Many dentists believe that word-of-mouth referrals are the best way to secure new dental patients while ignoring the dental marketing opportunities presented by engaging in social media.
Dentists still question whether the social media communities, although popular with dental patients, are really necessary to have a successful dental practice.
Dentists are further challenged by where to allocate their limited marketing resources in order to see a quality return on investment –be it for time, money, or both.
But there is great opportunity in the use of social media to attract and engage new dental patients.
Here are 7 possible dental marketing vectors and how dentists could use them –
Blogs are great because they can increase traffic to your dental website. A blog gives dentists a way to share their expertise, reach out to the local community, and discuss the latest trends in dentistry.
Having a Facebook presence encourages conversation and engagement about your dental practice. Some of the most popular dental practice Facebook pages offer promotions and deals to their online dental community.
LinkedIn has many of opportunities for dentists: new patient generation, dental marketing, connecting with your peers in dentistry, and the possible hiring of new staff. Think of LinkedIn as a professional networking association and use the site to showcase your education and experience.
YouTube offers dentists an opportunity to market their dental practice to thousands of people for a relatively small investment. More and more people are watching videos on their televisions and YouTube is a great way for you to appear in your dental patients’ living rooms.
Can you imagine how much it would cost to do this with regular television advertising? With a small video camera you can film patient testimonials and how-to videos. The most popular YouTube dental videos are those that show actual dental procedures in process, like teeth cleaning and cavity treatments.
Women love Pinterest and they love to ‘pin’ quality images. Before and after teeth whitening images are the most popular dental images on Pinterest. Many women use Pinterest as a visual list of things they want to do or try, so think about posting images that would appeal to these kinds of pursuits.
Twitter is great just for the link-building that it can provide your dental practice website. It’s also a good place to keep an eye on your reputation to see if you have any unhappy dental patients tweeting about your dental practice. Twitter offers you the opportunity to reach out to them before they stick a negative online review on Yelp.
7. Google Plus.
Google Plus is a great place to share what you are doing on your other social media channels. Since it’s powered by Google, it only stands to reason that Google includes Google Plus engagement when they deliver search results. Since it’s difficult to tell where Google is going with Google Plus, it’s important to make sure you are there.
In the past, search was what mattered most to finding your dental practice online, but with the advent of social networking sites, “liking,” “pinning,” sharing, following, and commenting is fast becoming the accepted way for people share and gather information.
Search is still important, but social sharing is growing and becoming a big part of the online experience. Find one or two that appeal to your type of dental patients and become a regular user.
What is your favorite dental marketing vector for engaging dental patients?