Many healthcare practices today still revolve around traditional methods of promoting the service. While some practices don’t encourage outright advertising, there are lots of clever ways to put your business if front of potential customers.
In today’s 21st century world where the consumer (patient) is highly knowledgeable and extremely brand-aware, it might not be very effective approaching them with age-old methods. The world has evolved, and so should your practice. Billboard signposts and placements in targeted publications can only take you so far.
In the words of Dr. Cecelia Luong, managing dentist at Tigers Smile Dental, “Patients like professionals they feel more amenable to. They will be more comfortable if they sense your social intelligence.”
We couldn’t agree more. In the era of social networking and modern communication systems, brands will do better to engage their audiences in conversation rather than talk at them. A two-way conversation breaks the ice and fosters lasting company-customer relationships- and a dentist’s practice is no different.
Here are 5 ways to start becoming socially involved:
- Register a social media account
If you haven’t already, it is a good idea to register an account with one of the social media networks. There are a lot of them from Facebook to Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Tumblr and so on. However, the one you choose will depend on your intended communication style and where the majority of your potential customers engage.
If you will like to target much older customers (perhaps parents who bring their children to your clinic), Facebook is a good platform to start. If you are more inclined towards younger adults, Instagram or Twitter are good options. For more professional partnerships or communication with peers, LinkedIn provides a medium to engage and discuss the latest dental practices.
- Start social listening
Social listening is the practice of being attentive to what is happening in the social verse and how it affects your practice. It could also be a way to participate and get your clinic more awareness among potential customers on social media. For example, trending issues about a celebrity’s smile can inspire a joke about how your practice can reciprocate such smiles in patients.
Social listening requires having all the tools for newsjacking and understanding what your customers are saying about topics related to your practice. Occasions such as Halloween night can provide opportunities to remind people about the danger of hard or sticky candy.
- Post engaging content with website links
Social media is a great way to drive traffic back to your website (31% of referral traffic). Even if you do not do this, you can hire a social media assistant or outsource the service to an agency. Create content tailored to each social network. If you have three social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the content structure will differ for each platform, but maintain the underlying message.
Secondly, insert links to each post so that readers can click them and be directed to your website. There, carefully written content can compel them to take the next action. Whether it is to register for a newsletter or book a teeth screening.
- Tell brand stories on social media
Every business or practice has a story, one which people will love to tell. Work with a marketing expert to determine what your brand story will be. Are you promoting confidence through a smile or healthy living? Or is your brand quirky enough to take a more daring message? Whatever you choose, you can promote them via your social media account.
Video is a great way to generate visibility and engagement online. You could post videos of a typical day at your clinic; happy customers, the latest cutting-edge equipment you have acquired and so on. Make it generally an inspiring or interesting story and your potential customers will warm up to you.
- Engage in blogging for your practice
There are two major advantages of blogging for your practice
- Increase your SEO rankings
- Become an authority in your niche
There are more, but we will focus on these two. Blogging right, that is original content, quality keywords and offering genuine value, attracts positive search rankings on Google. If somebody searches for dental care in your area, your practice could show up among the top three organic results. This is what quality blog posts can do for your service.
Blogging regularly and maintaining the value of your posts could make your website the go-to place for all dental issues. The more you post helpful content, the more your perceived authority increases over your competitors. This can earn you great reviews and referral both off and online.
We understand your profession may not permit you to do all these, but hiring the right marketing or content writing agency can allow you achieve both. Being social-media savvy is an effective way to build long-lasting relationships with your patients. What’s more, it can save you a lot in marketing costs.