Adapting During COVID-19 – How Social Media can Benefit your Practice in a Time of Crisis

How to Adapt to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a medical or dental office

Learning and changing our day-to-day

A few weeks ago, I was working with the American Dental Association to present a webinar, “Social Media Marketing for Dentists.” Today I’m locked in my home office with my two disruptive canine colleagues, doing my best to put the final touches on our next PBHS Launch Social patient education campaign to better serve our client base in this time of need. Over the last week, it’s becoming more and more evident that social media has tremendous power, especially during a time of crisis.

From the comfort of my home, I can see social media platforms offering critical infrastructure for governmental agencies, hospitals, and health care organizations across the globe. If you’re wondering how your practice can take advantage of the communities social media has created, here are a few ways you can adjust your practice’s communications to stay connected:

  • Use social media to protect the human connection – we’re practicing social distancing after all! Take advantage of Facebook Groups, social videos (like TikTok, as well as Facebook and Instagram Live) and direct messaging.
  • Expand digital and social customer engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Step outside your typical curriculum and draw engagement from beneficial topics that your community can engage with.

Social Media and the human connection

Since we’re all quarantined in our homes, the need for human connection has surged. Facebook reported that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger usage has more than doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I never thought I would say this, but we’re using Facebook to express love to our neighbors in really meaningful ways,” says Morgan Schmidt, an admin for one of those Facebook Groups in Bend, Oregon. Schmidt’s Facebook Group helps people housebound by the coronavirus to crowdsource help with daily tasks.

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/22/818337019/in-oregon-neighbors-use-social-media-to-offer-and-ask-for-help

Social Media, a source of information

According to Emarketer, “Social networks could be a major beneficiary, as people turn to these platforms to connect with friends and family who may be at a distance or to access news content. Beyond encouraging more virtual conversation between family and friends, the fast-changing nature of the Coronavirus could translate to more users tracking real-time news updates via social media.”

The community in which your practice serves will see a spike in time spent online. While foot traffic is down, the traffic on your practice’s social media channels is up! There’s no better way to engage with potential patients and spark interest for when offices reopen.

  • Use your social media channels to convince your followers to comply with social distancing, and consequently help us flatten the curve!
  • Your practice’s social media channels are a great way to inform your patient base of important updates and advice regarding their oral health.
  • Most importantly, use your social media platforms to reassure your patients that your practice has proper safety precautions in place in case of a dental emergency.

Social Media, make your followers feel good and better yet, do good!

Use your practice’s social media platforms to inspire followers with a post, video, or live stream that makes them feel good! Explore TikTok, a social media platform that has seen a 22% increase in usage since the COVID-19 outbreak.

See how other practices are having fun with TikTok here!

Take advantage of your community’s downtime to do good! With dental practitioners all across the country temporarily closing down to stop the curve of transmission, there is no better time to come together as one and help those who need it most: Donate masks and surplus medical supplies to a local hospital, help a senior(s) by delivering groceries, or donate your time and money to a nonprofit.

Explore how your practice can give back and help nonprofits here!

A little help in the months ahead

While these are incredibly challenging times for everyone, smart social media and digital marketing strategies can still influence patients in a positive way. PBHS has taken action to ensure continued service to our clients, and we’re prepared to help your practice. Please reach out to your Launch Social Account Manager with any questions or concerns regarding your practice’s social media presence. We’re here to help.

-Kathryn Inman | Social Media Director at PBHS Inc.

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