Three social media channels your practice can leverage to acquire new patients

For many consumers -- including your current and prospective patients -- social media has become a go-to resource for buying decisions.

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By Diana P. Friedman, MA, MBA

For many consumers -- including your current and prospective patients -- social media has become a go-to resource for buying decisions. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.

By cultivating a comprehensive, active, and well-branded online presence, your practice can make the most of these opportunities to acquire new patients and strengthen loyalty with current ones. Here are three online channels on which to focus.

Pg82Facebook

With Facebook, businesses can create branded, customized Facebook pages and effectively drive traffic to their page using multiple, inexpensive marketing tactics. The practice can leverage its Facebook channel to post a wide variety of multimedia content to engage and educate visitors.

Why it's worth your time

Given Facebook's incredible popularity -- more than 1 billion members worldwide -- it's likely that most of your current and prospective patients are there. What's more, Facebook users tend to be active and engaged: the average user spends 55 minutes a day there!

Pg82bTwitter

Twitter is an interactive stream of messages. Each message is limited to 140 characters. With Twitter, it takes just seconds to create a tweet that reaches thousands of potential patients!

Why it's worth your time

Not only are your existing and prospective patients on Twitter -- it currently has more than 200 million active users -- but they're using it to inform potential buying decisions. Forty-two percent of all active Twitter users learn about products and services there.

Pg82aGoogle+

Google+, Google's foray into social networking, allows you to create brand-focused pages for your practice, "circle" other users, share a wide range of multimedia content, and much more.

Why it's worth your time

Google+ has exploded in the last year. It now has more than 500 million users, including -- chances are -- many of your current and prospective patients. Most importantly, as a dental practice, you serve a local community, and Google+ is all about targeting that local audience.

Final thoughts

These very important online channels can help your dental practice accelerate new-patient acquisition. The best thing you can do for your practice is to get started. If you haven't already, start by setting up a Facebook Business page. Facebook is so popular that not having a page in 2013 looks nearly as bad as not having an up-to-date practice website. Next, evaluate how you can fold these other channels into your online marketing mix and strategy. Once your practice gets started with these channels, it's important to keep them updated, fresh, and relevant. It's worth your time to consider getting some help from a proven online dental marketing company. Just make sure the company is focused on dentistry and has a track record of success in helping practices grow through these channels.

References available from the author upon request.

Sources

  1. "Digital Set to Surpass TV in Time Spent with US Media." August 2013. eMarketer.
  2. Sesame Member Survey, 2010, Sesame Communications.
  3. Sesame Member Study, 2013, Sesame Communications.

Diana P. Friedman, MA, MBA, is president and chief executive officer of Sesame Communications. She has a 20-year success track record in leading dental innovation and marketing. You may contact her at Diana@sesamecommunications.com.

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