An increasing number of dental practices are turning to technology to streamline their administrative and business operations. However, few dentists engage in social media to improve their marketing efforts. One of the reasons for this reluctance is that many medical professionals don’t understand what they can do with it or how it can help their practice. For the most part, they consider it to be a waste of time – a place for people to post pictures of their kids or dinner.
It’s true that there is a lot of that. But when used properly, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+ can serve as a valuable tool in connecting dentists with their existing patients as well as attracting new ones. Here are some ways social media can be useful for your practice:
1. Keep your patients informed
How many times have you answered the same questions from different patients in a day? Have you ever wished you didn’t have to repeat simple instructions over and over again? Your practice’s Facebook page is the perfect place to put all that. An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) answering simple queries can make sure you don’t keep repeating yourself and save valuable time during office visits.
2. Express your professional perspective
Thanks to the internet, everyone has instant access to health information. But not all of which can be trusted. Many people cannot differentiate between reputed sources and random blogs and can scare easily, convinced that everything on the internet must be true. How often has someone walked into your office with articles from questionable sources? Social media gives dentists the opportunity to express their opinion on issues affecting patients. You can educate them, as well as the community at large, on everything from healthcare reform, medical malpractice or dental procedures.
3. Social media increases reach
Even if your immediate circle is small, your message can spread easily if it resonates with the community or your followers. People who didn’t know of you may stumble onto your Facebook page. It can connect your practice with potential customers who were referred by their friends. Word of mouth is a very effective method of marketing compared to other forms of advertising, especially for medical professionals.
These are just a few of the many ways in which social networking sites can help you. It can be used to give updates on clinic hours and other changes, build a stronger doctor-patient relationship and forge a better brand for your practice.