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Running a Dental Practice Today Compared to the 80's

Article

Things have changed in dentistry. Hint: Stop worrying about your phonebook listing.

Ahh the 1980’s, the days when neon was bright and Tab was best served cold. For those of you who may not remember the original dayglow trend or the sickly sweet diet cola, read on for some social media insight.

If you were running a dental practice in the 1980s, word-of-mouth advertising and the phone book would have been essential components of your marketing strategy. Now most likely found propping a door open, phone books were once a primary source of information. Fast forward a few decades and the go-to resource is the internet. Online is where the people are — including your current and prospective patients.

Each day, the average adult spends over 90 minutes on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. What are they doing on these sites? They’re sharing everything from who they saw at the coffee shop to their experience at the dentist. And faster than you can dial on a rotary phone, your practice’s reputation is on the World Wide

Web.

Think you’ll save yourself the hassle of social media and just avoid the whole scene? Before you pop that collar, think again. If your practice isn’t on social media, you’re missing daily opportunities to reach your audience. And, like chewing gum while wearing a retainer, that’s not a wise decision.

So you understand the importance of being on social media, but where do you start? As the ugly-duckling-turned-prom-queen from a John Hughes’ movie will tell you, where you show-up is important. Social media’s popular crowd includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn—each with its own benefits. Depending on your practice audience and online marketing strategy, any combination could work.

I’m on social media, but what do I say? If The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles taught us anything, it’s that you can’t go wrong being yourself (and the right soundtrack can break down societal divides). Social media is a way to show the personality of your practice. Do you pride yourself on delivering cosmetic dentistry in a tranquil environment? Go ahead and share photos of your spa-like atmosphere. Specialize in pediatrics? Engage parents with tips on how to get children to brush. It’s important to remember that content alone, like a single pair of scrunch socks, is only half the battle. Consistency is key to creating engagement on social media. While you don’t want to overdo it and risk spamming your followers, creating a predictable schedule is essential to building a presence.

While dental professional, and possibly 80s aficionado, may be in your title, chances are you’re not a social media expert. The realm of social media is complex. A lot goes into successfully managing your presence on this modern-day party line. From which platforms to use, to messaging and tone, managing your practice’s social media presence can be a fulltime job. Like wearing Jams to Sunday brunch, why risk it? Luckily, you don’t have to. One of the best ways to ensure your practice is actively engaged in social media is to hire an outside firm, like ProSites, to run it for you, giving you time to focus on treating patients. Rubix cube anyone?

For a deep dive into each network, including elements for success, download Running a Dental Practice in the Age of Social Media.

Heather Frechette-Crowley

is director of product marketing at ProSites. ProSites offers custom website design, search engine marketing, social media management, and pay-per-click solutions to over 14,000 dental, medical and professional practices. They are endorsed by 12 state dental associations and received the 2015 Dentaltown Townie Choice Award for website design and marketing. For more information call (888) 932-3644 or visit ProSites.com.

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