Dentists have gone to school for many years to train for a very particular set of tasks. If anybody needs a tooth checkup, a cavity filled, a cleaning done, etc. they can easily tackle the situation using their knowledge and experience.
While it is generally necessary for most people to call on the services of a dentist at various points in their lives, visiting the dentist is usually not classified as a fun and enjoyable activity. Due to the somewhat uncomfortable nature of dental visits many people attempt to put them off as long as possible. What if a dentist could reassure potential patients of the level of comfort and care they would experience in their appointments? If a dentist was able to assuage the fears of their patients while providing reassurance about the quality of care they would be receiving, patient appointments and retention would probably increase drastically. Another issue is competition. There are dentist offices scattered all over the place, some within a block of each other. How would someone choose which one to go to? Most will perform an Internet search. If you are a dentist, you want your practice to show up on that first page of Google, right?
Computers have very quickly become tools for work, research, and entertainment that most people access regularly. That regular computer activity generally includes several visits to social media websites, where people often get information and ideas about services from people they know and trust. This effect is even more powerful than traditional information spread by word of mouth, since thousands of people instantly have access to a thought or recommendation.
If a dentist is able to properly use social media marketing to display positive information about their practice, the potential for success grows exponentially. Various types of social media can be employed to share different aspects of their business. The actual dentist or practice could assume its own identity with a Facebook profile, where they post pertinent information and display specialty services. More specific videos and current descriptions of projects could be shown on YouTube and Twitter, while LinkedIn could allow dentists to connect with other relevant professionals in the area. Blogs could also describe current business practices, updates, offerings, etc. to help spur patients into considering their own dental care and the possible services that they might find beneficial.
Since most dentists have been focused on developing skills specific to their practice for most of their lives, some are not completely aware of the setup involved in running a social media marketing campaign. Knowledge of social media websites is required for setting up, linking, and sharing information that could benefit their practice. After the setup has occurred, it is also necessary to update and monitor the information. This helps to ensure that the practice stays as public as possible, and that the publicity it receives is all positive in nature. Any negative publicity could also be addressed through this monitoring process, potentially reversing the effects. All of these activities can seem like “pulling teeth” when you are busy actually pulling teeth! Fortunately, there are companies with social media marketing managers that are available to help dentists navigate these possibilities. These managers can set up accounts that would reach the target demographic, and put a system into place that would help dentists keep track of current publicity. Since people are able to instantly post public reviews of service, those providing the service are more effective if they have direct access to those reviews to address them as necessary.
Dentists can most definitely benefit from the possibilities that exist in the world of social media marketing, and should implement these practices right away!