Thinking of using social media for your dental clinic?
Many forward-thinking dental clinics have been using social media marketing as a way to attract more high-value patients for a while now.
If you’re thinking of using social media to market your dental clinic or want to make sure you’re doing it right, keep reading. This blog post will cover the basics of social media marketing for dental clinics and give tips on making the most of it.
So, before we get into the details about social media strategy, there’s often confusion around the terms ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising’, so let’s clear that up first!
What’s the difference between marketing and advertising?
Marketing is the process of creating a relationship with existing or prospective patients so you can increase treatment uptake later.
Advertising is one element of marketing and typically means paid posts that are intended to create awareness and leads for a particular treatment.
In general, marketing is more long-term and focused on building brand awareness, authority, and trust, while advertising is shorter-term and focuses on generating leads who turn into new patients for specific treatments.
That said, we’re going to split this post into two categories for simplicity.
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Paid Advertising
#1 Social Media Marketing
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a vital part of an overall growth strategy for dentists using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It’s a way to connect with people who might be interested in what you have to offer, and it can help you build brand awareness for your dental practice.
There are three parts to social media marketing:
- Creating authentic organic posts
- Engaging with your audience
- Monitoring your results
#1 Creating authentic organic posts
This is when you create content that’s not paid for, the aim is for people to like it and share it organically.
Having original content in your dental social media posts is one of the most important aspects of organic social media marketing.
When you create engaging content about what’s happening in your practice, you’ll attract more followers and keep them engaged – so don’t just try to sell treatments in your organic posts. People want to learn about your practice and get to know you. This is your opportunity to show what sets you apart from other practices; add a personal touch.
#2 Engaging with your audience
By responding to comments and questions, you show that you’re interested in what your followers and existing patients have to say. This will help you build up a relationship with them and create trust.
#3 Monitoring your results
Tracking how well your content performs lets you determine which tactics work best for you so you can keep improving your strategy.
- Which type of posts are people engaging with more
- Which posts are getting the most shares or clicks
How does social media marketing help a dental practice?
You want patients to feel comfortable and confident in the care they receive from your practice. But the problem is building those relationships can be difficult when there are so many other things competing for their attention.
Social media marketing is an effective way to reach people who might not otherwise hear about what you have to offer.
Creating content that allows patients to learn more about how your treatments can help them raises awareness and encourages them to schedule an appointment with you.
How do I get started with marketing on social media?
If your dental practice is not on social media yet, your first step is to identify which social media platforms best fit your practice.
We’ve found that Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for dental practices to build relationships with potential patients and provide fun, engaging, or helpful content that engages them.
Now you’ve identified the right platforms, you need to create your profiles.
3 quick tips for setting up Facebook and Instagram profiles
#1 Fill out your entire profile
This creates a better impression for visitors and helps people learn more about you and what you do.
Facebook cares about the experience of its users, and a well-populated page for your practice tells Facebook you’re a credible business and care about being professional.
#2 Don’t worry about having professional photographs
People are much more likely to connect with or follow accounts that feature lots of pictures of real people, and the more ‘real’ they look, the better!
#3 Connect your Facebook and Instagram
Connecting the two will allow you to share content automatically between the platforms, increasing your reach. It is also less work for you!
Now your profiles are all set up, it’s time to start sharing content!
What is content for social media?
When we talk about content, we’re referring to the words and images that make up a post or story.
Quality and consistency are the keys to success on social media – your content catches people’s attention when they scroll through their feeds and determines whether they’ll stop scrolling and read your post or move on.
When creating content for social media, keep your target audience in mind and ask yourself:
- What are their interests?
- What do they want to know more about?
- What might they want to engage with? (comment on, like, and share)
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; start by getting some inspiration from social media pages of dental practices with large active followings and make a note of the types of posts and content that get the most engagement. Then try creating those types of posts for your practice.
Isn’t original content so much more useful?
Original content is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing.
When you create new, interesting content that’s authentic, you’ll attract more followers and keep them engaged!
So when you get to grips with posting on social media and what type of posts work best for your practice, it’s time to move on to original content.
Be sure to vary the type of content you publish, and keep your tone of voice friendly and informative.
Who should be creating the content for social media posts?
Dental practices are very busy places, and there’s a huge demand right now for treatments, so it can be tempting to think that you can just get someone else in to create your content for you.
The best way to create content is to have your team create it. Your team is there every day, and they will be able to catch those spontaneous moments that would make the perfect content.
If someone else were doing it, they’d have to be at your practice all day, every day, waiting for those moments to arise – and even then, they can’t be everywhere at once!
Explain the importance of social media marketing to your team, and then get them all involved! They’re the ones who’ll be able to spot those authentic content opportunities that come up during their day-to-day activities.
