Though digital marketing changes every year, there’s one lesson that will hold true until the end of time: you need to go where your audience is. That’s why social media is still the bread and butter of marketing agencies around the globe. And if your dental practice is under-utilizing your Facebook page, you’re missing out on the opportunity to connect with prospective patients on their home turf. Here are 11 tips to make the most of your practice’s Facebook page!
1) Create engagement. Engagement is what turns prospective patients into patients, and current patients into advocates. When you find the right balance between educating and entertaining followers, you create a welcoming community that brings value to people’s feeds. We are not suggesting you forgo dental news and turn your dental practice Facebook page into click bait, but we are saying it’s okay to lighten up. Social media is all about creating conversation with current and prospective patients, so use the same tactics that create a great in-person conversation.
2) Show some personal flair. Patients want to see the human side of your practice, as well as your cutting-edge technology. Since virtual dentistry hasn’t taken off just yet, one of your best assets is you (and your team)! Go ahead and share photos from the office gathering. Hold a team Halloween costume contest and ask followers to vote. Essentially, be engaging and you will create engagement. Here are some ideas you can use to enhance your Facebook posts:
- Ask questions! Polls are a great way to increase engagement and gather valuable feedback.
- Share interesting information about your practice or new technology.
- Run a fun promotion. Ask patients to share their smile and tag your dental practice for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card.
- Make it easy – and fun – for patients by downloading these free selfie smile signs.
- Be sure to follow back and engage with your followers. Trust us, engagement encourages more engagement!
3) Be consistent. Content may be king, but consistency is queen, and you need both to rule the kingdom. Just as you have regularly scheduled office hours, it’s important to create and adhere to a content posting schedule. This helps expand your audience, build brand recognition, and establish trust.
4) Schedule posts ahead of time. Consistency may be queen, but we know your days are anything but consistent. Patient emergencies and no-shows can send even the most well thought out days into a tailspin, and suddenly that time you intended to use for social media posts disappears. That’s why scheduling posts in advance, whether that means weekly, monthly or quarterly, is the best way to keep your social strategy on track even when your day goes off the rails.
5) Use cohesive branding. You invested in a professional website design, so make sure the voice, tone and style extend to social media. Not only does this strengthen your brand, but failure to do so can send the wrong message (i.e, that you don’t care) and create confusion among even loyal patients. You don’t want anyone confusing your office with the competition, so align your branding and logos across social media platforms.
6) Ensure your contact information is correct. Simple? Yes, but also frequently overlooked. If your appointment cards were printed with the wrong phone number, would you still use them? Of course not! Your dental practice Facebook page should be treated with that same attention to detail. Ensure that your practice contact information is up to date across all platforms. If patients use the address on your Facebook page will they end up at your old practice location? How about the phone number and website address? Are your hours correct across all platforms? It tends to be the simple details that get entered incorrectly and never double-checked, so go ahead and review them one more time – we’ll wait.
7) Don’t ignore comments. Responding, liking and engaging with feedback (both positive and negative) shows visitors that you actively monitor your Facebook page and invites more activity. Who wants to spend time in a one-sided conversation? Exactly. Just like in real life, however, timing is critical. If you asked someone a question at a cocktail party and their response was a blank stare, we’re guessing it wouldn’t take long for you to shift your focus elsewhere. The same is true on social media. To get the most out of it you need to put time into it. Dedicate 15 minutes once a day to check your practice Facebook page and respond to comments. This is particularly important if someone shares negative feedback, as you want to take that conversation off-line as quickly as possible. This is one instance where you don’t want to get into a back-and-forth for the world to see. Instead, respectfully respond and invite the commenter to contact the practice directly to remedy the situation.
8) Use Facebook Messenger. Just as it does with personal Facebook pages, Messenger is a useful feature of your Facebook Business Page (though you have to turn it on). This feature is a convenient alternative to email, allowing visitors to privately interact with your practice. But the benefits go beyond convenience. According to Facebook, 69% of users who message a business say it helps them feel more confident about the brand. And it just so happens that confidence is a key decision factor in choosing a dentist. Can you say win-win?
Note – If a patient brings medical information into a Messenger chat let them know that specific medical details cannot be shared via Facebook Messenger and will be sent via HIPAA-compliant email, or ask them to call the office.
9) Don’t overwhelm readers. Remember, the point of your practice’s Facebook page isn’t to recreate your complete content library. People are scrolling social media, likely on a mobile device, so this isn’t the right platform to share that research paper you’re so jazzed about. You can definitely link to longer pieces of relevant content that live on your website, like those informative blog posts, but don’t use your page to paste Moby Dick verbatim. Posts should be short, concise and, for the best results, include a visual. Images and videos produce 180% more engagement than text-only posts, and the Facebook algorithm actually favors posts that include them.
10) Pin time-sensitive and/or important posts to the top of your page. You’re regularly posting on Facebook, but how can you ensure followers see important or time-sensitive information? Aside from repetition, the best way to prevent an important post from getting buried is to pin it to the top of your feed. This a great way to remind patients about extended office hours or upcoming schedule changes. The post remains in the top spot until you unpin it, so make sure that post announcing summer hours isn’t still there in October.
11) Pay attention to analytics. As a healthcare professional, you understand the significance good data has on patient care. The same is true for dental marketing. Facebook provides powerful data and analytics about the social media activities of your dental business page. This can help you identify which types of posts and content have the most reach and garner the highest engagement rates. Regularly reviewing this information allows you to focus your efforts on creating more of generates the greatest exposure.
Wondering how to keep your dental practice Facebook page working for you without an in-house marketing resource? Enter PracticeMojo. Our Facebook Pro solution ensures you’re getting the most out of Facebook. From weekly, ready-to-share content designed to increase interaction (check out sample posts) to a branded page that extends the look and feel of your website design, the PracticeMojo team has you covered. To learn more about Facebook Pro, call (800) 556-2580 or request a demo.