Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, said, “Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” This philosophy makes Facebook an essential asset for all small businesses, including your dental practice. It allows you to rapidly expand your word-of-mouth. Dentists marketing on Facebook keep themselves top-of-mind with their patients, so those patients are ready to refer their practice to their families & friends.
When it comes to competition, Facebook is unrivaled. It remains the largest social network with over 901 million active users who are each estimated to use the network for a minimum of 20 minutes per day.
Of its 901 million users, 488 million also access the social network on their mobile device, making Facebook the most popular social network – period. This popularity can benefit your practice by creating a huge referral network for you to interact with and attract new patients, while communicating with your current patients as well!
Astounding Facebook Statistics
- 80% of social networkers prefer to connect with brands via Facebook.
- Facebook is the most visited website on the Internet.
- 77% of companies with a social media presence say they regularly acquire new customers through Facebook.
- Facebook has the most website traffic referrals of any social networking site, garnering 56% of social media space. However, this includes YouTube. When YouTube is removed from the mix, Facebook accounts for over 75% of social media presence.
- Facebook has over 864 million active daily users.
- 79% of online adults use Facebook (AdEspresso).
- 72% of online users making more than $75K a year are on Facebook (OmniCore Agency).
- Americans spend 58 minutes a day on Facebook (HootSuite).
- 50 million businesses have Facebook pages (HootSuite).
- 57% of consumers say that social media influences their shopping (AdEspresso).
- 8 in 10 Americans use Facebook on a regular basis.
Steps to Optimize Your Dental Clinic’s Facebook Page & Presence
Step 1: Create a Compelling Facebook Page for Your Dental Clinic
Take some time to build out a complete and useful Facebook page for your dental practice. The nicer it looks the better your chances of making a great first impression and getting new patients. Here are some tips to make an impact right from the start:
- Create a Great Cover Photo. Your cover photo is the first thing patients will see when they visit your page, so ensure that it grabs attention. Your photo should be 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall and feature your office and/or smiling staff. Additionally, you can use your cover to do the following:
- Encourage fans to “Like” your page by including subtle text that draws visitor’s attention to your “Like” button. More page “Likes” on your Facebook Page opens your practice up to a larger online audience. With more Facebook users engaging with your Page, you are able to extend your marketing reach.
- Help fans find your website by displaying your URL. If fans seriously want to know more about your services, displaying a link in your cover image can increase traffic to your website and help users learn more about the services you offer.
- Share your contact information so fans can quickly and easily schedule an appointment. While your Page already includes your contact information in your About section, putting this information front-and-center within your cover image can increase the number of fans who contact your practice.
- Revamp your profile image. Profile images should let users easily distinguish your brand. Because your profile image is displayed next to every post and comment you share, you want to constantly be sharing your brand. If you have an identifiable logo, try using it as your profile image, or use a clear photo of yourself.
- Thoroughly complete your profile. Often, when businesses first create their Facebook Page, they get so caught up in getting started that they neglect to fill out all available fields. Including comprehensive information about your practice (such as services you offer, office hours, contact information, and a link to your website) will help prospective patients distinguish you from your competitors and make it easy for them to visit your site to learn more.
- Add a description. You have 155 characters to tell a story, so make it count. The most important things to include are your location and a few of your specialties. Here’s an example of a great about section: Brigerton Dental, located in Boulder, CO, offers affordable dental care for the whole family! We specialize in pediatric dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.
- Add Your Contact Information: If new patients want to schedule an appointment, make it easy for them! Include your phone number, address, and office email so people can easily contact you to set up their first appointment.
- Link to Your Website: To make it easy for new patients to learn more about your practice, link out to your website. In addition to adding your URL to your cover photo, add it in your “About” section. This is an essential step that will help you get new leads from your Facebook activity.
- Use a Custom Facebook URL – If you haven’t already claimed your Facebook vanity URL, do so as soon as possible. Vanity URLs take your Facebook page from being www.facebook.com/349984563 to www.facebook.com/yourpracticename, allowing you to reference a simple, easy-to-remember URL on your practice’s marketing materials so patients can easily find your page. To edit your vanity URL, visit www.facebook.com/username
- Double check your page category – Make it easy for potential patients to find you by picking the correct category on your Facebook. There are several dental categories to choose from, so choose something that best represents your specialties, like “General and Cosmetic Family Dental Practice.” An added benefit to listing yourself as a local business is that your contact information and hours are prominently displayed at the top of your profile, preventing users from having to navigate to your “About” section to find the information.
