Trojan Today: Maximizing Social Media – by Robin Besotes

Consumers take their healthcare choices seriously, and many use an online search engine for assistance. More than half of today’s consumers search the Internet to find a dentist.

Knowing this, you want to build trust and earn consumer confidence with your online marketing. This is accomplished by being personable, not clinical.

How do you do this? 

Five easy steps can get you there.

1. Make sure your online business directory listings are up-to-date.

Consider any changes which may have occurred in your business, including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Ownership
  • Website URL

All these factors play a big role in where you may or may not be found online. Potential new patients who have found you shouldn’t wonder whether Kids’ Incandescent Smile Services and K.I.S.S. Dentistry are the same practice. Make sure your listings are accurate, as well as consistent, across all platforms.

2. Dedicate one person to monitor all social channels.

You can have someone do this in-house or hire someone outside of the practice, but remember, an inquiry about which insurance plans you accept may not be the only inquiry a person makes.

Answering all messages in a timely manner shows you value potential patients and are professional and knowledgeable about their needs. It is not uncommon to come across an online account with patient prospects only to see no one has answered their questions. Those are missed opportunities!

3. Be mindful of online reviews, and respond to them.

Lower review ratings discourage consumers from choosing a new practice. Encourage existing satisfied patients to leave a review, and direct them to the social channel(s) you want to target.

As an example, if you have lower Yelp reviews, direct happy patients to Yelp, and so forth. Never ask an employee to leave a review; not only is this unethical, but you may be violating the terms of service on the online platform.

4. Commit to consistent, weekly posting.

Use an image with every post and follow the 80/20 rule:  80% of what you post should be general, while 20% is sales or practice-related content. Using an image will typically bring a higher reach engagement. Contests and giveaways can be engaging ways to promote a practice as well. Keep in mind that each social channel may have contest rules that must be followed; violating these rules may result in the permanent removal of your business page, so be careful.

With a little planning and patience, you can organize six to twelve months of content ahead of time.

5. Once you have the basics down, set a small budget for your online marketing needs.

Boosted posts are helpful in increasing your visibility and engagement. When creating a boosted post, you have options to add a photo, video, story, messenger, carousel, slideshow, collection, and playable ads. You can also target a specific audience, such as “followers of friends who like your page,” demographics including gender, age groups, keywords, and zip code area by miles.

As you boost your posts, you’ll be able to view the results, make adjustments for your future target audience, and track how minor changes affect your reach. The tools are truly worth the investment.

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