How to Perform and Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy For Your Dentist Website
Social media entails several different platforms, but they all let you share or communicate content such as text, images or videos with other members on the same platform in an online community environment. Implementing Social Media Marketing (SMM) for dentists has the potential to create a lot of buzz around your dental practice. You can connect with existing patients through different social media channels as well as encourage existing customers to mention your dentistry business to their online friends, thus creating a very cost effective referral advertising strategy and great word of mouth interest. There are many different social media platforms available, but we will be concentrating on the ones that are most likely to allow you to promote your business and increase your brand awareness, which are Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook Social Media Marketing For Dentists
An introduction to Facebook is probably not needed, since most people have heard of it and perhaps you have a personal account to connect with family and friends online. But you can also use Facebook as an extension of your business marketing, and gain new dental patients with it. In order to attract new patients or to connect with existing ones, you will have to create a business page within Facebook.
First, login to your Facebook account. Then, on the far right is a drop down arrow. Click on that and then click on the “Create Page” link.
You will be taken to a web page that lists the different page categories to create. You then click on the “Local Business or Place” link.
You will be presented with the following fields to enter.
For the “Page Name”, make sure you enter in your dentistry business name the same way you did for the Google My Business listing and your citation listing. Remember, to use the legal version of your name and to list your name the same online wherever you list it, and that goes for social media accounts as well. Consistency is very important.
Where it lists “Page Category”, start typing in the dental service that best represents your practice. For example, if you type in “Dentist”:
It currently shows results for Dentist & Dental Office, General Dentist, Cosmetic Dentist, Pediatric Dentist, Teeth Whitening Service, Orthodontist and Prosthodontist. Pick the dental category that best represents your business.
Next, fill out the rest of the information requested on the following forms. There is a section to list hours of your business, your contact information, create buttons that lead people to your website and more. Don’t forget to create links to your website.
Once you are done with creating your Facebook page, advertise it to your existing dental patients and connect with them online. You can first attempt to email and ask for them to “Like” or “Follow” your page, but many times people won’t become fans of business related Facebook pages unless you provide them with an incentive to do so. Perhaps offer a discount code or something for free in order to get them to Like or Follow you. You can advertise to follow you in order to get Facebook-only specials. You can also offer them special discount codes or coupons they can give to their friends and family members.
Once you have them as a fan, you can provide them with soft sells over time by regularly posting on your Facebook page. If you really want to make an impact with Facebook, you should attempt to post at least a few times per week, if not more. The more you post, the more likely your page fans will be able to see it. accBut you don’t want to post too often as that can you have the opposite effect by annoying followers who ultimately may “unlike” you because you are hogging up their Facebook home screen. Also, you don’t want to always post self-promotional posts about how great your dental practice is. You should try to post helpful topics around 50-90% of the time, and then be self-promotional for the remainder.
Once you have a decent following and are posting on a regular basis, you will be surprised how effective marketing on Facebook can be for your dental business.
Twitter Social Media Marketing For Dentists
Twitter is a micro blogging social media platform that allows you to write short comments along with links or add photos and videos. As a dentist, this allows you to connect with your existing dental patients and attract new ones. You do this by creating short messages which are called “Tweets” that are shared with people that “follow” your Twitter profile. The current length of text allowed is 240 characters, but in the recent past it was only 140 characters. This character limit includes characters listed in images, urls and image and photo urls.
First, create a Twitter profile for your dentistry practice by signing up here.
When it asks you for a username, try to create one that matches your dentist business name, but try not to make it too long. Twitter currently limits it to 15 characters or less. The shorter the username the better, since that will make it easier for your followers to remember, but also helps with your branding. For example, if your name is Dr. John Smith, you can try the username of @drjohnsmith. Keep in mind that most common names are most likely taken, so you might have to get a little creative with usernames, such as @drjohnsmithdds or @drjohnsmithDental or something similar.
You should complete your Twitter profile as much as possible. Click here to read about the different parts of a Twitter Profile such as your profile photo, header image and bio.
The current specs for a Twitter profile are:
- Profile photo – 400 x 400 pixels – Try to use your logo if you have one.
- Twitter header image – 1500 x 1500 pixels – Group photo or building/office photo
- Bio – 160 character limit – Discuss what sets your dentistry business apart from your competitors.
Make sure you include a link to your website!
Pinned Tweets are showcased as the first Tweet on your profile page. This is content you would want to highlight, so if you are looking to get potential new dental customers, you can mention that if they follow you, they will get a special coupon or access to Twitter-only special offers, or something else that you can offer them as an incentive to follow you.
