FREE - 9 Steps to More Dental Patient Referrals - a report for dental specialists

Use Social Media to Improve the Dental Patient Experience

Jan 6th, 2016 | By Becky Sheetz-Runkle | Category: Ideas to Market Your Dental Practice
Use Social Media to Improve the Dental Patient Experience

The patient experience today is about more than what happens at your reception desk, during treatments and in your billing office.

Are Your Social Media Marketing Efforts All Wrong? To reach your audience of patients, potential patients and caregivers, you need to reach far outside your walls and use the powerful social media tools at your disposal. These tools are much more than just nice to have, and much more than fluff. They offer real and proven benefits for dentists and patients. Social media engagement can build relationships with your patients and their networks.

You can use social media to:

  • Share special offers, promotions and limited-time specials
  • Support healthier lifestyles
  • Shape how your patients and their networks think about you

Social media is where your patients are

According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Health Research Institute report, one-third of the more than 1,000 people surveyed use social media for reasons related to health. That’s a clear message to dentists that their patients and would-be patients are making decisions about their dental care based on social media engagement.

Social media experts conclude that Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social media platforms in health care. Twitter and Pinterest are also very popular.

Every dental practice should have a Facebook page. It is an inexpensive (or free), highly effective way to connect with your patients right where they spend so much of their social media time.  For more information, download the Complete Guide to Marketing Your Professional Practice on Facebook.

YouTube is also useful because it gives you the power to post videos for all the world to see—again, for free. You can feature your office and your staff. We highly recommend that dentists present a virtual tour of their office on their Web site, as well as on YouTube. This builds familiarity with your practice and entices a first-time patient to take action and make an appointment.

What’s the best way to find out what social media tools your current patients use? That’s easy. Ask them. Include this question on your patient contact information update forms.

What should we post?

What types of content should you post on social media? You have many options. Here is just a handful of ideas:

  • Updates and changes at your practice, such as new equipment, new services and new additions to your staff
  • Seasonal promotions and special offers
  • Tips to promote a healthy lifestyle, such as suggestions for tooth-healthy snack options
  • Reminders that you appreciate referrals―and incentives for referring friends and family

Practices that use a dental patient newsletter have an easier time finding quality content for social media platforms. They can post highlights from their patient newsletter, including interesting facts. This keeps patients engaged, and it encourages them to sign up for your monthly newsletter.  For more information, download the Complete Guide to Newsletter Marketing for Your Professional Practice.

Final tip: Encourage engagement

Remember that social media is all about engagement. Make sure that you are making it possible for your patients to join the conversation. Pose questions related to your posts, such as whether or not they agree with a particular article or have an opinion. Ask them to share their thoughts and experiences. You can provide the opening with questions such as: What are your favorite healthy snack options? How did you give up sugary sodas or juices? You get the idea.

Tags: , , ,
Get your free copy of Everything You Wanted to Know About Newsletter Marketing for Your Dental Practice

Comments are closed.