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Digital Marketing in Dentistry: Elevating Your Practice with Social Media  

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Are you ready to learn more about ClearDent Practice Management solutions?

Are you ready to learn more about ClearDent Practice Management solutions?

Authored by marketing strategist, Robin Jones, this is the sixth in a seven-part digital marketing for dentistry series. 

In today’s digital game, having a robust online presence is paramount for businesses, and that includes dental practices. Social media, in particular, has evolved from a platform for personal expression to an important business tool. For dental clinics, leveraging social media is not just an option but a necessity to stay relevant, engage with patients, and attract new ones – especially the younger generations. Let’s dive into why social media is pivotal for dental practices, which platforms matter, best practices to follow, and whether to DIY or hire a professional agency. 

 

Social Media for Dental Practices – Do You Need It? 

Absolutely. The question is no longer about needing social media but rather how effectively you use it. Social media offers a direct line of communication to your current and potential patients, providing a platform to stay top of mind, showcase your services, share educational content, and build trust with your audience. It’s a powerful tool for creating brand awareness, with the potential to find new patients and get current patients more engaged. Moreover, it enhances your search engine rankings, making it easier for patients to find you online. 

 

What Social Platforms are Important for Your Dental Clinic? 

Facebook and Instagram (META) 

For most dental clinics, Facebook and Instagram are essential. They are ideal for showcasing before-and-after photos, sharing testimonials, and posting educational videos. These platforms also offer targeted advertising options, allowing you to reach potential patients in your local area. 

Twitter 

Though not as visual as Instagram or Facebook, Twitter is excellent for quick updates, sharing links to your blog posts, or engaging in conversations about dental health and industry trends.  

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is the hub for professional networking, attracting talent, and establishing the credibility of your dental practice. Share industry news, achievements, and professional tips here.  

TikTok 

For more forward-thinking clinics, TikTok offers an opportunity to reach a younger demographic through fun and informative short videos.  

 

Social Media Best Practices   

  1. Consistency is Key: Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged. 
  2. Quality Over Quantity: Share high-quality, informative, and visually appealing content. 
  3. Engage With Your Audience: Respond to comments, messages, and reviews to build a community around your practice. 
  4. Educate and Inform: Use your platforms to share dental tips, explain procedures, and debunk myths. 
  5. Promotions and Offers: Share exclusive promotions or discounts to social media followers to encourage loyalty and new patient sign-ups. 

 

Creating a Plan and Social Media Strategy for Your Practice 

Developing a social media strategy involves setting clear goals, understanding your audience, and planning your content in advance. Identify what you want to achieve through social media, be it increasing brand awareness, boosting patient engagement, or driving traffic to your website where they can book appointments using online booking tools. Know your audience’s demographics, preferences, and pain points to tailor your content. Finally, create a content calendar to plan your posts, including a mix of educational content, promotional offers, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your clinic. 

 

DIY or Hire a Digital Agency? 

This decision hinges on your budget, time, and expertise. If you’re just starting out or have a small team, you might initially take a DIY approach to manage social media in-house. This allows you to maintain a personal touch and immediate control over your content (especially since you have direct access to social content in the form of photos, videos, and more that an external provider won’t). As your practice grows, the complexities of managing multiple platforms, creating content, and running ads might necessitate hiring a freelancer or digital marketing agency. Agencies bring expertise, resources, and tools to craft and execute a comprehensive social media strategy, ensuring your online presence is both professional and effective. 

 

Words of Wisdom from a 30-Year Marketing Veteran

OK. I have a confession to make. I have a total love-hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, I am fully entertained scrolling through feeds seeing the weird, wacky, funny and heartfelt memes and other content out there. That said, I post very little on my own accounts. Not being a digital native, social media is something I just am not super comfortable “doing”. I live in fear of posting the wrong thing on the wrong platform to the wrong group. (queue the eye roll from my daughters…)

As a marketer, however, I have seen first-hand the absolute power social media yields when done well. I’ve had clients see notable business growth come from dedicated social programming. And truth be told, it’s another piece in the marketing puzzle. Without it, your marketing mix is incomplete.  

When I first thought about social media in dentistry, I thought, “Really, it is that important?”. Then I started to think about it more deeply and my answer was “yes”. Truth be told, no one is chomping at the bit (no pun intended) to go to the dentist even though we all know we need to go regularly. And it’s easy to forget things you don’t really want to do. So right out of the gates, social media is an easy way to stay top of mind with your patients.  

My second thought was around the “fear” of dentist visits. Drills, needles, scraping, and so on do not conjure up “positive vibes”. But truly, visits to the dentist have become much more pleasant over the years and there’s nothing like walking out with freshly cleaned teeth! Amplifying the positives, whether that be innovative new treatment capabilities, patient experiences, and new staff members can go a long way in keeping patients engaged and coming back. 

And of course, there’s all the other reasons mentioned above. 

 

In Closing 

Social media represents a vital aspect of digital marketing for dental practices. It’s an investment in your brand’s online presence, patient engagement, and ultimately, the growth of your practice. Whether you choose to manage it in-house or hire professionals, the key is to start with a clear strategy, remain consistent, and always be authentic to your brand’s voice. Embrace the power of social media, and watch your dental practice thrive in the digital age. 

At ClearDent, we partner with Social Ordeals, experts in digital marketing for dentistry, to offer a comprehensive online marketing solution. Social Ordeals has developed a platform and services that help dental practices monitor, manage, and build their online reputations and brands. From building or refreshing your website, to search engine optimization, to digital advertising and more, Social Ordeals coupled with ClearDent’s patient engagement solutions is a win-win for today’s modern dental practice. 

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