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Part 5: Quick Tips for Winning at Dental Social Media Marketing

Tyson Downs
January 19, 2023 | 10 min read

tab32 thanks Tyson Downs of Titan Web Agency for the insights in this post

Part 5 here, we go. An Introduction to Marketing Your Dental Practice Online

Last time, we discussed PPC (one of my favorite topics!). Have you implemented any of the strategies we discussed? Did I win you over on how effective PPC can be?

Well today, we are going to talk about probably my least favorite topic (am I allowed to have a least favorite topic?), social media. 

You may wonder why it’s my least favorite, or maybe not. I have 3 teenagers, so maybe that gives you an idea. 🙂

Chances are you are on or are at least familiar with numerous social media platforms. That said, it isn’t uncommon for a practice to be using no social media. While I don’t believe social media is absolutely necessary for a dental practice, there can be value in being active on the right social media network(s). 

Today, we’ll discuss why it’s important to up your dental social media game and how you can do it. Then, we’ll share some of our best, most engaging social media ideas for dental practices.

Four Social Media Sites Your Practice Should Consider Using

Before deciding what social networks to use, it’s important that you know your demographics. Break out your current patients into groups and divide them up by age/sex. Then break out your best patients into groups and divide them up by age/sex. You want to be using the social media network that your current patients are most likely to use, and that your best patients are using. 

In the below section, we are going to review basic demographic info. You can read more detailed demographic information here and here

Got that? Okay, let’s move on. 

Facebook

This is probably the platform you are most familiar with. Love it or hate it, it is the network that transformed social media (for the good and bad). 

Demographics:

  • 41% of Facebook users are 45 or older
  • 31% of Facebook users are 25-34
  • 56.6 % of Facebook users are male, 43.4% are female
  • Males, 25-34 years of age, make up the biggest demographic
  • 34% of people age 65+ use Facebook
  • No discernible difference regarding income (85% of households with annual income of less than $30,000 use FB, and 86% of households with annual income above $100,000 use FB)

We like Facebook (well, all social media platforms) for ‘humanizing’ the office, and being able to help patients and potential patients see the doctors and staff as more than just doctors and staff, but as people. It helps build trust and transparency. 

Post Ideas:

  • Bio’s on staff with a photo
  • Happy Birthday wishes to Dr’s and staff
  • Contests (including picture of the prize)
  • Community involvement
  • Introducing new services/procedures
  • Special offers

Instagram

Instagram (IG) is a much more visual platform than Facebook (FB). That’s likely because when it was started, it was primarily a way for photographers to share their photo’s. It has added features since then (including videos, short videos, etc), but has stayed true to being a ‘visual network’. 

Demographics:

  • More than half of Instagram users are under the age of 35
  • 31% of Facebook users are 25-34
  • 51% of IG users are female, 49% are male
  • Females, age 18-34 make up the biggest demographic
  • 8% of people age 65+ use Instagram (compared to 34% for Facebook)
  • 34% of households with annual income of less than $30,000 use IG, and 60% of households with annual income above $100,000 use IG)

Instagram (like all platforms) can do a good job of humanizing the office, but it’s a bit different than FB. Yes, you can use the same types of posts on IG as you do FB, but as people use IG differently (quicker scrolling, less reading), we’d recommend to focus more on the visuals as opposed to the text.

Like FB, you can create quick, short videos with Instagram. These are called reels. 

Post Ideas:

  • New staff photos
  • Happy Birthday wishes to Dr’s and staff
  • Dress up days (such as Halloween, etc)
  • Community involvement
  • Before & after photos
  • Special offers
  • Walk through video of what’s going on in the office (creating a ‘reel’)

TikTok

TikTok is the newest of the social media channels and it’s not an exaggeration to say it’s taking the world by storm. The average user spends an hour and a half per day on TikTok and opens the app 8 times per day on their phone. TikTokers share short videos that they hope to go viral.

Demographics:

  • 47% users are between the ages of 10-19
  • 67% of users are ages 24 and younger
  • 57% of TikTok are female, 43% are male
  • Females, age 10-24 make up the biggest demographic
  • .3% of TikTok users are 55-64 years of age
  • 29% of American’s who make $30,000-$49,999 per year use TikTok.

Additional Notes:

  • TikTok users are 1.5x more likely to immediately purchase something they discovered on the platform compared to other social media platform users
  • TikTok users are 1.5x more likely to convince a friend or family member to buy a product they’ve seen on the app
  • TikTok users are 2.4x more likely to create a post and tag a brand after buying a product

Tiktok is similar to Snapchat in that it’s about capturing attention quickly. With a quite young demographic, you need to seriously consider if it is worth your time to be on Tiktok. Having said all that, the propensity to buy from something that a user has seen while on Tiktok is extremely high.

