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Successful social media strategies

June 1, 2019

People today expect easy access to information. They want that information when they want it and how they want it. They even expect this when it comes to dentistry. With this in mind, here are several proven strategies your team can use on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to attract new patients, communicate with existing patients, and promote your unique qualities and services.

Be more than social—be strategic

We live in the Discover Economy, where people actively seek, share, and discover new products and services through social media. So how do you put together a successful social media strategy? Here are four steps to get started.

Step one—create your story

Craft a one-page strategy document that includes the consistent and purposeful story that you want to share with people about your practice. The document should also have roles and responsibilities, budget and other resource allocation (such as time), and success metrics.

Step two—plan your calendar

Proactively plan how you are going to share this story online. I recommend creating a 12-month calendar based on your story. For example, let’s say philanthropy is a big component of your practice, and your doctor wants to do more short-term orthodontics. Your practice’s social media calendar could start with a quarterly event that raises money for an appropriate charity. The pre-, during-, and postevent social media posts would be put on the calendar. Then you would add content that appeals to those patients who may be candidates for short-term orthodontics. This content could be educational (all about clear aligners), inspirational (the benefits of a beautiful smile), or promotional (have a short-term orthodontics day).

Step three—add seasonal messaging

Next, add seasonal events or messaging, such as back-to-school or end-of-year benefits, and information that may help patients overcome barriers to care, such as sedation (fear) and financing options with a CareCredit credit card (cost).

Step four—make it personal

Get personal and let your personality shine through by adding “fun stuff” like birthdays, celebrations, team retreats, contests, hobbies, etc.

Once you’ve done all this, you should have a strategic and strong calendar ready to be implemented on your practice’s social media.

Be a social success

The time and resources put into your practice’s social media should produce a measurable return on investment. Here are a few ways to measure your success:

Visibility—It’s important that you’re visible to current and prospective patients in your neighborhood. This can be measured through the reach of your content—specifically how many people in your area you reach on a consistent basis. Is that reach growing? Facebook can provide this information for you via the Insights tab, which is located under the Page Views section of your practice’s page.

Lead generation—It’s also important to drive people to your website, and if it’s designed for conversions, you can measure the lead through to appointment or request for information.

Specific promotions—Create product or treatment promotions (clear aligners day) and fun contests only marketed through your social media channels and measure the response.

Intake forms—Your patient intake form should include a place for patients to let you know if they have seen your practice on social media. List your social media sites and ask patients to follow you. This encourages patients who have not seen you on social media to look for you.

That’s it! You’re now ready to take these proven social media strategies and begin tracking the results.

RITA ZAMORA is the author of the new book Get Found, Get Liked, Get Patients—Making the Most of Social Media. She is an international speaker and the owner of Rita Zamora Connections, a social media marketing agency for dental and medical professionals.

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