In today’s cutthroat Internet environment, dentists who want to succeed can’t afford to miss a trick. And unless you pay close attention to new developments in the online world, you’ll be a late adopter of new trends that can help get you more patients.
There are three hot social media trends that you should adopt quickly, because your competitors certainly will.
- Cultivate happy patients
Celebrity spokespersons for brands have been around for a century. For most of that century, marketers believed that a person’s fame and personability would influence audiences to buy a product or service. “Influence marketing,” as it’s known, is still in play today.
However, when it comes to choosing a dentist, your dental prospects are more likely trust a friend, neighbor, or even a social media friend who gives a glowing recommendation but who obviously has no reason to exaggerate or lie about his or her experience.
Online word-of-mouth recommendations are worth their weight in gold. To get them, you need happy, satisfied patients who are willing to post positive reviews online. To get those patients, their entire experiences with your practice, not just the outcomes of their procedures, have to be excellent. Those experiences begin with the new patient phone call to your practice, so make sure your staff are highly trained.
- Go big on online video
Video has exploded in the last few years. YouTube reports that 4 billion videos are watched online every day by over 1 billion Internet users. And many of those videos are uploaded from and viewed on mobile devices.
The video trend is picking up steam on social media as well. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have all introduced video-specific functions to encourage video posting. And it’s worth noting that Facebook alone has over 1 billion users worldwide.
Social media is becoming prime territory for dentists to showcase their own (non-clinical) videos and brief patient testimonial videos.
- Go live.
The Internet’s appetite for live streaming video appears to be insatiable, and the social media platforms are responding. While you won’t appear in a live stream as often as, say, a wacky Internet-famous inventor, your patients and prospects will appreciate the opportunity to view you in a spontaneous “performance.”
If you remember Geraldo Rivera’s infamous live “expose” of Al Capone’s “vault,” you already know that live streaming has the potential for disaster. So, while the best live streams appear unscripted, you should have a very good idea of your message and how you want to present it before going live.
Taking advantage of the live streaming trend won’t be comfortable for all dentists, and those who are very uncomfortable might want to think twice before attempting it. For the ones who might actually enjoy it, make sure that your audience knows of the date, time, and channel of your event well beforehand.
At any one time, there are only so many new dental patients in a given market. The dentists who have used social media to establish themselves firmly in the minds of dental prospects will get more of them.