The New Search Engine – Social Media

There has never been a more perfect time to take your practice online

COVID-19’s shelter-in-place may have been lifted in large parts of the United States, but many of the new digital behaviors that people adopted during the height of the pandemic are continuing to gain momentum. This continued growth in the consumption and authority of digital content has resulted in a meaningful impact on the marketing landscape facing your practice.

July 2020 alone saw a 10% increase in social media users, with total global users now sitting at over 3.96 billion! This unparalleled growth trend reveals that an average of more than 1 million people started using social media for the first time every single day over the past 12 months, that’s almost 12 new social media users every second since January 2020 – wow!

social media - the new search engine

Where are the jumps in social media usage coming from?

Younger demographics continue to be the most enthusiastic about using social media during the pandemic, with Gen Z and millennials constituting the primary driving force behind this 10% increase in social media consumption. Not to be outdone, baby boomers have also been spending significantly more time on social platforms. Older demographics are most likely to represent the more impactful continued growth in social media usage over time.

With all demographics spending more time on social media, paid social media advertising is fast becoming the first point of contact for users with businesses, brands, and potentially your practice. In fact, with the increased exposure on social media, your brand awareness on Facebook and Instagram is significantly ahead of that generated from search engines and is actually on par with TV ads.

brand research in the age of social media

Social media is the new SEO because social networks themselves function as powerful and widely-used search engines in their own right with Facebook Search, and Instagram hashtags. Just like SEO, your social profile must rank highly for your practice to be found.

The best #hashtags for dentists to be found:








For more dental hashtags, explore our blog dedicated to hashtags.

 Social media marketing post pandemic.

 “I see a huge positive shift towards the digital world post-COVID. People of all background are adapting to the digital lifestyle and I predict they will be craving for more social media content. This means social media content would be made and delivered to a wider range of audience in all places. The older generation is now keeping up with the trends.”

Esa Mbouw, Deputy Head of Business Administration at Swiss German University.

People want connection and comfort.

Social media users are looking for genuine support during these challenging times, as people are stuck at home looking to overcome their isolation and connect with others. Research shows that 57% of users say social media has helped them feel less lonely during the outbreak. Just under half also believe it’s contributed positively when it comes to stress and anxiety management. Developing Facebook Groups for your community or creating a hashtag surrounding your practice is a great way to comfort your community and to increase engagement for your practice. This is a great way to build meaningful interactions with existing and potential patients alike.

Authentic and positive content attracts potential patients.

It’s a natural human response to seek uplifting content during difficult times. It’s hard to imagine anyone that doesn’t already know about the dangers of the coronavirus and the risks of infection. Social media users are looking for positive content to cheer them up. Your practice should spread positivity by giving back to the community – donate extra PPE to a local hospital or create a local fundraiser. Showcase your practice’s personality by sharing birthdays, anniversaries, happy patients, or even your favorite oral health recipes for the Fall. These are all authentic pieces of content from your practice that will attract users and radiate positivity.


While these are incredibly challenging times for everyone, smart social media and digital marketing strategies can still influence patients and your bottom line in a positive way. PBHS has taken action to ensure continued service to our clients, and we’re prepared to help your practice maximize it’s online presence and get more patients. Please reach out to a PBHS 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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