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A 2018 survey found that 83 percent of dentists believed social media marketing to be more efficient than traditional methods. Yet, only about 55 percent had social accounts for their practices. Why? In many cases, the answer is simply not knowing where to start or how to go about developing a social media presence.

If you are among those without a social media presence, now is a great time to change that. Where should you start?

Facebook

With 2.5 billion monthly users, Facebook remains one of the most popular social networks and a marketing hub. Furthermore, Facebook owns Instagram, which is another leading network. If you are looking for the best place to start developing or optimizing your social media presence, Facebook is probably it.

Instagram

This one is an obvious choice for showing off your best “before and after” patient pictures, but don’t limit yourself. It is also a great place for behind-the-scenes images of your office, staff photos, showcasing technology in your office, and even relevant memes.

YouTube

You might not think of it as one, but YouTube is a social network, and a very active one. It is a great place to showcase your expertise, with explainer videos, oral health tips, and even patient testimonials. You can also embed YouTube videos in your website and share them on other platforms.

Twitter

Designed for bite-size, sharable content, Twitter is ideal for quotes, links, and short tips. You can also use the format to start a conversation by posing a question or inviting questions from your followers.

Tips for social media success

Remember these points:

  • Don’t violate patient privacy – Make sure you understand applicable national, provincial, and local laws. Social media might feel casual and conversational, but these rules still apply. Something as simple as an office photo that shows a patient in the background – or even sharing a selfie the patient posted – may be a violation without proper consent.
  • Separate personal and professional – One of the biggest social media mistakes you can make is using an individual profile for your practice. To begin with, you don’t want to mix your private and professional interactions. Additionally, Facebook and most other networks have a special account type for business, which offers unique (and beneficial) features.
  • Offer information, not free advice – Social media is a great platform for patient (and public) education. Hygiene tips, warning signs of oral disease, or information about common procedures is great. Answering general questions, such as “why is flossing important?” is also good. However, offering diagnosis or medical advice on public forums can risk violating patient privacy and possibly harm your reputation – not to mention the fact that you are giving away services. Be careful that you don’t cross the line between education and free telemedicine.
  • Keep a friendly tone – Maintaining professionalism does not mean that you have to take an overly clinical or formal tone. This is your opportunity to connect with patients and emphasize the human side of your practice. Include candid staff photos, mention upcoming community events, and even inject a little humor where appropriate. The style should be conversational and somewhat casual, but most of all it should be tailored to your brand identity.
  • Remember every network is different – Your general approach and most content types work on most networks. However, there are exceptions. For example, LinkedIn is geared toward professionals, so the rules of mixing personal and professional are a little different. Here your individual page should be business-focused (it’s not the place for family photos and catching up with friends). Additionally, there may be locally focused social networks for your city, which would call for a greater emphasis on community related content.

Conclusion 

Social media is no longer a virtual hangout for kids, or simply a place to chat with friends. It is a great tool for reaching new patients, engaging (and retaining) existing patients, and building your digital presence. Furthermore, it is one of the fastest ways to disseminate information and update the community about changes at your office – a benefit that is more important than ever in these uncertain times.

Originally Posted On: https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/blogs/top-social-platforms-for-dental-marketing/