Simplifying social media – Nicola Ripton Rodericks DentalFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 8th October 2019
Social media is somewhat of a minefield, especially when it comes to using it professionally. For the dental team, it can seem like a foreign language far removed from their area of expertise. However, there are many benefits available when you get it right, both for individual clinicians and practices as businesses.
Benefits of social media
For professionals, social media is effective for raising your profile as it provides a platform to showcase your expertise, specialisms and training. This can strengthen your reputation within the profession, while also showing patients (both potential and existing) that you are capable of meeting their needs. This is especially important as most people today research their options online before purchasing a product or service. A social media account can demonstrate before and after photos of past treatment you have delivered as well as testimonials from existing patients. In addition, some social media avenues like LinkedIn are ideal for professional networking. You can join conversations about new techniques, see what others think of certain products and discover a whole host of relevant learning opportunities.
For practices, having a strong social media presence makes good marketing sense. It allows patients to find you in the first place, and discover information about you, the team and the services you offer. It can help to give the practice a more personal appeal if you post about fundraising or practice events. Plus, it’s a great place to display patient reviews so others can see what your service is really like.
Which platforms are most suitable?
Instagram is gaining popularity in the dental profession right now. While it can be effectively used to demonstrate before and after case photos, as well as introducing team members, it should not substitute a Facebook account for dental practices. Search engines still rank Facebook pages higher than anything else. They can also be used to share more than images or videos as they allow text alone when necessary, so it’s easier to incorporate within daily activities. Facebook is therefore applicable for both individuals and practices, although dental professionals – as already mentioned – should consider LinkedIn as well.
Common mistakes to avoid
Ignoring bad reviews
The worst thing you can do if you get a bad review is ignore it. That’s the same for whether it’s on your professional profile or your practice page. It needs a public response. That might involve asking them to call the practice to discuss the problem. It might just advise that you’ll be sending them a private message in order to gain details, clarify any confusion and improve for next time. Ignoring a complaint or bad review sheds a bad light on your aftercare service.
You don’t want too many posts on your page simply promoting treatments as this can irritate followers and lead them to unfollow you. Instead, try providing useful information, personal news or oral health guidance that patients will benefit from. Charity events you’re participating in or have held, team member birthdays or achievements, news headlines and research findings all make good content. Leave the promotion of treatments to more targeted advertising campaigns.
Shaming bad smiles
Emotional marketing is important for good results. However, it is not necessary to shame people about the condition of their mouth, as they will likely already be self-conscious about it. At Rodericks, we encourage posts to focus on the benefits of treatment outcomes, rather than highlighting what people don’t like about themselves before treatment.
- Make social media part of your day-to-day.
- Don’t spread your time too thinly by managing many different platforms – identify what your patients use and do that, but do it well.
- Use visuals wherever possible as these increase engagement.
- Engage in conversation with patients – respond to reviews, thank them for tagging the practice, share their posts with before and after photos, it’s not a one-way street.
- Post 2-3 times a week – don’t bombard your page with messages, just remind followers that you’re there.
- Make a plan and have an objective – plan ahead so you maximise on the type of posts and content that work best for you, and have a target so you can determine whether it’s working.
You don’t have to be an expert to benefit from social media. For individuals, it’s worth it based on whether you are finding new training courses, meeting new people or discovering new speaking opportunities. For practices, it’s more about whether your followers are engaging with your posts – are they liking content or sharing it with friends and family? Did any new patients initially find you on social media? (Add the question into your new patient questionnaire.)
Social media is certainly not the be all and end all, but it is becoming increasingly important. There are entire generations of young people who expect to access information on and contact service providers via social media – any dental practices not getting involved will get left behind.
For details about Rodericks Dental,
please visit www.rodericksdental.co.ukor call 01604 602491
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