Over the past five years Facebook has been expanding its capabilities far beyond simply staying in touch with friends and family, giving business owners a variety of ways to create a valuable online presence.
Today, Facebook is a powerful and cost-effective tool for dentists looking to acquire new patients and stay top of mind among their current patients, provided you approach the platform with the right strategy.
By following a few guiding principles you can position your practice for success on Facebook.
Building an effective dental practice Facebook page
The foundation of successfully marketing your practice on Facebook is building an effective page. Whether you developed a Facebook page years ago or need to start from scratch, make sure your practice’s Facebook page contains the content desired by patients searching for a dentist.
Your practice’s contact information is arguably the most important thing to include. Facebook allows pages to feature information such as location, business hours, phone number, and email in the “About” section—all of which are essential for people to schedule an appointment.
It’s also important to make sure that your page has a vibrant and positive profile and cover photo. Good first impressions are key on social media, and these pictures are the first things someone will see upon visiting your page. An image of your practice’s logo can be a good profile picture option, and a cover photo featuring a happy group shot of you and your staff is a great way to convey the positive energy offered by your practice. Dental phobias are very common and can easily keep patients from visiting a dentist when they should. Having uplifting imagery on your Facebook page is just one way to put patients at ease.
Content to Attract New Patients and Stay Top of Mind with Current Patients
Facebook is a fantastic means for staying in touch with current patients, and sharing content that can attract new patients. Anyone who likes/follows your practice’s Facebook page will see updates in the form of unpaid posts from your page. While your success isn’t determined by the number of likes you have, if you feel your page has a low follower count, leaving a sign in your waiting room, directly asking patients after a visit to like your page, or adding a link to Facebook on your website can help increase your total followers.
When considering the kind of content to post on your practice’s Facebook page, think about what a patient would like to see from their dentist. Content such as photos of happy patients after a visit, video testimonials shot from your cell phone, positive reviews from websites such as Yelp, tips for improved oral hygiene, brief descriptions about how technologies at your practice enhance patients’ experience, and any patient referral deals you might have are all worth sharing on your page. You don’t need to be all business all of the time though—sharing a holiday greeting or the occasional humorous video can help round out your practice’s personality.
Using Facebook Advertising to Reach Your Social Media Goals
Now that you have your dental practice Facebook page up and running you can start using paid advertising to reach potential patients. Technically, all activity on your practice’s Facebook page could be considered advertising, but there is a major difference between paid and unpaid Facebook content: Unpaid Facebook posts are only shown to people who already follow your page, or people who find your page on their own. While unpaid Facebook is an important component in your practice’s presence, only engaging in unpaid activity greatly limits the reach of your content. Paid Facebook advertising on the other hand isn’t restricted by your number of followers. You’re able to directly reach people who don’t know about your business with a message of your choosing right in their Facebook news feed. For dentists looking to grow their practice, paid advertising is a must-have.
Don’t be intimidated by the scope of what Facebook offers for paid advertising. Dentists looking to acquire new patients don’t need to be a tech-savvy digital marketer with a seven-figure budget. What you do need is an understanding of your current roster of patients and something exciting to make patients want to contact your practice.
It’s very important to have an enticing offer or message to promote that catches people’s attention and gives them a good reason to reach out to your practice and schedule an appointment. Sharing a special promotion or discount for new patients is a great attention grabber. Alternatively, you can share how your practice provides the ideal patient experience in language the average person can understand. Solea dentists should share how they are able to provide reliably anesthesia-, blood-, and pain-free dental treatment.
Equally important to growing your practice through Facebook is choosing the right people to see your message. Facebook lets you target people by their age, gender, location, profession, income level, and more, giving you a lot of flexibility based on who you think is most likely to become a new patient. For example, if you’re a pediatric dentist and you find that mothers are scheduling many appointments, then you can choose to target women with children who live in a 10-mile radius around your practice’s address. Similarly, a general dentist with a large number of patients in their 20s can target men and women ages 20-29 near their practice. Facebook’s guided ad creation makes this process easy, even if you’re using it for the first time.
Ultimately, with these strategies in mind, you’re able to engage patients directly on an extremely popular platform making it an easy decision to build a presence for your practice on Facebook. If you’re interested in learning more about how Convergent Dental can help you grow and optimize your practice, contact us here.