Technology has changed many things in the modern dental practice. From how we store patient records all the way to the actual treatments we offer, the rate of change is dizzying. It’s even impacted the way we can develop new skills to treat our patients.
One of the fastest moving and complex areas of change is in social media. Whilst the various platforms are ubiquitous in the modern world, which are actually useful for the modern dental practice? After all, using any social media takes time, so which should you be investing your time in to engage with your patients? And how should you be doing it?
Below we’ll discuss our top three social media platforms to help boost your profile and get your more patients.
For the uninitiated, Twitter is a platform which allows you to share Tweets which include text up to 280 characters long, with images, polls, video and GIFs with other users. When you sign up, you’ll choose a Twitter handle which will become your name. For example, our handle is @SmileTubeTV, so if you put that into a Tweet we’ll know you’re talking to or about us and can reply.
Twitter is huge with 330 million active users as of quarter 3, 2017. Twitter is all about interactions, your success or failure on Twitter will be as much about how you interact with others on the site as it will what you put up there.
Keeping an eye on the trending hash-tags (think topics of conversation, if hash-tag means nothing to you) and interacting with those in a relevant way can be productive. This means that you need to be sending multiple tweets per day, not just once a month!
Once you’ve mastered the art of 280 characters, you can promote individual Tweets by sponsoring them with Twitter. The average Twitter user is a younger, tech-savvy person, with 80% of Twitter users accessing the service on their mobile and 62% being below the age of 50. They’re also not doing badly financially, with 52% earning above the $50,000 mark.
So, if those sounds like the type of clients you want, AND you can keep it short & sweet, Twitter might be for you.
Huge customer base
You can target and speak to your clients directly
Large business presence
Once mastered, it’s pretty quick to do!
Only suitable for small bursts of information
Best results come when you pay
Easy to get drowned out in the noise
There are around two BILLION users on Facebook in early 2017, yes, you read that right. Creating a free page for your practice couldn’t be easier now and, with about thirty-minutes work, you’ll be away!
Facebook is very much a personal platform, so it’s ideal for you to reach out to, and engage with, your patients.
To make the most of Facebook you’ll need to create interesting content, consider competitions, letting people know what you’re doing in the community, updates on opening times, services and promotions. You’ll also need to create regular, new content and respond to people who interact with that content.
Facebook is increasingly not showing content from businesses on the user’s time lines unless that company is paying for advertising, so it may be necessary for you to pay to make the most of the site. However, with the level to which you can focus your adverts and monitor results, these can pay dividends if planned correctly and are not too expensive to experiment with.
Free to setup
Everyone is already on there
You can heavily target promotions
Promotions are not expensive to run
If you don’t pay, you probably won’t get much attention
Everyone is already on there… including your competition
You’ll need to post two or three times a week
Hot times for Facebook are out of hours, including the weekends
The leading business social media platform; LinkedIn was designed to be the place to share your business, ideas and company. Since its creation in 2003, the platform has grown to over 467 million monthly users as of Q3 2016.
Being aimed at business users, LinkedIn is suited more to business-to-business interactions. Though, business-to-consumer still goes on as a business user is just a consumer with a suit on!
LinkedIn is primarily aiming to provide a networking service for business users. It does this by providing a platform for connecting within an industry, looking for potential customers and also sharing content created for the site. This means that successful users create compelling content to attract users and maintain the quality of their engaging content over time. Recommending and interacting with other users is key to success.
Posting to LinkedIn can be done too much, with engagement dropping off if you post more than five times per week, so sticking to around twice per week is seen as ideal.
Free to sign-up
Less is more, daily posting is not advised
Quality is king, so you need to be able to produce high quality content
Not the best for targeting consumers
To make the most of the site, you’ll need to invest time in interacting with others
Although there are many other platforms out there, these are the ones which give the best results for the time and money invested. So, what about you? Do you use any other social media platforms? If so, which? And what experiences, good or bad, have you had? Let us know on our social media, Facebook or Twitter!