We’re nearly halfway through 2018, and by now it is understood that having an active social media presence attracts and converts new patients, engages current patients, and is a great way to interact with referring practices. Dental specialists, especially those who have been in practice for 10, 20 or 30+ years, have primarily depended on referrals for new patients. In the age of technology and the continuing rise of digital marketing, relying on referrals is simply not enough.
If you look around your waiting room, you can see that everyone is connected. Whether they’re on a phone, tablet, or laptop – everyone is a click away from the digital world. Potential patients now have the ability to take the reins of who they chose to trust with their dental health. Patients are easily empowered to research their referrals online, if by a general dentist, friend, family or simply Google. For dental specialists, the key to growing your business is taking advantage of this connection by having a social media presence and managing your online reputation.
Before choosing a dental specialist, potential patients review:
- Social media presence, the showcase of a practice’s culture by the appearance of its social media channels.
- Recommendations from friends, family, and trusted social networks.
- Both the quality and quantity of reviews online.
Social Media Presence
Potential patients use social media channels as a looking glass into your practice. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give potential patients access to observe your practice.
Some of the questions potential patients are asking:
- What does the office look like?
- Does the staff look happy to be there, how do they interact with patients?
- Do patients look happy?
- Are there videos of the office atmosphere?
- Do I have any friends or family who have checked-in or who have liked this practice?
As a dental specialist, you should be answering all of these questions by posting photos of your office and staff, highlighting your in-office experiences, as well as posting snaps of happy patients!
Online Reputation – Recommendations and Reviews
Social media presence and online reputation go hand in hand. Facebook allows for users to ask for recommendations from friends for services – dental specialists included! Your Facebook business page also allows for users to review your practice. With over 1.28 billion daily users, Facebook is a great place to start building your positive online reputation.
Though a great place to start, Facebook isn’t the only place potential patients look for quality reviews. Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, and website testimonials are also key places potentials patients look to see how past patients feel about your practice. Potential patients want to see that patients had a great experience with your practice, and that both the doctors and staff love what they do. To start building a positive online reputation, ask patients to “like” you on Facebook, and send follow up emails with links to Facebook and Google asking for reviews!
Having a social media presence and positive online reputation will compliment your referral forms and real world referral marketing strategies, but remember that at the end of the day, social media marketing isn’t about selling patients on services. Social media marketing and reputation management are about building your online presence to reach the communities in which you serve, and creating connections with potential patients and referring doctors alike. For more information, call PBHS at 800.840.5383 and ask about our social media services for dentists and specialists.