When coordinating all of these different elements, always try to reinforce the brand identity you are creating online. A consistent branding identity is key, so if you have a logo, you should use it as your profile photo. For the header image, you can use a picture of your office or the outside of your dental building, or perhaps a group shot of you and your staff.
Just like Facebook, you should tweet on a regular basis with your followers at least a few times a week, but to get better results you should tweet around 2-3 times per day.
Make sure that your Tweets aren’t too self-promotional, which can turn off some of your followers who may decide to unfollow you. You should aim for 50-90% of your Tweets to be non-promotional and the rest about your dental business.
Some things you can Tweet about:
- Dental related topics and stats
- Locally relevant events and/or topics of interest
- Ask for feedback to increase interactions with new or existing dental patients
- Snippets of content from your website and blog posts
- Current or upcoming holidays or events
You should also try to add images or videos to your Tweets to grab more attention and encourage more likes and retweets by your followers.
Time your Tweets for optimal viewing. You should schedule your Tweets so that they will most likely show up within the feeds of your Twitter followers. You can guess when that time is, but it is best to use an analytics tool that can help you determine this more definitively, such as Tweriod. This will connect with your Twitter account and let you know the best times to Tweet in order to get the most effective reach.
Try to make your Tweets show up in Twitter searches or conversations by adding hashtags before the word. For example, if you are sending a Tweet about an event you are sponsoring in your area, you would write it like this: “Come visit our booth at the #NameOfEventHere in #TownNameHere – courtesy of DentalBusinessNameHere” or something similar.
You can connect with your dental patients on Twitter by following them. Once you follow them they are more likely to follow you back. Now that they are following you on Twitter, they will see your Tweets. According to Twitter, “78% of people who follow SMBs Retweet content from that business”, which means that if they Retweet something from your dental business, then all of their followers will see that Retweet. Also, 75% feel more confident in a business after following them and reading their Tweets, so this will reinforce your dentistry practice brand with your followers. According to this same study, 69% of followers end up doing business with those that they follow. So, it just makes sense to create an engaging Twitter presence online.
You can try to connect with your existing dental patients by uploading their email address within your Twitter account, and send a message that you would like to connect with them on Twitter and follow them. They are more likely to follow you if you follow them first. You should also ask all of your staff to follow you on Twitter and have them Retweet your Tweets. Gaining new business benefits your employees, too, with job security and future pay raises.
You can also create an incentive to get new and existing dental patients to follow you on Twitter by offering special dental coupons or discounts that are only advertised on Twitter.
Don’t Forget To Add Social Media Links On Your Dental Website
Once you have created your Facebook business page and Twitter profile, make sure that you link to them from within your dental website. You can do this by adding links at the bottom of your site in the footer. You can also create automated Facebook or Twitter feeds that show your latest posts or Tweets. All of this reinforces your dentistry businesses brand and reinforces trustworthiness.
Social Media Signals and How It Helps Your SEO Efforts
Having active social media accounts helps you connect with new or existing dental customers, and also has the added benefit of helping your website’s search engine optimization. The more often you post to your social media accounts and the more activity that you show with likes, shares and comments, the more it can boost your other SEO efforts by sending social media signals to the search engines. The more social media engagement that you have, the better the social signals are to the search engines. When a search engine can see that your website is active, it is more likely to revisit it, thus increasing trust signals, which in turn can improve your website rankings on the search engines.
Other Social Media Accounts to Consider
You should also reinforce your brand and increase your website’s authority by having profiles on some of the following social media channels:
- Google+ (Pronounced Google Plus)
- YouTube – Share and create videos
- LinkedIn – A business networking site, but you can also use it for connecting online
- Pinterest – Love or pin images into separate pin boards. Dentistry infographics, photos, etc.
Add as much information as you can for each profile and page that you create, and don’t forget to add a link to your website if they allow it. It is important that you not only create these social media accounts, but that you also share or post on them on a regular basis. You should also try to connect with others on these accounts, since the more followers that you have, the more powerful and buzz worthy your posts will be. These social media profiles do not have to be as active as your main Facebook and Twitter accounts, but you shouldn’t simply create an account and leave it blank, since that wouldn’t provide any value to your audience and what you are attempting to accomplish.
Next, we will go over how to get people that have left your dental website back with retargeting.
How To Perform Link Building for Dental Websites
Guide to Dentist Website Retargeting