Is Social Media Right for Your Practice?
With over 75% of Millennials, 50% of Generation X and 30% of Baby Boomers having active profiles on social media, as reported by Medium, the chance your patients are getting their information via Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest or Instagram is very high.
Social media has fast become a must in any business climate. This communication medium is creating valuable opportunities for small businesses, including the dental practice world. Here are four reasons that you should invest resources to grow your business into social media:
1. Customer Retention: 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of [on social media], according to Y-Marketing. With regular posting, your practice will stay in the forefront of patient and potential patient minds when they have dental needs and referral considerations.
2. Lead Generation: Social media generates new patient leads based on peer recommendation, a very powerful marketing tool. More than 68% of social media users trust a peer recommendation of a business. The great thing about social media is that if one fan recommends your business, they are recommending it to all of their network of friends and followers. The amplification potential is enormous for word of mouth endorsements.
3. Reputation management and maintenance: Reputation management is necessary on social media, as the conversation will happen about your practice whether or not you’re involved. Yelp, for example, is a peer review site where users review businesses, regardless of whether the businesses have a registered account or not. This can greatly effect a potential patient’s decision because 85% percent of people research their business decisions online and 90% of Yelp users say that their choices are influenced by positive reviews. If your practice is not responding to negative reviews with solutions or expressing thanks to positive ones, conversations about your brand are happening without you and opportunities to resolve sticky situations and understand what patients like about the practice are being missed.
4. Establishing expertise: Social media is a powerful tool for establishing your practice’s expertise in dentistry. By posting content that displays knowledge, authority can be established. The content also needs to convey sensitivity to patient’s concerns. Make sure each post, article and image address standard concerns about dentistry. The tone of your content should be friendly, knowledgeable, reliable and easy to understand for the layperson.
Set your practice up on Yelp, Facebook and Twitter and start engaging in the conversation. Your patients – and future patients - are already there.