By: Stephen Anson
Did you know that your patients spend more time updating their Facebook statuses than checking emails? With over one billion active users each month, Facebook is the most popular social media network in the world. This offers a unique chance for dentists to communicate with new and existing patients with the click of a mouse.
Is it really that simple? If you understand how to properly use the outlet and set realistic goals, it certainly can be. However, running a dental practice and taking time out of your day to engage Facebook followers can be a challenging task.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your Facebook page, consider the following Do’s and Don’ts for cosmetic dentists.
Do This, Not That
Set Up a Business Page instead of a Personal Account
Setting up a Facebook business page is the first step in communicating with new, existing, and potential patients. Different from a traditional Facebook account, which is often used to share personal exchanges with close friends or family, the business listing allows all users to “like” your page instead of sending you a friend request. This expands your reach and separates business from your personal life.
Opting to use your business page to share updates and engage with patients is the recommended and professional choice. You’ll have the ability to see insights that you won’t find on your personal account, including number of page likes, user demographics, and post reach.
If you haven’t set up a business page for your practice yet, you can do so by following the steps here.
Showcase Your Talents
|Social media is image driven. Visual content often receives the most likes and shares on Facebook, which is great news for cosmetic dentists. The best part? By posting a before and after photo (with your patients consent, of course), you get to brag about your abilities without saying a word—the proof is in the picture.
Other visual content ideas to share on your own page include fun infographics, videos, or an inspirational quote as seen right.
Start a Conversation
The next time you make a post to your page, consider ending it with a question. By doing this, you’re inviting followers to contribute to the conversation, creating interaction with comments.
Here’s how you can make average posts stand out with a question:
- We hope our Facebook friends have a great Monday! What’s first on your list to accomplish today?
- Fun fact: Everyone should floss once each day. Are you brave enough to admit your flossing habits?
Adding the words “comment below” at the end of your post can also help to call on followers for action.
While it’s critical to understand the best practices for Facebook, it’s just as important to avoid common mistakes and unrealistic expectations. Make sure your practice stays away from:
Expecting a slew of new patient inquiries: Patients are not going to Facebook to search for a new dentist. Surprised? They’re much more likely to stumble onto your website first. If they like what they see, the patient will then explore other mediums for information—this is where Facebook comes in. Keep your page updated with correct information and new posts to help them choose you.
Posting too much or too little: Don’t post every hour and don’t post every other week. Sticking to one or two engaging, informative posts each day brings balance to your page and insight to your followers.
Publishing patient information: If sharing photos of happy patient results, do not reveal personal health information without a signed photo or video consent form.
Increase Your Practice Reach With Facebook
With a properly set up Facebook page and thoughtful posts, you’ll not only keep followers engaged, but your practice in their minds. While opportunities to gain new patients certainly exist, don’t forget that keeping existing patients hooked can mean more referrals and repeat appointments.
Interested in learning more about other ways to get new patients from the Internet? Download our free eBook here.
Stephen Anson is the cofounder of the dental website service Smile Marketing. He is a new patient marketing specialist who has been helping health-care professionals generate new patients from the Internet for over 10 years. Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.