The Social Dentist: How to Get More Patients with Social Media
Dentists and the Social Whitening
As a child, going to the dentist was terrifying. The office was nice and clean, and my dentist was incredibly friendly, but something about the drilling noises and the heat of the white lamps hanging above my head as the dentist picked away at my teeth with sharp instruments made me cringe when thinking about a return visit.
Reflecting on my childhood fear of dentistry got me thinking…how can a dentist overcome the negative sentiments often revolving around their practice?
With social media, of course.
In a case study conducted by AIM examining the use of social media by dental practices in the United States, research showed that the art of social media marketing is a favorable topic in the dental world. Here are the statistical highlights of the study:
- 52% of dentists utilize social media
- Use of social media was most commonly for marketing purposes (91%)
- Dentists love Facebook: 49% use it professionally, 83% use it personally
- One-in-three dentists are on Twitter
- One-in-three dentists are on LinkedIn
- YouTube is used professionally by 17% of dentists
What is clear in the study is that dental practices actively use social media for marketing and communication. They see it as an opportunity to promote their brand and engage with their audience.
But are they doing it correctly?
In most cases, no. Dentists are unsure how to measure the success of social media in their practice, and have difficulties in determining what type of content is acceptable and appropriate. They have respectable online presences, but engage with their patients on a marketing level, and not on a socially personal level. Which begs the question: what do dentists really hope to gain?
If the answer is short term monetization, then they are on the right track. But we need to get dentists thinking on a long-term level, about forming lasting, trustworthy relationships that will eventually generate a large following that can be sustained through social media interaction.
This is Where We Come In
Dentists will acknowledge that they primarily grow their business through word-of-mouth advertising. However, with this approach, very little traffic is generated for the company’s brand, since verbal word-of-mouth advertising has no call-to-action link that listener’s can click. To combat this, it is essential that dental practices understand the importance of Facebook in their daily and professional lives.
With Twitter a more professional, private platform, Facebook is built around concepts that fully-support textual word-of-mouth advertising in this digital age. Cemented in family ties and friendly conversation, Facebook is the place where everyone goes to talk and share their opinions about life, love, and their place within the world. People talk about anything and everything, provide insider information and peer reviews, and have become knowledge share centers.
So how does this apply to dentists?
Dentists can use Facebook to break down the social barriers keeping them from obtaining new patients. By interacting with the patients they already have on Facebook, dentists can create networkable relationships with their clients, which, in turn, will build social trust. Once trust is formed, patients will be more willing to share dental content with their friends, and will be more inclined to refer your practice to their families and the people they care about. Followers will begin to relate to you, and your practice, which was once a cold place, will seem warm and fuzzy, a human counterpart to the mechanic drills and devices which typically scare people off, or prevent them from making an appointment in the first place.
As a way to get the dental world thinking socially, Branding Personality has come up with a 3-month program in which you will learn the 5 most influential steps on how to grow your dental practice. The content of the course is based on extensive research in partnership with Chapman University, and is built around 3 workshops with the following content:
If you are a dentist, or are in the dental field and want to get more patients through social media, then this workshop is an absolute must. To sign up for “How to Get More Patients: A Wining 5-Step Plan to Grow Your Dental Practice,” please visit the following link and register your practice: