Dentists, like any other profession, can benefit greatly from social media and especially interacting with their customers via Facebook, Twitter and other networks. Of course, it’s not enough just to have a profile and expect results to magically come your way. You need to work hard to engage your audience and make the visitor participate.
Social media is crucial for any company’s online presence and things are not different here when it comes to dentists. You will need to roll up your sleeves, but if you put your back to the task and follow the next 10 tips, you’ll soon find your dentist site leading the online race by a mile.
1. Post regularly
Social media won’t do you or the people you want to target any good if you are posting or tweeting every 2-3 weeks. Users demand to be constantly updated with new things from you. No one will look twice at your Facebook page if he sees that the last post you made was in 2013.
2. Think about what you’re posting
On the other hand, what you post is equally, if not more important, than how often you post. Make sure that you only post something that is relevant to your niche. If you have something funny or interesting to tweet but that has nothing to do with dentistry in any shape or form, you always have your own personal profile for that.
3. Choose the right platform(s)
Facebook, with its billion active users every month is a true must for any company these days, but that does not mean you can or should ignore other platforms.
Twitter is also a strong platform with over 270 million active users and is perfect if you want to quickly update your customers. Instagram is quickly gaining on Twitter when it comes to followers and other platforms, such as Google +, Tumblr and Pinterest all have plenty of benefits as well.
Start with the two primary platforms, Facebook and Twitter. Post interesting consumer messaging on Facebook, while Twitter can be for short, more newsy posts and links to interesting articles.
Creating some fun how-to graphics on Pinterest and Instagram can lead to more bursts of followers.
4. Honor your brand strategy, but don’t get too formal
Dentistry is a serious profession and it stands to reason that dentist websites lean more toward the professional tone. With social media, and that’s regardless of which one(s) you pick for your platform, you can unbutton your shirt a little and not worry so much about being “prim and proper” all the time.
However, don’t go far away from your relaxed approach, as this can hurt the way people look at your credibility and expertise. A conversational tone without too much technical talk is what you should be aiming for here.
5. Always prepare before you post
Most dentists don’t have a problem with social media as it is, but simply don’t have the time on their hands to update their profiles. Because of this, their Facebook page has the same status since the day they first opened it and the only time they tweet something is on weekends and holidays.
Fortunately, there are plenty of automated tools that can help you by posting pre-loaded content for you. This way, you can concentrate almost fully on your dentist practice and worry less about updating your profile.
However, even with the best automated posting tool you should still check on your profiles now and then to prepare the next updates and to make sure everything is running tip-top.
6. Post regularly, but don’t over-post
It’s a thin line between being appreciated by your followers for the news and updates you send their way and being chased with pitchforks for over-posting.
Lest you want followers to leave you faster than some of them can jump from a dentist chair, you need to limit your daily posting. Remember, you can always post it tomorrow.
7. Communication is the key
Most people simply post something on their company page and expect their followers to comment on that.
This is not enough by a large margin. If you manage to get people to comment on your post, make sure to follow up their comments with at least a courtesy “thank you”. Social media is intended to be a two-way street for both parties (you and the visitors) to communicate and you should use this.
8. Get personal with your followers
Your social media page serves to remind people that you are a person of flesh and bone, just like they are. Don’t be afraid to showcase your office as a place where actual people care for actual patients. A sure way to connect with followers on a more personal level is to have your employees showcase their sense of humor and positive side.
9. Celebrate shareability
The best thing about social media is that you don’t have to do all the work yourself. You just need to post something interesting and make sure that it’s easily shareable.
Of course, not everything you post is equal when it comes to sharing. Inforgraphics, with some good and interesting information, a good viral video or even a simple link or a blurb will get much more and much faster shares online than a long-winded text.
10. Finally, monitor, track and analyze
Your work is far from done after you post something and get people to comment and share. Monitor your profiles regularly and keep an eye on any usage trends. Your social media strategy will be much more effective if you follow trends well.
Using social media is not nuclear science, but it does need your attention and care from time to time. By following the 10 tactics explained here, you can make your dental practice stand above the competition on social media sites.