is an excellent way to break the ice with new patients and help them overcome dental anxiety. Your dental social media presence is an integral part of how new and potential patients get to know you. Social media for dentists is a great way to spark a connection with them online. There’s a good chance they’ll be calling you later for an appointment! Plus, find a free download below to help you get started!
With everything that goes into running a successful dental practice, it’s a wonder that dental team members even have time to breathe. And with so much to do, it’s easy to delay things that you might see as ancillary to patient care, such as obtaining patient reviews and posting to dental office social media accounts. But, although a practice is built on clinical expertise and effective management, a practice thrives with smart marketing strategies and a strong online presence.
Getting started with dental digital marketing is easier than you think, and it doesn’t require a large time investment. In fact, most of our clients using our marketing tools report that they spend just a few minutes a day on it. Dental office social media ideas are easy with our simple tools and instructions.
If you just don’t know where to begin, start with these 3 most essential things you can start doing TODAY to build your online presence and help new patients find you. With just a small, consistent effort, you’ll get a taste of the different ways digital marketing can help you grow your practice.
1. Obtain Patient Reviews
Make it Easy for People to Read and Write Reviews Where They Want. Start by creating profiles on the three most prominent online reviews services: Google My Business, Facebook, and Healthgrades. Add your profile picture, address, hours, and other information that will make it easy for a patient to find you and leave a review, or for a potential patient to learn more and contact you.
Focus on the Patients Most Likely to Give You a Great Review. Set your team up for success by pulling up the day’s schedule and reviewing who is coming in. Identify one or two of your patients who love your practice and you suspect would be happy to leave you a review. Make specific assignments on which team member will ask them for a review and have them report back on how it went.
Just Ask — and Be Transparent. You know how crucial honest feedback and reviews are for building your practice. Let patients know how much you rely on reviews to improve your service and find more great patients like them. Remember, if you’re not asking for reviews, chances are you’ll only get one when a patient is unhappy!
2. Create Engaging Social Media Posts
Provide Value. First and foremost, the best way to build a dental office social media following that will benefit your business is to simply provide content that is worth people’s time. While brainstorming post ideas, ask yourself “What can I share that would improve patients’ lives?” Then, think about the best way to present it. This isn’t to say that everything you post needs to be educational — you can also provide value by giving fans a chance to win a prize, or just posting something to make them smile!
Make It Personal. One of the greatest strengths dental office social media offers as part of your dental marketing is its ability to build a sense of community. Focus on the needs, interests, and personalities of your patients and team members. By doing so, you create connections not as a business and its customers, but as friends. This is the most effective dental office social media strategy.
Invite Interaction. Fan participation — such as comments, Likes, and shares — amplifies the reach and effectiveness of dental Facebook posts. You might tell fans that they can enter to win a pair of movie tickets by commenting with their favorite character from the series. Or announce that if a post reaches a certain number of Likes, a hygienist will dress up as the tooth fairy for a day. Asking for feedback about your practice is also a great way to spark a conversation in your dental office social media.
3. Get Your Team Involved
Bring Up Social Media With Patients. Mention something fun your practice has done on social media recently. Example: “Did you see the Shark Week video we did on Facebook last week?”
Tell the Patient What’s in it for Them for Participating. Example: “If you take the 30-Day Flossing Challenge by sharing a photo today, you’ll be entered to win a pair of movie tickets!”
Express Your Appreciation for the Patient. Example: “We’re so grateful to have awesome patients like you, and when you write a review it helps more people find us!”
Encourage Team Members to Like and Share. Encourage your team members to check your practice’s pages often to stay up-to-date on giveaways, campaigns, and other fun things that patients would want to know about. By simply Liking your posts, or better yet, leaving short comments such as “I love working with this team!” or “We’re always happy to see our awesome patients!”, your team members can increase the reach and visibility of your practice’s posts.
These three key areas form the foundation of a solid dental office social media marketing plan, but we’ve only just scratched the surface!
Staying HIPAA-Compliant With Your Dental Office Social Media
That’s all very well about creating a great, inviting atmosphere with your dental office social media, but what about complying with HIPAA? Federal HIPAA regulations require all healthcare professionals to obtain permission before sharing patient photos, and the built-in HIPAA release form in My Social Practice’s photo editor app will enable you to quickly and easily get documented and signed permission for the photos you want to share and use for marketing purposes.
The HIPAA authorization process works the same way, whether a patient is taking a photo with the Photo Booth or you’re taking one with the mobile Publisher app. When you take photos on mobile devices using the app, after you’ve edited the photo to your liking, a box will pop up asking if there are any patients in the photo. If there are, tap yes, then fill in the patient’s phone number or email.
When you tap Send, the image will be saved to your practice’s photo library. Along with the photo itself, your patient will receive a text or email with a link that takes them to a HIPAA release form designed to give your practice permission to use the image for marketing purposes. The patient will be directed to slightly different versions of the release form, depending on whether the photo shows only an adult patient, an adult patient with minor children, or minor patient children only.
Next, the form will ask for a first name, last name, and digital signature. The patient can read through the full release form if desired before they sign. Once they complete the form, they’ll see a confirmation screen thanking them for letting you use their photo, and you can include it in your dental office social media without any HIPAA concerns!
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 dental practices grow. 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.