It has sometimes been a belief among dentists that social media is, if anything, a fun add-on for an interested team member. However, as the millennial generation continues to age further and further into adulthood, it becomes imperative that dental practices engage with social media.
Why? Because many millennials don’t frequent a business they can’t find on Instagram. To be sure, it’s more nuanced than that, and we’ve talked about that in detail here.
Today, we’re getting into greater specifics to give you five tips for your dental practice’s social media!
#1 Get a Handle on It
While each platform has different demographics (more on that here), you’re probably going to want to establish a presence on at least two or three. That means you need to figure out what a consistent handle would be.
Your handle is your username. It’s what works in a URL (e.g. instagram.com/dentalhq), a way you can be found when someone is searching in the app, and how you’ll be tagged if a patient wants to rave about their great visit!
Because it is so essential to being found and interacted with, you want to ensure that all of your handles are cohesive. On Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter alike, your username should be exactly the same.
Unfortunately, this is sometimes complicated. Your username could be taken on one or a few platforms, or it could be too long for one of them (they have different character limits). This means you might have to get creative. Try to keep your company name involved somehow, and start brainstorming!
#2 Don’t Ignore Bio Copy
Many businesses think that by having their logo as the profile photo and their name clear in the page’s title and username, they’ve identified themselves enough. We respectfully disagree! Writing a quick, informative (and perhaps even quippy) bio can make sales. Effective social media marketing is all about clear and concise communication, and connecting with your audience. A bio does that the moment someone sees your page!
If you have a wordsmith on your team, give them the task of developing your bio copy. If you feel you need outside help, this is a time when it is totally worth it to hire a writer.
But, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Call out unique points about your practice. Are you certified in a procedure or technology that many others aren’t? Do you offer free consultation? Did you just open a sparkling new office? Have you won a prestigious award? Do you offer a membership plan for your uninsured patients? These are all great things to throw into a bio.
- Feature your name if it isn’t in the company name. Let’s say your practice is called “Northern Arizona Dental.” Putting “Dr. John Smith” at the top of your bio helps followers connect to the person they’ll be seeing if they schedule an appointment.
- Include a call to action (CTA) at the end of your bio. This enables you to guide followers to the next step. For example, say something like “Book an appointment online now!”
#3 Research Popular and Niche Hashtags
Even better, come up with a hashtag unique to your practice that patients can use when talking about it! (And include it in your bio!)
Hashtags are important, because they help social platforms boost you through the algorithm. Sit down for 30 minutes and look up a bunch of hashtags relevant to your field. For example, search #arizonadentalpractice #greatdentists #dentistsofinstagram #twitterdentists, #oralhealthmatters, etc.
Pay attention to how many posts each hashtag has. If one has 13.5k posts and another has 400 posts, you’ve found yourself a nice pairing of popular versus niche.
When writing out your captions, you want to include a mix of both types of hashtags.
Popular hashtags will get your posts onto the feeds of more followers, since the algorithm knows those are tags people enjoy. Buuuut, that is the case with all of those 13.5k posts, so you might not actually get seen unless someone does a lot of scrolling.
Niche hashtags appeal to an audience that really cares about your work and topics, and they also enable you to rank higher. Your post will be more visible on the hashtag’s page and appear sooner on the feeds of followers.
#4 Be Engaging
When users do see those well-tagged posts, the hope is that they will comment. Whether they leave a single emoji, a detailed question, or a heartfelt piece of praise, be sure to reply. Even if you can’t fully answer a question, you could say something like, “Hey Ashley! That’s a great question. Would it be okay if we DM you the details?”
(DM = direct message)
The reason it’s important to say that in the comments instead of just moving straight to DMs? Public perception. It looks way better when a brand is responding to all or almost all of its comments. This especially true with questions, because someone with a similar query might assume you just never answered. Therefore, they might not bother to reach out themselves.
#5 Jump in Front of the Camera
This advice actually comes from our conversation with Shane Simmons, the owner of digital dental marketing firm Crimson Media. He said, “Which dental office are you more likely to visit: the one that has a bunch of stock photos that say things like ‘It’s National Clean Teeth Day’ or the one that has those photos and actual pictures of their team, office environment, patients, etc.”
The answer, naturally, is the latter. While it definitely makes sense to include promotional graphics and fun announcements now and then, it’s a good idea to sprinkle in posts of yourself, your team, and your patients!
There are so many great tips, tricks, and techniques when it comes to social media, but we think these five can be particularly helpful for your dental practice’s pages.
To learn more about how DentalHQ could help you with your marketing goals and explore our own social media, visit our home page.