The impact of a recently published Pew Study of upticking social trends is more important than ever before to the dental and dental specialty practice. The use of Social Media as a platform to promote, as well as educate and engage patients is no longer just a viable marketing strategy, but one that must be utilized to stay competitive. All major social platforms are experiencing an increase in usage since December of 2012. 73% of online consumers now use a minimum of at least one social media platform and 42% use multiple channels. Facebook is the dominant platform across most demographic groups with over 71% of all online users compared to 67% just last year. Facebook also has the highest levels of engagement among users – 63% using Facebook at least once a day while 40% visit the site multiple times throughout the day. Its especially important to note that women outpace men in social networking activity on all platforms other than LinkedIn. 76% of online women use Facebook vs 66% of online men. 18% of online women use Twitter vs 17% of online men. 20% of online women use Instagram vs 15% of online men. Pinterest holds particular attraction to women. A staggering 33% of online women use Pinterest vs 8% of online men. That’s more than 4 times the number of men! In contrast, 24% of Internet men use LinkedIn vs 19% of women. LinkedIn is particularly popular among college graduates and Internet users in higher income households. Instagram stands out by increasing gains in the 18-29 year old demographic up 9 percentage points to 37%. Twitter also has particular appeal to younger adults and urban dwellers. A fundamental marketing principal is to go where your potential patients are, don’t make them come to you. The larger percentage of your time and efforts spent socially marketing should be applied to Facebook. More importantly, by socially marketing online, the dental practice not only capitalizes on the fastest growing communication channels, but doubly benefits by strongly directing efforts towards the segment of the market that will soon control two-thirds of the consumer wealth – online women. And lets not forget, the same market segment that influences and manages the majority of purchasing and healthcare decisions in the U.S. For more information on initiating a comprehensive social media campaign with measurable results, contact PBHS at 1-800-840-5383. Jay Levine is the President of PBHS, the ADA Business Resources Endorsed Website Design and Marketing firm. Mr. Levine was a pioneer in introducing Internet technologies to the dental communities over 15 years ago. By successfully providing clients with the ability to promote the practice online, pre-educate patients, increase case acceptance, facilitate workflow in the office and improve office productivity, PBHS became nationally known as the leading innovator in building an online dental presence.