Your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages are an online extension of your practice’s identity that show your practice’s personality and foster engagement from current and potential patients. Likes and comments are a great incentive that show you the results from the messages, videos and links that appear on active pages. What other ways can social media benefit your practice? You may be surprised to learn Shareaholic recently reported that social media referral traffic as increased from 22.71% in 2013 to 31.4%. This increase coincides with a steady downward progression of referrals from search engine traffic from sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Social media trends fluctuate throughout the year however it is clear that social media referrals are on an upward swing which is evident when reviewing website traffic from 2011 to 2014. Image: Shareaholic Reviewing the information from Shareaholic we can clearly see the market share of referral traffic from social media sites. Facebook surges ahead of the pack with 25% of all social media traffic. Their overall growth from Decemeber 2013 to December 2014 was 59.58%. Other sites show modest increases in traffic and, surprisingly, Twitter’s share decreased by 27% and Youtube’s share of referral traffic dropped 92.44% when compared to 2013. How can dental and dental specialty practices take advantage of these changes and best drive social traffic to your website? Support your SEO Campaign with an integrated social media marketing plan. Clear and concentrated marketing strategies dominate any serious online marketing campaign. Focus your social media plan on one that engages patients and builds a fan base with: • Education on timely clinical matters • Promotions and incentives • Patient testimonials • Entertaining facts and office events • Short quotes from your blog posts – let your fans know what to expect they click on the link. Share information at the optimal times – careful analysis of your Facebook Insights will give you perspective on when your fans are active and engaged and share links. Increased social referrals increase your fan bas and a larger dental fan base creates a broadened sphere of influence for you to effectively market your practice. Remember that social media is your public relations platform, in effect, it maximizes word of mouth marketing and is often the first point of interaction for potential patients looking to learn more about your practice’s personality and online presence. If you don’t have the time, experience or dedicated personnel, consider using PBHS, the endorsed ADA Business Resources Dental Website Design and Marketing Company, to implement an aggressive online marketing campaign for your practice. We can be reached at https://www.pbhs.com or 1-800-840-5383.