You probably already know you can’t afford to be shy on the internet and there’s a bewildering array of social networking sites that offer all kinds of ways to spread your dental messages. So how do you work out which sites are the pick of the crop and will be the most appropriate channel for you to shout about your practice? Before you decide how best to big yourself up online, take a long hard look at each platform so you don’t end up wasting your precious time constructing witty titbits for one that’s not right up your street. You also need to consider if you have enough time to make a particular site work for you, as posting and sharing can be pretty time consuming, especially if you want to make a real impact. Remember it’s best to pick a few appropriate platforms rather than spreading yourself too thin and conveying scrappy messages. It’s also a great idea, as in much of life, to have a cunning plan so you avoid losing focus when sorting out your social media marketing. Check out what’s on offer, look at how other people use the plethora of social networking platforms and then concentrate your efforts on those that will help you connect with your existing patients, as well as encouraging a whole host of newbies to call on you for a check-up. Below are just a few of the most popular platforms you may want to consider.
Social Networking Sites for you to embrace
Make friends with Facebook
Everyone seems to be on Facebook, from your great Aunt Flo and strange people you haven’t seen since school, to selfie obsessed teens and even popular pooches. So it’s probably a good idea to go with the friendly flow and create a fab Facebook profile. You can let everyone know all your news and communicate directly with patients by chatting on line. You can even target potential patients with (paid for) Facebook advertising and equally generate lots of (free) interest by keeping your page regularly updated with engaging content. This will need a little effort but Facebook undeniably deserves some well-crafted posts and snazzy pictures.
Tap into Twitter
Twitter is another hugely popular platform that lets you send mini messages to your ‘followers’ and also lets you follow people, businesses or organisations. Tweets are restricted to 140 characters, which sounds pretty stingy but it’s actually a really effective way of trimming down what you want to say and these brief declarations often catch the eye better than rambling posts. It’s particularly useful for getting information out there quickly and has a handy hashtag feature that lets you keep up with or (perhaps start!) the latest trends. You can let your customers know what you’re up to and perhaps get some useful feedback, and if this isn’t all good then just see it as an opportunity to use your excellent customer service skills to rectify any issues.
Smile with Pinterest and Instagram
Pinterest is all about images, so it might not be an obvious platform for a dental practice unless you’re especially handy with a camera and want to share quality pics of your state-of-the-art surgery or beautifully restored teeth. However, if you do want to get involved, your photos will be seen by an enormous audience and images also have more chance of being shared. Instagram is equally photo led, it has a younger audience and can really only be operated via a smartphone but it can make your practice seem much more ‘human’. You can upload visual evidence of your team’s antics such as weddings, the practice principal’s birthday bash or a dazzling tooth whitening success.
Go to the movies with YouTube
If you have produced any watchable videos then why not share them with the world via YouTube. This social media channel has an eye watering number of visitors and boasts hours of video of everything under the sun. It can also boost your search engine ranking, so if you fancy yourself as a budding Spielberg, give it a whirl.
Fall in love with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is less about amusing dogs wearing sunglasses and more about getting down to some serious business. It connects professionals and also includes a group feature so you could get stuck into dentistry discussions with a significant number of your peers. You can also post information about your practice and job vacancies if you are looking for more lovely people to join your team.
Join the Google+ gang
You may want to consider Google+, a newer virtual hangout, which could offer you a handy showcase for your practice news. Also if you do get involved you may find Google are delighted to have you in their gang and will boost your search engine results accordingly. So don’t ignore Social Media, you can reach so many potential patients if you use it wisely, as well as enjoying a confidence boosting influx of ‘likes’!