Earlier on this year, Facebook reached a major landmark for the first time. On Monday 24 August, one billion people logged into Facebook on the same day. To put that in perspective, that’s one in seven people on the entire planet. And it also represents two thirds of Facebook’s entire user base, currently standing at 1.49 billion.
A way of life
Social media is here to stay; the concept of people connecting to each other online is unlikely to fade away because people are fascinated with people.
This affects your practice. Fifty years ago people interacted with their dentist in the pub or at the local market. Today they are more likely to interact with their dentist using Facebook or Twitter. Most dental practices use social media. But most also have no specific goals they are working towards. I recommend you work towards three goals:
- More word of mouth marketing: the most robust way to get new clients, but also the hardest to drive. You can use Facebook and Twitter to drive people to talk about your practice and recommend it to their friends. A practice that has been recommended will always be viewed as a less risky choice. This is called social proof
- Greater levels of feedback: we live in a world where customer service is increasingly being delivered in full public view, on social media. Being responsive to praise and dealing swiftly with moans demonstrates to potential future clients that you care
- Build relationships: the ultimate goal. If you can form a relationship with someone online, they are dramatically more likely to pick your practice when they are looking for a new dentist.
Making it work for you
What are the recommended ways to increase the return on investment in social media? Well, you need a big audience. At the very least, connect with every client when they are in the practice. You could ask everyone to connect to you while they are in the waiting room.
You can also buy likes using a Facebook advertising campaign targeted at local people. Then you must create content that is more likely to be shared. When people share your content with their friends, some of them will go on to follow you.
Whoever is responsible for social media in your practice should get into a routine of doing it every day. Finally, don’t forget interaction. Social media is not a one-way street. People will ask, like and comment – interact with them. It’s the way you build a relationship with them, which will ultimately make them choose the practice in the future.
You can get a free copy of Paul’s book, The Root of the Problem, posted to you by visiting www.dentistsmarketingbook.co.uk.