With all the slick features of social media, we sometimes risk becoming focused solely on the “digital” side of digital marketing. What you post online should be a reflection of what happens in your practice: face-to-face interactions that build relationships with patients and team members.
We understand the concerns that many people have about social media becoming a part of every facet of modern life. “Everyone just stares at their phones now!” they say. “People are forgetting how to just have a conversation!”
They’re afraid that our fascination with Likes, shares and retweets is preventing people from forming authentic, meaningful connections with one another. Taken to the extreme, there’s some truth to that. But social media’s not going away — and we believe that with the right mindset and strategy, dentists can use social media as a tool to share their team culture, strengthen relationships, and turn patients into advocates for their practice.
The Foundation of Your Online Presence Isn’t Online
Digital marketing tools like websites and Facebook profiles are virtually meaningless unless they are consistently populated with compelling content. And compelling content stems naturally from the awareness to document the great things that happen in your practice.
Your culture, your brand starts with what you do every day to go the extra mile for your patients and make your practice an enjoyable place to visit and work. Did your team celebrate a recent holiday or do a fun team-building activity during morning huddle? Have you recently given away a prize or congratulated a patient on a personal accomplishment? Snap a photo and share it on social media!
Effective social media marketing thrives on in-practice participation from team members and patients. Here are some simple tips you can implement today to get them involved:
Involving Team Members
1. Tag team members in practice posts. On Facebook, the account posting to your practice page can tag team members if they are personal friends with them. Doing this gets your content seen by more of the people most likely to become new patients.
2. Encourage team members to occasionally share practice posts on their own personal accounts. Build a practice culture that makes team members proud to share about where they work and what they do.
3. Train team members to ask for patient reviews. Obtaining positive patient reviews is one of the best things you can do to grow your business.
1. Give them a good reason to participate. Some companies have programs where you can invite patients to snap and share a photo to raise awareness of good causes, commit to better oral health, and enter to win prizes!
2. Encourage patients to share on their own accounts and tag your practice. This way, the patient’s friends and family who trust their recommendations will see the post.
3. If your practice shares a patient photo, remember HIPAA compliance. Check out our blog post for guidelines and a downloadable consent form.
Outstanding Social Media Reflects an Outstanding Practice
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the latest and greatest social media marketing innovation. “Analytics! Auto-posting! Emails!” you probably hear in so many marketing pitches every month. But what makes social media marketing truly effective begins with how you interact with your team and patients in your practice. Make social media a natural extension of your practice culture, and patients and team members will share it with family and friends, helping you grow your audience — and in turn, your business.
About the Author
Jackson Hadley is a marketing strategist with My Social Practice, which provides a complete social media marketing solution for dental, orthodontic and optometric practices. A public relations specialist, Jackson combines the advertising and trust-building aspects of social media to help businesses connect authentically with their communities.