Social media marketing is a great way to stay connected with current patients and attract new patients to your practice!
But navigating the world of social media can be difficult… How many followers do you need? How often do you post? What sort of posts should you do? Using social media platforms for businesses is completely different to having your own personal accounts, so how can you grow your practice using this medium? Here’s a step by step guide.
This might depend on your customer base or how comfortable you are with certain platforms.
Most people are familiar with Facebook, where you can set up a business page with only a few clicks. You can then post images, links to your website, text, videos and more onto the page.
Twitter, another platform, only allows you to post up to 140 characters at a time, but you can also share videos and images. Twitter feeds update constantly, so this platform can be great for quick fire, regular posting.
Instagram and Tiktok are image and video sharing platforms that tend to engage the younger cohorts of people which might be suited to your practice. These are great visual platforms and are perfect for smile transformations.
There are lots of other platforms such as Pinterest, Youtube, LinkedIn and others! Don’t spread yourself too thin, work on one or two platforms and get good at those before deciding if you want to expand to others.
The first posts will feel scary, but get out there and try different things so you can see what works and what you need to change.
When posting, make sure you are bringing value to a person’s feed i.e. why would they want to follow you. Is it for education, inspiration, special offers, to be part of a community for example? You should post regularly so you have a presence and engage with others on the platform. Comment on other people’s posts, invite comments and reviews and show the people behind the account - for example get other members of staff involved and show the faces behind the business.
Have a social media plan - decide how often you are going to post and when to post. Many business accounts will let you see insights into when people are engaging with your account and you can tailor your posts to when this is the highest. You can also plan when it is useful to boost posts or pay for sponsored posts so that if you choose to spend money on these forms of advertising, it is at the optimum time.
Planning content will also allow you to take into account times of year or special offers, for example around Christmas or other times of year or special health days e.g. World Oral Health Day.
A final word, be aware that whatever you post will be out there for everyone to see, potentially forever! Make sure you adhere to any governance relevant to your area, for example, ensuring patients have given consent if you are sharing any of their images.
You may not get things right 100% of the time, but the great thing about social media is that you can remove content and you can quickly try new things and adapt! Build your practice’s brand online and your patients will feel engaged and you can attract more patients! There are marketing organizations who can support your use or manage your social media for you, but why not start out and see what works for you and your patients?