Dentists social media guide

Dental Social Media Marketing Guide

Transcript of Dentists social media guide

Dental Social Media Marketing Guide

IntroductionFirst off, the fact that you’re reading this shows that you value technological innovation within your practice. While you may not yet know how social media can help your practice, you’re tapping into a resource that shows your patients that you value them. Social media marketing shows that you’re accessible, sharing oriented, and service oriented.

You’ve chosen a career path based on caring for people and 99% of your patients love you for it! In a perfect world you would do great business and people would go out and talk about it and leave you positive reviews that reflect your quality of service. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen and some effort is required in order to have your real world effort reflected in your online presence.

Healthcare practitioners can use social media to communicate with the community and patients; increase organizational visibility; market products and services; establish a venue for acquiring healthcare related news, promotions, and fund-raising; provide a channel for patient resources and education while simultaneously building relationships that yield positive results for their bottom line.

Social media can significantly improve patient retention by keeping lines of communication open and consistent. There are several key benefits to the development and retention of a long-term patient relationship including reduced acquisition costs, referral opportunity, and recurring revenue.

Social media marketing in a dental practice is an investment both in time and in the future of your practice. Persistence, strategy, and storytelling are the keys to success. I’ll be sharing with you some dental industry trends compiled from the ADA and I’ll be providing you with strategies to get your marketing efforts moving in the right direction.

Industry Trends

Let’s begin by examining the industry as whole. Since 2008, national consumer spending on dental services has been stagnant in comparison to previous positive growth trends.

How this has affected your practice is best determined by your first hand experience, however, this phenomenon provides some insight on the larger business landscape that will logically follow.

If you consider your business in a sum zero perspective with the total consumer expenditure being a pie, your practice revenue would represent a slice of that pie. The pie in this case isn’t growing. Traditional business practice in this situation would call for differentiation, establishing a competitive advantage, and focusing on customer (patient) retention.

Adult’s are visiting the dentist less and less with each passing year while children have continued to consistently visit the dentist. There are even indications that there will be an increase in children visiting the dentist.

According to a recent government report, the percentage of Medicaid children with dental visits increased from 26.6% in 2001 to 39.9% in 2009. The Affordable Care Act has expanded the number of children eligible for government supported dental care.

The decline in adult dental visits could find its roots in the recent economic decline and generally improved oral health within the U.S. population. Regardless, marketing will play an important role in bringing both adults and children in to your practice. In most cases, targeting the adult decision makers will allow you to bring in both the child and adult patient.

Patient Trends

According to this ADA report, by 2040, 62% of dental expenditures are expected to come from patients who are at least 40 years old.

With this in mind it would be strategically sound to build relationships with that age bracket in order to ensure that your practice reaps the financial rewards in the future and in the present. That demographic in 2040 would be the >16 age group in our present time.

Each of these age groups is active on social media in varying degrees. The 20-39 demographic that today represents 17% of dental spending is very active on social media and often mothers make the spending decisions for the <20 group which makes up a further 28% of total dental expenditure.

The >59 demographic is less active but becoming more active with each passing year. Commonly, a caretaker for the >59 age group will make their medical decisions.

Patient Trends

This graph indicates that the aggregate spending of a dental patient for any age group is more than $600 annually. Certainly this will vary from patient to patient and specialty procedures will sway the aggregate higher, but the main point to pull from this graph is that one patient has the potential to significantly affect your practice bottom line for many years to come.

Patient retention will play a major role in ensuring that your practice is able to tap into the full economic value of every incoming patient. The most important thing that can be done is to maintain a positive relationship with your patients to ensure that you are their provider of choice.

By applying a lifetime value model, dentists can reveal the total estimated worth of their client base and focus both internal processes and advertising efforts accordingly.

Patient Economic Value

Now we know who you should be reaching with your

marketing and what their economic value is ,will being

active on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter,

Instagram, and Google+ really translate into new patients

and higher patient retention? My answer is a strong “yes”,

and I’ll share with you some reasons for why that’s the


Social Media Audience

Necessary ComponentsNow that we’ve established that your target audience is present on social media, how do you get them engaged? It can seem daunting at first when you consider the number of social media platforms that are out there and the time commitment necessary to manage all of them. What do you say? How do you say it? Should you just post a picture of your recent office party or maybe you should advertise that you have a discount for new patients?

What you need is a strategy. The truth is your social media efforts cannot stand alone. Your online community and your local community are made up of the same people, and patients should know what your practice is doing in their world. Your strategy needs to be patient centric while also being subtly self promotional. What is common for most businesses when they attempt to use social media is audience silence. This can be very discouraging! You’re left asking yourself why you should even put in the effort when you’re only getting 1-2 likes on your posts and you’re only being followed by a small number of people. This happens due a common misstep in social media marketing: Not providing value-based content.

Businesses often use their social media exclusively for self promotion. Social media wont get you very far if all you do is talk about yourself! You have to provide value. Think about that one friend that only talks about him or herself. You tend to tune them out don’t you? The real magic to social media is providing helpful, useful, and entertaining content that triggers discussions and promotes sharing. When someone

gives you something that you enjoy, find entertaining, informative, and useful you tend to appreciate it and you remember it! You might even share it with others. When your audience engages with your content this will in turn increase your visibility not only with your immediate audience but with a 2nd tier audience that consists of your patients’ friends, family, and colleagues. When your content is being shared and interactions are taking place on social media you end up generating indirect patient referral on a large scale.

