Facebook is Just a Part of the Dental Sales Funnel

Facebook is touted by some marketing companies as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Don’t fall for the hype.

Facebook has its uses, but getting new patients to call your office isn’t one of them.

After all, when was the last time you looked on Facebook for an electrician?

Social media is designed, first and foremost, to be social. It’s a place to exchange ideas, to “meet” people, and to read interesting and funny stuff. It’s a place to share life events, good and bad, and to create a like-minded community. It’s an unofficial news source and a place to vent.

It’s a place to establish relationships.

You can invest a whole lot of time and energy into Facebook trying to land new patients. It’s not worth it. People aren’t on Facebook to be sold something, whether it’s a product or a service.

And you can spend a lot of money on paid ads. It’s true that Facebook has improved its Ad Delivery and Pacing algorithms to help you better target the people you want to attract with paid ads. But there’s a crucial piece missing to the equation.

People follow your Facebook page because of its content. That means you’re saying something that’s interesting, useful, or even enthralling. Because the content you post resonates with them, they’ve established a relationship with you.

If you were to provide your followers nothing but posts that promote your practice and your services, people would stop following you. Because they’re not there to be sold.

What Facebook does do a good job at is influencing people. Facebook helps you position yourself as the expert, as trustworthy, and as the preferred choice for people’s dental problems.

Basically, your Facebook page influences people to visit your website, and that’s where they get the information they need to make a decision about choosing a dentist. That’s not to say that you can’t run an occasional special on Facebook, but your emphasis has to be on engaging and influencing your readers.

Follow the same search engine optimization rules with your Facebook page as you do for your website:

  1. Provide interesting, helpful and relevant content that is thought-provoking, provides answers to people’s problems, and above all is original. Reposts from other Facebook pages or blogs should be kept to a minimum.
  1. Keep your content fresh. Update your Facebook page frequently.
  1. Mix your dental-oriented content with more personal posts. You’re on Facebook to establish relationships and position yourself as the trustworthy expert.
  1. Calls to action (CTAs) that aren’t “in-your-face” are fine; just don’t overdo them, and feature them in your problem-specific “expert” posts. Offering a free consultation for a specific dental condition usually goes over well.
  1. Use keywords judiciously. Get some into the post early, and sprinkle them lightly throughout the rest of the copy. Google will penalize you for “keyword stuffing.”

Used improperly, Facebook can be a huge time and money suck that offers minimal return on investment. Use social media as a part of the sales funnel to drive potential patients to your website, and you’ll see returns.