Creating great content need not be complicated. All you need to do is pull out your smartphone and record a quick video or snap a photo. It takes seconds; it’s the most effective type of content to showcase the human side of your practice – and it’s free!
A word about ‘Graphic Content’
Dental anxiety is a big why you should avoid posting graphic photos and videos of gory dental procedures on your social accounts.
It’s only natural that you’re proud of the technical skills you’ve developed over years of practice, but with private elective treatments like implants, people are more interested in the transformation and outcomes you can deliver than gory images of titanium posts being placed in a jawbone during an ‘All-On-4’ procedure!
In fact, Facebook and Instagram Community Standards Policies mean it can flag them as graphic content as potentially inappropriate, which will put off your followers.
Quick and easy social media content ideas for your practice
- Selfies of the team
- Patients in chair
- Happy patients flashing their beautiful new smiles
- Your team enjoying working together at the practice
- Smiling patients holding up their Invisalign bags
- Your team taking part in any national events like Red Nose day etc.
- Reposting patient posts about the transformation you’ve delivered
- Staff achievements and spotlights
#2 Social Media Paid Advertising
Why pay for social media advertising?
Typically, dentists use paid advertising to promote a higher value treatment to people who wouldn’t usually see their posts.
That’s because organic (unpaid) reach on Facebook is shrinking. In fact, [only 5% of your followers will see what you post]
This means that the number of people who see your posts without paying for them is decreasing, so you need to start using paid methods to reach more people.
You might be thinking, what is the point of posting organic content if such a small percentage of your followers will see it?
Think of your organic posts as solid foundations you need for building know, like, and trust around your practice.
Someone interested in your ad’s promotion might want to check out your page to see if your practice might be a good fit for them. If they see a well-populated and cared-for profile page, it will give them confidence that you’re a forward-thinking practice who ‘gets it’.
It also tells Facebook that you’re a credible business, which can affect who it shows your ads.
There are also other reasons why you might want to pay for social media advertising.
You can specifically target your ideal audience
With paid advertising, you can target people based on their interests, location, age, and more. This means that you’re not wasting your money on ads that no one will see or be interested in.
Paid advertising is more effective for selling than organic posts
There’s a time and a place to sell, and it’s best to keep the sales and brand-building initiatives separate. Paid social media ads are more effective at generating leads and sales than organic posts.
That’s because they have more reach and are intentionally designed to promote your offer and get new leads to apply.
Whatever type of content people are engaging with, whether it’s paid or organic – always like, comment, and reply to everyone who likes, comments, and replies to you!
The power of marketing and paid advertising
Organic social media marketing has the ability to help build a lasting brand, whereas Social Media Paid advertising has the ability to drive direct sales.
Social media marketing plays an important part in a successful overall growth marketing strategy.
By creating connections with people who might be interested in what you have to offer, you can build brand awareness for your dental practice. Paid advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can help you specifically promote a higher value treatment to people who wouldn’t normally see posts about your practice.
As a bonus we have included below the 8 Ingredients For A Winning Invisalign Open Day Ad below.
8 Ingredients For A Winning Invisalign Open Day Ad
If you’re a dentist and you’re already running Facebook ads for Invisalign open days, but you’re not getting the desired results, this will definitely help.
#1 Create relevance: Include the location and demographic
Make sure you are relevant to their interests and focus on your ideal audience demographic and how they will benefit from your treatment.
#2 Know who to target
Targeting will vary slightly depending on your area, but we’ve found that female audiences between 20 and 40 convert best.
#3 Use a real picture and a strong headline
The key takeout here is; NEVER use stock photographs! Keep your headlines concise with clear statements about what’s being offered.
#4 Leverage the Invisalign brand
Invisalign has invested in becoming a household name, and you get to benefit from that investment when writing your ad!
#5 Highlight the benefits and value of the SmileView Simulation
The SmileView simulation helps de-risk the decision by painting a picture for the patient of what their smile could look like, so make sure you highlight it in your ad.
#6 Articulate the value of your offer (without discounting)
With the right open day offer, you can fill one or even multiple days. But that doesn’t mean a big discount on Invisalign. List the items you usually bundle for free and give them a value in pounds.
#7 Have a crystal-clear Call To Action
If someone has to think about what they need to do to take you up on your offer, then you’re going to lose them. Make it crystal clear with a Call to Action like Sign up, Book, and Learn More.
#8 Introduce some friction
Facebook native lead generation ads will give you a ton of leads, but some people will literally click on anything and everything.
A well-crafted Facebook ad that sends them through a few hoops to jump through helps minimise this problem.
Now that you know the eight ingredients, you can get to work creating your own winning open day ad!
Let us know what worked best for you, and if you need more support, our team of growth experts are here to help! All you need to do is book a growth strategy call and get 45 minutes no strings attached call with one of our experts.