By: Janis Peiser
People are living more of their lives online. They are connecting, shopping and seeking out professional services like dental work. This suggests that online marketing campaigns across social networks have become critically important to bringing in new patients. In the past, all you needed was an ad in the Yellow Pages. However, today you need an active presence on social media.
Here are seven developing trends that indicate how dental practices can gain better traction on social media.
1. Facebook's New Tools
Many people don't realize that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's creator, is the son of a dentist. Dr. Ed Zuckerberg downplays the connection on his own Facebook page, but this is a great place to look to find out how to do dental marketing right on the world's most used social network. Some of Facebook's emerging tools include live video feeds and a publishing tool called Instant Articles.
2. Consolidation of the Channels
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are some of the biggest social networks out there right now. For years, smaller networks like Ask.fm or Ello have attempted to break into the top tier. This year, those second-tier networks are starting to disappear as the larger players acquire them or absorb their business. Concentrate your resources on the winners.
3. Video Wins Big
In 2013, Lowe's shook up the world of corporate social media marketing with its “Fix in Six” campaign, which featured six-second videos on the Vine network that demonstrated simple home improvement fixes. One of the big reasons that videos are so popular is that more people are now accessing the web primarily on their phones. Make your social media account a fun place for video tips on the ways to keep teeth white and healthy, and other dental care recommendations.
4. Purchase/Appointment Buttons
Pinterest started this trend and networks like Facebook and Instagram plan to add the functionality. You will soon be able to add a clickable button to your ad that allows patients to request an appointment or buy items from your online store.
5. Testimonials Carry More Weight
Influence marketing is gaining ever greater importance. The most recent research found that 83 percent of people have come to trust online reviews and testimonials as much as recommendations from friends and family. Make the most of this by encouraging patients to post about their positive experiences on popular networks like Snapchat.
6. Learn From the Experts
Some dental practices and dental hygiene organizations have done some amazing work on Twitter, gaining a vast amount of followers and retweets. Get inspired by the topics and sources used by these popular accounts.
7. Trust Becomes Primary
For today’s patients, a good chair-side manner matters more than access to the latest equipment. Recent surveys indicate that 54 percent of patients choose a new dentist based on how comfortable they feel with the practice. Use social media to share personal stories, images and videos. Emphasize transparency and comfort in your office.
Social media is the least costly way to get your message out to a broader base of potential patients. Prioritize posting videos on the largest networks and take advantage of more accurate targeting for paid advertising buys. Get on board with these new trends early to take advantage of deeper impact and less competition.
Contact Goldin Peiser & Peiser, LLP for more information on how your practice can achieve greater success.