Social media is no longer the new phenomenon we sometimes still think of it as – Facebook was launched in 2004. But there are still many dental practices who have yet to fully utilise the opportunities that Facebook – and other platforms such as Instagram – can bring to their businesses.
A lot of practices now have a social media presence, which is great. Being regularly active on those social networks is better. And being engaging is even better: it can help you to attract new patients, recruit new staff, build your brand and strengthen your relationships with existing patients.
These are just some of the reasons why you should consider upping your social media game, making it your business New Year’s resolution, and below are some ways to take it to the next level.
Use videos, not just pictures
Videos are a great way to bring your practice to life and are more likely to capture peoples’ attention than plain text or a static image. You don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment, a mobile phone will suffice, but it’s worth taking some time before you begin recording to make sure you know what you want to capture, the lighting is good and the background is uncluttered and not too distracting.
When people on social media are scrolling through posts, they don’t want to spend a long-time watching videos so make sure they are relatively short – a couple of minutes long is plenty. You can show off your practice’s personality and culture, for example if you do any fundraising activities, by creating a short fun film.
You can also film different members of the team explaining their role and how they help patients, or willing patients who have undergone successful treatment, and clinical staff explaining particular treatments and the benefits to patients. Try to keep it free of dental jargon and focused on the team and what you do for patients.
Don’t put all your eggs in one social network
The average person has more than seven social media accounts, so having a presence on multiple social networks is worth considering. Instagram is the second fastest growing social network (behind Facebook, and joint with WhatsApp), so if you don’t already have an account it could be an untapped resource for engaging with new and existing patients.
A lot of the same principles for success that apply to Facebook, are also relevant to Instagram – keep it short, friendly, patient-focused and use images and, wherever possible, video. You can make it easier to keep active across multiple platforms by using scheduling software, some of which is available for free.
Create and share success stories
Stories are more interesting to read than dry facts or a sales pitch. For example, if you want to promote teeth whitening you might consider using a video testimonial from a patient explaining what impact having the treatment had on them, i.e. how they feel more confident, or are happier with their smile, etc.
If a video isn’t possible, you can – with the patient’s consent – use before and after photos and a quote about the difference it has made to them. This is more likely to resonate with people compared to a post explaining the technical detail of the treatment or simply a post stating that you offer the service and the price.
You can use social media to shout about your successes – and if you are able to talk about these stories from the point of view of a third party, i.e. your patients, they will be even more credible. As well as patient testimonials, you can also talk about staff gaining new qualifications, any award wins, business milestones and investments, etc.
These are just three of the ways your practice can maximise your presence on social media and boost not just your online followers but also potentially your patient list and income. So, why not give them a try and start 2019 with a bang!