To get your patients and your community engaged you have to craft a strategy aimed at stirring up conversations and humanizing your practice. The necessary components for a successful social media strategy are in-practice engagement, engaging content, and consistency. Accomplishing these three things will take a certain measure of creativity on your part but I’ll supply you with a quick rundown of how each of these components would work in action.

H Hitting your target audience with the right content in the r right place will be your key to success!

In-Practice Engagement In-Practice engagement is all about developing and sourcing your social media audience from the people in your office. This would include your staff and the patients that you see everyday. Patients and staff would constitute your 1st tier audience who are familiar with your practice and they’ll contribute to building your 2nd tier audience which will consist of new patients.

Advertising your social media presence to your patients and offering them a sticker, pen, or some other object of value in exchange for liking and following your social accounts is a great first step to building your 1st tier audience.

My personal recommendation would be to mention what it is that you offer your patients via your social media accounts. You can let them know that you post humorous comics, news about healthcare awareness campaigns, contests, or blog posts related to personal health. Let them know that you’re there to connect with them and add value to their lives.

I’d also recommend soliciting an email address at this juncture and incorporating an email newsletter that recaps your social media activities in a more condensed fashion while also incorporating a direct advertisement.

Engaging ContentEngaging content will consist of content that gets conversation and interaction flowing. Humor is a great way to accomplish that! Take for example what this dentist did in honor of Halloween.

Other forms of engaging content would include blog posts that humanize your practice by offering up stories that your patients will find valuable. One such example would be a posting about breast cancer survivors you’ve known and your experience in supporting them and then posting it during breast cancer awareness month.

Engaging content

• Educates

• Humanizes

• Helps Others

• Sets Your Practice Apart

Engaging ContentYour content doesn’t have to be strictly dental related. Posting content around the healthcare niche allows you to add some diversity to your content while also offering a wider array of value to your audience.

This dentist to the right is demonstrating a philanthropic spirit along with a side of humor and it’s paying off! Each of those likes will be viewed by potential 2nd tier audience members who see that this dentist isn’t just a billboard or a postcard in the mail. He’s a real person in their community who has a vested interest in improving the health of his community.

I’ve included a list of some prominent healthcare awareness campaigns and their corresponding months to help give you some inspiration.

Tip: Incorporate themed colors and signs in your practice to tie back to the cause you want to bring awareness to.

Engaging ContentHealthy teeth and a healthy diet go hand in hand right? If someone in your practice happens to be a foodie you should consider making videos like these that I produced below. Recipe videos can be integrated onto a Pinterest board, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Mother’s schedule 8 out of 10 appointments and for better or for worse they also make 8 out of 10 meals.

I’d recommend adding these recipes and corresponding videos to a bi-weekly email newsletter. Some of your patients are going to be more apt to access your content via email. Email has a significant benefit for your marketing due to being a self contained message free of other sources of marketing input that would be present on your social media profiles.

Video Link Video Link

Consistency Starting out on social media can be a slow process. You shouldn’t aim for viral campaigns or overnight success. Dentists should aim to develop and nurture their audience. This form of marketing is all about relationship building. Consistent ongoing communication with all your patients will increase bonding and loyalty.

The Goal is to Have Patients

Consistency will be something that you develop by laying out an editorial calendar and subsequently testing out your content to see what resonates and what falls flat. Social media gives you instant feedback in the form of engagement or lack thereof. The worst thing that you can do is to go in blind and hope for the best.

Strategy Checklist

ConclusionThe goal of social media marketing is to drive conversions. Conversions are actions that are taken by an online user that give a return on your time investment. Checking out your website, subscribing to your newsletter, booking an appointment, purchasing a product, and liking your Facebook posts are all considered conversions.

There are two types of conversions: micro conversions and macro conversions.

Micro conversion: An action that opens up a communication channel with a current or prospective patient. Liking your Facebook page and subscribing to your newsletter would be considered micro conversions.

Macro conversion: An action that directly translates into revenue. Booking an appointment would be considered a macro conversion.

Micro conversions will have a direct effect on your patient retention and social referrals while macro conversions are the results of that patient retention and subsequent social media exposure.

To ensure a high conversion rate will require some work on your part. I’ve added a checklist of tasks that you should complete in order to make sure that your social media efforts yield the best results.

Social Media Marketing Checklist

About the AuthorKamel Adi is the VP of Social eCommerce at Creative Loot Inc., a Atlanta based social media marketing and social eCommerce agency. Creative Loot is a collective of commerce and digital marketing professionals. Separately, our clients and affiliations include names such as: Cole Haan, Tourneau, Verizon, L’Oreal, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, CNN, Porsche, Cartier/Richemont, and many more.

Kamel is a content marketing and social media specialist with a background in healthcare, enterprise technology, business development, and brand management. His professional experience includes clinical experience with Tampa General Hospital, channel sales with Microsoft and Intel, business development with Millennia Patient Services, brand management with Unique Event Elements, and more.

Kamel AdiVP of Social eCommerce

On a personal note

I’d like to thank you for downloading this guide. I hope that it can play a

role in helping you achieve your professional goals. If you have any

questions or if you’d like Creative Loot Inc. to help with your social media

and digital marketing, contact me.

We offer services such as web development, patient review software,

social media starter kits, social media management, and [email protected]