Maximizing the Impact of Social Media During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The idea of creating social media posts on Facebook might be the last item on your ever-growing to do list, especially for practices trying to align with CDC guidelines and adjust their operations. As a dentist, your priority will naturally be to ensure your staff and your patients are safe.
That being said, social media is an impactful channel, and one of the easiest ways to communicate changes to your office hours and policies. Before you start posting on social media, be sure you have answers to these questions:
- Will your office close or will you consider limited hours?
- Will you offer phone calls or online consultations?
- What are the best sources of COVID-19 information to use?
- How can you partner with other small businesses in your local community?
The best way to maximize your marketing ROI is to make sure your dental practice is active on social media. According to Pew Research, “Social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Instagram users – visit these sites at least once a day.” (source: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/). Given the growing use of social media by consumers (including your current and potential new patients), it is clear social media is here to stay. However, it is important to use this critical tool strategically and carefully.
Dental Practices can use social media to help accomplish the following:
- Remind patients you are their ‘virtual care’ dental resource.
The best way to retain your patients is to continue to provide ongoing patient communications. Let your patients know your new office hours, how to contact your team during a dental emergency, and how to define a dental emergency procedure. Ultimately, let them know you are still available for their emergency care across the coming weeks.Important Tip: Make sure that your dental practice and staff share posts from credible resources like the CDC or the ADA. Be sure to check out the CDC website for the latest recommendations.
- Get their attention online – just be sure to use it wisely. During a time when most patients are quarantined at home, their time online is extended. In addition to managing their families, they are helping with homework and trying to entertain themselves. Anything that helps your patients stay healthy and safe is welcomed. Be sure your social media posts provide helpful tips that can be tailored to all patient types. For example, you can share a post or email with information helpful for elderly and highly vulnerable dental patients or send custom tips for patients with young children.
- Stay top of mind with your patients.
Keep in mind that most patients look forward to hearing from their Dentist. With the sheer volume of emails and social media messaging that the average consumers receive online from unsolicited emails and direct mail, viewing a post on their Facebook page that provides valuable updates will be a welcome reprieve. Another great way to stay connected with your patients is to share precautions you and your staff recommend taking for to stay healthy.Important Tip: By using Facebook Boosted Posts, dental offices can reach potential patients that do not follow their practice on social media. This can help generate likes, patient reviews and shares of your Facebook page. Think of each “share” as a way to grow your audience. If Jane Smith shares your informative social media post with her friends, this is a new group of potential patients that will learn about your dental practice.
- Earn new patients by telling them why they should try your dental practice.
Social media advertisements are a great way to communicate with potential new patients as well. They offer dentists a visual platform to share their own personal story while highlighting how they are different from the local competition. Of all marketing channels, social media offers the most benefit due to the large volume of active users. Facebook has 2.5 billion monthly users across all demographics. That means Millennial, Generation X and Baby Boomer patients are all online actively sharing, commenting and engaging with content. If you have new technology or a special promotion, consider running a paid advertisement to attract new patients on Facebook. Not only is online marketing environmentally-friendly, but it provides detailed reporting so each post can be improved over time. It also means you will know exactly how many potential patients clicked or viewed your Facebook Ad, in addition to your conversions.Important Tip: Launch a Facebook Boost Ad to target patients in your zip code with interests that match what your practice offers. For example, if you offer “new teeth whitening technology” or your “kid-friendly patient waiting area” it’s important to create a Facebook ad that shares this information or anything that makes your practice unique.
Your Next Patient is Online. According to Google, there are over 1,360,000,000 results for a google search of “dentists near me”. Call us at (888) 932-3644 or Request a Free Consultation to learn how we can help you with all aspects of your social media marketing – from content, posting, design and delivery.