To Tweet or Not to Tweet!
Many dental practices are gearing up for 2012—crafting marketing strategies and affixing dollar amounts to marketing budgets. Through this planning process, there is one question that often arises surrounding social media for dental practices: Should your dental practice invest in social media?
The answer is simple: Yes! Your prospective and existing patients are using social media already so get in the game. To grow your practice, you need to be where your prospects and patients are—online 24-7.
A Pew Internet and American Life Project survey shows that among adults 18 and older, Facebook has taken over as the social network of choice as 73% of adult profile owners using Facebook, 48% have a profile on MySpace and 14% use LinkedIn.
Social media is a relationship building tool for prospective and existing patients. It lets you create a dialogue with a more personal touch.
First, connect with your patients. Email new and existing patients to follow you on Twitter or “Like” you on Facebook. Offer a giveaway or a “grand” prize to incentivize your patients to connect with you. Search social networks for your patients and invite them to join your social media network.
Now that you have a growing social media network, use your channels to provide helpful dental advice. Offer dental updates, broadcast news, share testimonials. But, promote practice specials sparingly. Once your network sees that you are providing solid dental care advice and not just promoting your practice, they will share your communications with others in their network—thereby expanding your reach. And don’t forget to ask questions. You want to create an exchange, a dialogue. This is what social media is all about!
Remember, your practice is a business and it all comes down to relationship building. Social media is a great way to build and strengthen relationships with both patients and prospects. As you grow your social media presence, your reputation among patients and prospects will lead to more referrals and greater patient loyalty—which means more repeat business and greater future success.