10 tips to improve your dental practice's social media efforts

November 4, 2013

Has your social media stalled? Many dental practices are interested in quick, effective ways to enhance their social media and online presence - whether just getting started or boosting their existing efforts.

Below are 10 timely tips.

1) Increase word of mouth - Word of mouth online begins in your practice. Ask every patient, “How did we do today?” This question will prompt most patients to share how happy they are with you. In turn, you can invite patients to share their thoughts online. Practices who excel in these conversations often have stellar online reputations.

2) Launch ads - The majority of practices on social media have yet to explore advertising opportunities on Facebook and Twitter. For as little as a few dollars per day, you could extend the visibility of your posts and grow likes and followers.

3) Revisit your posting strategy - Are you posting multiple times per day with little to no response? If so, you may be overposting. The number one reason people unlike pages is due to high frequency - posting too often for your audience. Your patients may love you, yet they are on Facebook first and foremost to interact with close friends and family. Be sure you are honoring that coveted newsfeed space.

4) Assess your brand - When was the last time you reviewed your brand on social media? What does your cover photo or profile image look like? Does it represent your practice well? What type of content are you posting? Are the topics in line with your brand and values? Make the most of your social media by evaluating your image on a regular basis.

5) Invest in training - Some practices believe social media should be free and refuse to pay for guidance. However, smart practices understand there is value in saving time and learning from others. With key systems in place, and the confidence you are doing things well, you can make social media more efficient, effective, and worry-free.

6) Improve images - Are the images you use in your content crisp and clear, or are you reposting screenshots that are grainy and hard to read? Remember that photos and images represent your brand.

For example, if you are an aesthetic practice, your images should look just as pristine as the cosmetic treatment for which you are known.

7) Consider tracking - Is social media working for you? You won’t know for sure if you aren’t asking your patients. Take a moment to ask patients if they have seen your Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus, reviews, etc. They may say a friend referred them on their intake form, but chances are they also researched you online.

8) Add another platform - If your Facebook page is well established and growing, now is the time to consider adding Google Plus, YouTube, or Twitter to your repertoire.

Note: Google Plus is an absolute must!

9) Change your perspective - Do you see social media as a campaign? I hope not. Think about social media as a long-term communication tool rather than a short-term marketing campaign.

Everyday, patients are talking to practices via Facebook, Twitter, or any keyboard method they find convenient. These tools provide easier access to your practice, so why would you want that to be temporary?

10) Slow down - Busy doctors are notorious for posting on the run from their cell phone apps. This is fine for the occasional spontaneous post, but don’t let your page look like your teenage nephew manages it due to rushed grammar or punctuation.