Social media is everywhere these days. But most dentists are too busy to engage with websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Dentists know that it is good practice to get their surgery online via this medium, but sometimes lack the knowledge about how to go about actually doing it.
Take a look at this from the patient’s perspective. The majority of this generation access most of their information on Facebook, and if they were to search for the dentist’s surgery on Facebook, they would see reviews of the surgery, aswell as browse the latest offers that the surgery is providing.
When the patients like the dental surgery profile, they will see the dental surgery’s status updates of the latest offers for “extras”, such as teeth whitening. If they see regular status updates, this will keep the name of the dental surgery in the mind of the patient, and when they do need dental treatment, they will be more likely to visit as a result. Aswell as this, other dental professionals may look out for dental jobs at the surgery and like the page for this reason aswell.
Social media marketing will cost you money and time, and is certainly not a quick fix. You shouldn’t expect overnight success with patients clambering to like your page. It will start off slow, and the more people that like the page, the number of “likers” will grow – if you post regular content in the form of exclusive offers or information that patients may find useful.
Sometimes it’s very difficult to quantify or measure the results of social media marketing and the effects that it has on your dental surgery. For example, it’s hard to directly correlate your efforts on social media to hits to your website for example, or whether your social media efforts lead to greater patient signups. Too many people will just view social media marketing as a “return on investment” – by that I mean looking at how much money they take in as a result of their social media marketing practices compared with the amount of money they put in.
It is safe to say that social media will not revolutionize the success of your practice. In my view, it may in fact change how you practice. Of the patients that will embrace social media, they may give you more of these precious referrals. These referrals in my view will power your practice to success. Patients who like your surgery, whilst leaving a good review, will in essence be communicating to their friends that they recommend your surgery, which will lead to more referrals.
Sometimes a lot of dentists think that social media is not for them, as they want to come across as professional as possible, and Facebook may not convey that sense of professionalism that patients are seeking. They may also be worried about any negative reviews that Facebook users provide on the surgery’s page, so the Facebook page may be a vulnerability for the practice, as patients may be more likely to complain about the standard of care that they received. At the end of the day, a dentist can’t please every patient!