Social media has changed the game in dental business.

It’s no longer enough for dentists to rely on patient loyalty and quality care as their sole marketing strategy.

It just won’t cut it when it comes to generating new patients…and keeping them.

Part of any dentist’s approach to marketing must now include a sharp social media plan.

“That’s great”, I hear most dentists say, “but how do I fit social media in on top of everything else? I’m a business owner, clinician, human resources manager and financial manager.”

The frustration felt by most dentists around social media is understandable.

Without understanding the fundamentals – and their importance – social media can seem like hard work. And lots of it.

But it needn’t be.

Yes, there’s groundwork to be done, but once this is in place, social media can be straightforward.

Read on for five surprisingly simple tips that will make it easy for any dentist.

#1 Know Your Ideal Patient

Marketing 101 says every business owner should know their ideal customer.

That includes dentists.

While we might be tempted to treat any person with a pulse, that’s not ideal for business purposes.

When it comes to social media, it’s pivotal you know your target market.

When you do, you’ll know where they hang out online.

Are they mostly on Facebook?

Do they spend most of their ‘social’ time on LinkedIn?

Is Instagram their thing?

When you understand your ideal patient’s behaviour, and how it’s reflected online, you can then tailor your social media strategy to suit.

It will help you to know what to post and when.

#2 Pick a Platform (or two) and Do It Well

When we get going on social media, there’s a temptation to launch ourselves, or our business, on multiple platforms.

While this might seem like a good idea, unless the fundamentals are in place, it isn’t the wisest move.

Instead, it is preferable for you to pick between one and three platforms and do these well.

If your practice is more a family dentist, you might focus on Facebook first.

And if you’re a city dental practice with predominantly corporate patient base, then LinkedIn might be a better option to start with.

You might throw YouTube into the mix for good measure because video connects so strongly with people.

With social media, the key is to play to the strength of each platform.

This allows for a good marketing mix across each one.

#3 Set Up A Profile That Appeals

How many of us have opened up the social media profile of a business and found it wanting.

More beige than bursting with energy and enthusiasm, we’re inclined to move on quickly.

But what if that’s our social media profile? Or the profile for our business?

The way to avoid beige is to set up your business’ social media profiles in an eye-catching way that positions you as an authority; someone with skills, knowledge and industry expertise.

As an important initial touchpoint for potential patients, your image headline content needs to capture attention immediately.

In the same way, your banner image must be tied to a benefit statement, i.e. why your dental practice is great.

These two together must stop prospective patients in their tracks – in a second.

The cost benefit for not doing this well is significant.

It could literally be tens of thousands of dollars over a patient’s lifetime.

When we talk dollars like that, it makes the effort to prepare a solid social profile worthwhile.

#4 Be Social Every Day

Once your profiles up and running, it’s important you’re active on them each day.

The days of social media being a sometimes thing are well and truly gone.

Not being active each day means you’re doing the offline equivalent of standing in the corner at a dental conference.

Being active on social media means: posting articles, sharing your business’ news and engaging with your audience – your potential patients.

It also means liking, commenting, and sharing industry news.

A lot of dentists ask me, “What’s the point?”

The point is, this is how patients get to know, like and trust you before they make it to the treatment chair.

Now more than ever, people are taking the time to research and learn more before they make a final purchase decision.

The good news is you can post the same blog, article or video many times across multiple platforms at different times.

Even if someone does happen to see it more than once, that post is helping build awareness and trust.

Vital ingredients in every buying choice, this is helping deliver value.

It also lays the groundwork for the next step.

#5 Ask For The Order

In sales parlance, there’s a term that used to describe when it’s time to make a sale

It’s called, asking for the order.

When we’ve laid the groundwork, building relationship, rapport and trust, it’s a logical progression to “ask for the order”.

As dentists, it means asking for a referral or booking the next appointment.

For many dentists, this can be easier said than done.

However, I like to think of it this way: if we’ve done the work, demonstrated value, and we’re helping a patient realise great health outcomes, we’re doing them a favour when we ask for the order.

In the world of social media, asking for the order translates as clear calls to action.

Like us on Facebook.

Share this post.

Have you done a Google review?

If we’ve managed the steps well up to this point, it’s okay to ask for the order.

Final Words….

Social media is part of dental business now.

Taking time to build understanding and implement a strategy is essential for dental business success.

Rather than see it as too hard, take a simpler approach.

Work through methodically to build the skills and framework that will allow you to grow and scale your business socially.