Companies are under pressure to provide rapid, effective customer service across multiple channels of engagement. Without a customer-focused self-service strategy, they risk falling behind, losing customer loyalty and damaging their reputation. This is true not only with traditional retail companies, but with healthcare services as well. Dental offices, in particular, are under a lot of scrutiny when it comes to maintaining a professional appearance and prioritizing customer satisfaction and engagement. With this in mind, it makes sense for all dental practices to have some sort of social media presence. Here are just a few social media marketing tips that any dental office can manage.
Understand The ‘Dental Marketing Dilemma’
First, it’s important to recognize that marketing your dental practice isn’t like selling traditional products or services, where the objective is essentially to convince your audience to give you business. People already know that dental care is an essential component of overall health. On the other hand, the average time people wait for another dental appointment is three years, so the challenge is to encourage people to make and remember to show up to their appointments, among other things.
“Clothing stores, software companies, restaurants and other industries have to convince people that what they’re selling is worth their money — even if it’s something they don’t need…The challenges most dentists face are simply getting people to remember to schedule their appointments, and helping them overcome the fear and anxiety associated with dental visits. Ultimately, it comes down to building trust and earning a patient’s confidence,” writes Rebekah Carter on Sprout Social.
With than in mind, your social media strategy should be aimed at promoting positive oral hygiene habits as opposed to simply advertising your specific practice.
Engage With Customers
Of course, engaging with customers should also be a main priority across all of your dental practice’s social media platforms. According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, and if a patient has an inquiry about their upcoming appointment, a comment about the service they received, or even a general question surrounding dental health, they should feel confident reaching out to your practice on social media and knowing they’ll receive a prompt response. This means that you should have a system in place that prioritizes timeliness across all platforms.
Share Positive Experiences
Finally, make sure to showcase what makes your practice unique when sharing experiences of patients and staff. Never photograph a patient without their permission, of course, but on a day to day basis, you’ll find that there are plenty of experiences that could be considered ‘share-worthy.’ According to data from Benedict Evans, people share 730 billion photos per year on Facebook, and experts say Facebook is ideal for showcasing photos of your team and office and linking to relevant local news articles. Consistently ask for input to make sure your customers’ voices are being heard.
Ultimately, it’s okay to go through a trial-and-error process when determining the social media strategy that works for your dental office’s evolving marketing needs. As long as you prioritize patient engagement, advocate for your own employees, and maintain a friendly, personable, and available online presence, you’ll have no problem finding the best solution.
“If you can recognize the importance of building a relationship with your audience through social channels, you can begin to create a brand that’s more credible, trustworthy and appealing for today’s patients,” Carter writes. “Prove to your audience that they can trust you, and you’ll look forward to an army of happy patients who no longer dread going to the dentist.”