Post Ideas:

  • Engaging videos (must have a ‘hook’ at the beginning)
  • Video’s with text overlay
  • Video’s with music
  • Funny videos
  • Videos where something unexpected happens

In terms of marketing your dental practice, TikTok provides you to meet a younger audience. Yes, many of them are not decision makers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have influence. When creating content for Tiktok, remember to keep the videos light, informative, and engaging. 

Snapchat

Snapchat is used for quick video’s or “snaps”. The kids ‘gotta get their snaps in’ each day (or so I hear). Snapchat and TikTok are the ones that trend much younger, and as a result have a much younger demographic. Snapchat is ‘mobile’ only, in other words, it is only used on a mobile phone, not desktop.

Demographics:

  • 82% users are under the age of 35
  • 31% of Facebook users are 25-34
  • 54% of Snapchat users are female, 39% are male
  • Females, age 25-34 make up the biggest demographic
  • 2% of people age 65+ use Snapchat 
  • 25% of users make less than $30,000 per year, and 28% make over $75,000 per year (evenly dispersed in between as well)

As I’ve seen teen’s use Snapchat, they buzz through picture by picture, video by video with lightning speed. If your target audience is using Snapchat, you’re going to want to create content that is geared towards this younger demographic, and the way they use their devices. 

It’s all about quickly capturing your audience’s attention with Snapchat.

Post Ideas:

  • Engaging videos (must have a ‘hook’ at the beginning)
  • Video’s with text overlay
  • Video’s with music
  • Funny videos
  • Videos where something unexpected happens

Five Tips for Social Media Success for Dentists

1. Assign Staff to Social

Now, this may seem obvious, but it’s important to assign somebody on your team to be in charge of your social media efforts. Sure, you can hire a company to create content, add posts, etc., however, you will get much better results if the posts are coming from within your office.

Considering that your employees are likely to have social media connections who live and work in your service area, they will know, and understand the area and demographics better, and help your office, improve patient relationships and retention

You may need to assign multiple people based on the platforms that you decide you are going to use. The person most familiar and passionate about Facebook, may have little experience with Tiktok for example.

2. Post Regularly

Yes, it’s going to be a challenge and you may have to call an audible halfway through the month. You have to have a schedule and social media calendar planned in advance.  Here are some guidelines for posting frequency.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Post 3-4 times per week on Facebook
  • Post 1-2 times a day on Instagram
  • Post 5-10 times per week on Snapchat
  • Post 5-10 times per week on Tiktok

Keep in mind you don’t need to be active on every social media site, but those that you have committed to using, stay committed! Don’t let your page go dark. Continue to engage your followers. 

3. Reinforce Your Image, But Have Fun

A company website is usually formal and professional. Think of them as virtual extensions of the real-world businesses they represent. However, the social media profiles that are associated with those companies, are almost always much more lax.

Yes, you’re going to want to always be respectful of others, and professional. You want the posts to reinforce your brand image, while at the same time, engaging patients and potential patients.  

When using social media, ‘let your hair down’ a bit. Have fun. Engage, ask questions, show ‘behind the scenes' videos of how the office works. 

Is the Dr. coming in late? Quick, grab your phone, make a video of it, put it to music, and add some funny text to it: 

Uh-oh! Look who’s late today! 

You want your audience to be able to relate to you, and to build trust. 

One thing to remember, no matter how passionate you are about social causes, politics, etc. There’s a time and place for you to voice your opinion, and your company social media account isn’t the time or place.

4. Free Stuff

What kind of free stuff?

  • Gift cards to a local movie theatre
  • Teeth whitening
  • Something related to a local sports team
  • Date night gift cards for mom and dad

Think outside the box. Think of what can get engagement. But don’t do it just for the sake of doing it. You want to get something in return, such as a Facebook Like & Share, or for your visitors to create a video and tag your office.

Here’s an example from Hulsey Dentistry

You can spend more on promotions than you receive in return (at least initially), but look at the bigger picture. As a dentist, you’ll likely be fine with a ‘loss leader’ in order to get a high value lifetime patient in return. You know that with the amazingly awesome service you provide, people will want to come back. Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, the brand exposure could pay dividends down the road. 

5. Monitor, Track, and Analyze

The great thing about digital marketing, is  you can track most of  your efforts and know how they are performing.

You can use Facebook Page Insights to see the growth of your audience and how well a Facebook post is performing (views, likes, shares, etc).

Of course, you should also always be tracking the source of your new customers, your website traffic sources, and more.

Once you have run several different campaigns and had your staff involved in promoting your office through social media, you should be able to get enough information to determine where to spend more time, money, and resources.

So that’s it for dental social media quick tips. Remember, don’t just dive into what you hear is the newest, most important platform. Do your research first, understand your patient demographics, and use the social media network(s) that will reach the most potential patients.


 Tyson Downs 1Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.

 

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