By Melody Gandy-Bohr
From the Fall 2016 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
Whether you want to increase appointment requests or patient engagement, social media is an all-important tool that can help you reach your marketing goals. Social media helps connect people to one another online, and can connect your practice to potential patients. Those connections are vital to your success.
Your practice’s Facebook Business Page and Twitter account give you the opportunity to engage with your patients in a real way. 41% of young adults use social media to connect with vendors. By regularly updating your social media accounts with relevant and fun posts, you increase the likelihood of patients engaging with your practice and sharing your posts. Don’t forget to respond to your patients, your practice will reap the benefits of improved patient loyalty. Engaged patients are more likely to come back to your practice for future treatments and send referrals your way.
A common misconception about social media is that it’s a race to get as many “Likes” and “Followers” as you can. While that may be the case for casual social media users, its potential is much greater than a popularity contest.
Posts that link back to your website are an effortless way to promote your practice. It’s a seamless progression for your social media followers to view your post and navigate to your website—just a few short clicks!
Social Media Builds Patient Trust
When a person has a memorable experience (good or bad) with a product or service, naturally they tell their friends all about it. Social media is a popular outlet for patients who wish to share their experiences. If a patient complains about your practice on Facebook, or praises your staff on Twitter, publicly respond to the post in a courteous manner. Your prompt response will be seen by a wide audience who will take note that your practice cares about its patients. This establishes patient trust in your practice.
Keep Up With the Competition
Still not convinced that social media is necessary for your practice? Well, if the benefits of social media marketing don’t motivate you, just think about what your practice will be missing out on. A recent study showed that 93% of businesses use social media as their main form of content marketing. Chances are, your competition is active on social media and if there are similar practices in your area, you could be missing out on patients. When searching for a healthcare practitioner online, patients are likely to choose the practice with a complete web presence.
The best thing about social media marketing is that it’s virtually a win-win. Compared with other marketing channels, you can expect a big reward for minimal work. Just one hour a day managing your accounts can yield increased web traffic, conversions and an improved web presence.
About the Author: Melody Gandy-Bohr is a marketing content writer with Officite. Contact Officite at 866-203-0498.