Most dental practices are on social media networks in one way or another but many dentists aren’t using social media marketing to its full potential. Social media isn’t a situation where dental practices can simply fill out information on an account and walk away. A successful dental social media marketing strategy requires a plan and engaging with the online community.
Social media networks are a perfect dental marketing tool for many reasons. One reason social media works so well for the many fields of dentistry and oral health is because it’s highly visual so dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons can show the incredible inspiring transformations they’ve achieved for their patients.
There are a number of social media networks that are relevant for dental marketing including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Reddit. Each of these social networks has its own style, and dentists should tailor their dental social media posts accordingly instead of posting the same thing on each social media platform.
Facebook for Dentists
Facebook is essential for any dental practice because it provides many pieces of important information prospective and current patients are looking for. Facebook gives patients details about a practice’s office hours, the office address, pictures of the inside of the dental practice, reviews from past patients, updates from the dentist office, upcoming events, and more.
Dentistry professionals marketing on Facebook should focus on sharing helpful information for patients including pertinent office details like changes to the office hours or scheduled closings, as well as new blog posts or articles dentists feel their patients would be interested in reading.
Facebook is also a place to showcase any pictures or videos from your dental practice like photos of the office, video testimonials, before and after photos, etc.
YouTube for Dentists
There are many great dental social media marketing ideas for YouTube where a dental practice can use YouTube videos to benefit their whole dental marketing strategy. Dental practices could use YouTube to share videos with a tour of their practice, quick videos with brushing or flossing tips, or simply answer common questions patients have asked.
Dental practices don’t even need to invest in expensive video equipment or editing software. With the help of a smartphone and free video editing software online, dentists can easily put together quality videos to share on YouTube. Just be sure to keep the videos relatively short and simple unless it’s a special situation such as a webinar or recorded event.
Instagram for Dentists
Dental practices on Instagram can capitalize on the visual nature of the social network to share pictures of the many visible benefits of visiting the dentist. Dentist Instagram accounts could showcase before and after images of patients, share pictures of your dental staff, or post photos of any toothbrushes your practice recommends.
Instagram can also be a good outlet for any dental practices that offer products for sale at their office to share images and videos of the products on display. Instagram posts can inform patients of any upcoming sales or specials on products in their office or dental services.
Twitter for Dentists
Twitter is a very timely social media network. Because of the limited character count and the fast-paced nature of Twitter, there are a couple of main strategies dental practices should focus on when using Twitter.
The first is to provide important information patients and prospective patients need to know right now. If the power is out, a storm is about to hit, or anything else that is going to change the office schedule, Twitter is a great place to notify your clientele.
Twitter has also evolved into a social media customer service hotline where people will air their grievances and expect a quick reply. Because of this, dental practices need to be aware of any mentions their practice receives on Twitter so they can reply quickly and respectfully to address the concerns of a disgruntled patient. The way dental practices publicly resolve these issues can be either helpful or harmful depending on how practices respond, so make sure your response is kind, addresses the problem, apologies when necessary, and tries to provide some kind of solution.
Pinterest for Dentists
Pinterest is a very visual social media network and it is used by lots of people as a way to set goals, make plans, and aspire to achieve something. Many people aspire to have more beautiful teeth and dental practices that offer the tips, tricks, and inspirational images of healthy teeth people are looking for will benefit from their efforts.
The best ways for dental practices to use Pinterest are:
- Sharing any guides or tips on various dental hygiene practices like caring for your teeth, tending to braces, foods to avoid, or habits that cause bad dental health.
- Offering before and after images to give people an idea of how they could see a transformation in their own teeth.
Reddit for Dentists
One of the main strategies for dental practices on Reddit is to help answer questions and provide information to people seeking a better understanding of any aspect of dental hygiene. As a medical professional, dentists can help accurately and confidently inform people about certain dental issues people might be having.
Reddit is also a good place for dentists to quell any unproven science or conspiracy theories behind dental hygiene. Rumors about fillings causing mercury poisoning and DIY cavity fillings can be quickly addressed by a professional to prevent harm.
The visual nature of social media is something dentists, in particular, should be taking advantage of. Beautiful teeth are something people covet and strive to have so when patients are elated by their newly whitened teeth or how gorgeously straight their teeth are after getting their braces off, these kinds of examples are the perfect images to share with prospective patients on social media.
The visual aspect of social media is just one of the many reasons why dentists should be using social media marketing. That’s why we put together this list of the many advantages of social media marketing for dentists.
The Benefits of Using Social Media Marketing for Dentists:
- As we’ve mentioned before, the visual aspect of social media lends itself to the results of dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons. If you have proper patient consent, then your practice should show off before and after images as well as images that give patients aspirational goals for their oral hygiene.
- It’s been proven that social media marketing is an effective and affordable way to increase awareness about your dental practice.
- An established dental social media presence on multiple social media networks allows prospective patients to learn more about your dental practice, staff, and dental services.
- Dental practices that share content on social media have the opportunity to educate patients and potential new patients.
- Any important or time-sensitive information about your dental practice can quickly be shared on social media, for example, any changes to the way your dental practice is operating or upcoming office closings.
- Another useful benefit of social media is the ability to rapidly share positive patient reviews about dentists and staff from your dental practice.
- If your dental practice offers dental hygiene products like electric toothbrushes, water picks, mouthwash, etc, social media is an excellent place to advertise your dental practice’s inventory. Your practice can use social media to announce new products, upcoming sales, and information about your selection of dental hygiene products.
- Your existing patients can also use social media to ask your dental practice any questions they might have in a more convenient way than asking by email or over the phone. It also could answer a question someone else had.
HIPAA Compliance for Dentist Social Media Marketing
All dental and medical professionals need to be vigilant about taking steps to prevent their practice from violating the rules of HIPAA while social media marketing. As long as your dental social media strategy takes into account the 18 types of protected health information (PHI) and any other steps to prevent your practice from revealing a patient’s identity without their consent, then it is unlikely your practice will be infringing on the rules of HIPAA.
A quick list of PHI examples that are particularly important when posting on social media:
- Patients’ names, including nicknames.
- Any online patient identifier including patient URLs and Social Media handles.
- Dates related to individuals such as appointments or birthdays.
- Geographical information and addresses of patients.
- Photos or videos that include a patient.
- Information about a patient’s vehicle including license plate numbers or identifying information such as a vehicle’s make, model, or color.
- Any other information that could possibly reveal a patient’s identity.
Here are some tips to help your practice adhere to these important rules:
- Separate any personal dentist social media profiles from the social media profiles for the dental practice.
- Make sure your entire dental practice staff is aware of PHIs and other key information about your dental practice’s social media accounts to prevent a misstep and ensure a unified voice for your practice’s social media posts.
- Before using any photography or videos that include patients, ensure that you have documented patient consent.
A solid dental social media strategy could be the marketing strategy that helps boost awareness for your practice, educate your patients, and establish yourself as a thought leader for dental hygiene. As long as your dental practice takes proper HIPAA precautions, the effects of a dental social media marketing campaign are sure to help your practice succeed. After implementing a social media marketing strategy, a dental practice noticed that 31% of their referrals are now a direct result of social media.