Step 2: Invite Your Current Dental Patients to Like Your Page
Once your page is off to a solid start, the next step is to build out your network by inviting current patients to like your profile. Don’t send requests too often or in bulk, as being reported as a spammer can get you suspended from Facebook. Instead, send invite requests in small batches of 20-30 to patients you trust the most. Include a note that says something along the lines of:
Hi! This is Dr. Smith with Brightsmile Boulder. We’ve been slowly building out our Facebook followers, and we’d love for you to join our page!
As you get more followers, you can start posting content for everyone to see!
Also note that many would-be Facebook legends attempt to kick off their page by inviting their first degree of connections (close personal friends and family) to “like” it.
While your family and friends will probably like your page no matter what, it’s important to remember that you want those who follow your page to be the most likely to connect with the content you will be posting. This helps Facebook share your page with others who are most likely to like your content and page as well. Later on, if you decide to boost your posts or run Facebook Ads, having your ideal audience as the ones who like your page will help you target those ads most effectively.
Step 3: Create Great Dental Facebook Posts
One of the biggest challenges for dental practices is deciding what to post. We can safely say that most people don’t want to be hammered over the head with marketing content day after day.
Do some research to discover what they engage with on Facebook, whether that includes news stories, fun facts, humorous memes. Take a look at other dental practices in your area and see what has worked for them. See what posts tend to get the most comments, shares & likes.
The goal is to get your followers to like and share your posts. A share is an endorsement that goes out to everyone on the sharer’s friend list. A post has to connect emotionally with a person in order for them to share it.
Creating a funny and smart series of memes involving teeth (especially if it includes adorable animal smiles) is a great place to start. Getting this engagement is how you broaden the reach on Facebook and attract new leads.
Step 4: Develop a Dental Facebook Content Posting Plan
Once you’ve gotten up a few starter posts, the next step is to think of the long-term strategy of your social media presence. You’ll want to come up with 5 to 7 posts per week that you can share on your practice’s Facebook page.
The key to your content plan should be to develop a balance between posts that talk about your practice and those that engage on a broader scale. While it might seem like every post should talk about your practice and services, that can quickly lose you followers.
We recommend following the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of your content should be entertaining, informative, or humorous in order to encourage the maximum amount of comments, likes (hearts, cares, etc.) and shares from your followers. The remaining 20% should promote your dental office, etc.
There are also a lot of different formats you can experiment with including videos, polls, text, images, Facebook Stories & Facebook Live. Just remember, whatever medium you use to connect with your audience, the goal is to get them engaged with your content.
Struggling to come up with ideas? Check out our blog post on 30 Social Media Post Ideas for Dentists to get you started!
If posting several times a week is too much to handle with your schedule, consider outsourcing to a digital marketing company like ProSites. We create content and post every week so you can focus on supporting your patients.
Step 5: Start Some Meaningful Dental Conversations
Now that you have an active social media plan for your practice – you’re building your network of friends, regularly posting content, getting engagements – it’s time to take part in conversations.
Engagement (Facebook calls it Affinity) is key for any dentist who wants their posts to be seen by their followers. The more comments you can spark among your page’s followers and their friends, the greater your reach will be (Hootsuite).
You should always strive to respond quickly to comments on your posts, even if it’s just a quick “thank you!” In addition, commenting on other posts within your local community can help present you as an industry expert and trusted neighbor.
Follow community pages, especially if you have a personal connection. Parents groups and volunteer organizations are a great place to get your name out there, just by conversing as usual!
Step 6: Ask for Dental Reviews and Recommendations
“Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” Zuckerberg’s comment was aimed at explaining why social media can have a major impact on businesses.
Your Facebook friends are your influencers and ambassadors. When your practice holds a position of trust and authority on Facebook, you may have thousands of friends and followers ready to be your ambassador and recommend you when that simple question is asked – “Anyone know a good dentist?”
Posting regularly and responding to comments will help you stay top-of-mind when this question arises.
How Facebook Page Insights Can Help You Monitor Your Reach
When marketing your practice on social media, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your efforts are improving your marketing strategy, particularly with Facebook. If your practice is active on Facebook, you may begin to wonder, “How can I tell if it’s working?”
Facebook provides every page owner with in-depth analytics called Insights, which can help you determine the success of your social campaigns.
To access your page Insights, scroll down on the left under your Manage Page options and select “Insights” from the menu.
From here, you can view all analytics associated with your page, including:
The following three metrics are key to understanding the success of your social media marketing:
Likes – Understanding the trends in your page Likes can help you better acquire more Likes and can even help prevent losing them. Facebook allows you to track the dates of every Like or Unlike, enabling you to see which posts gain fans and which push fans away.
Reach – Your Reach statistics will show how your page is getting seen – via shares, comments, etc. Your Reach will also tell you when fans hide your posts or report you for spam, enabling you to adjust your future posts accordingly.
Posts – Post data allows you to see which days and times your page receives most of its traffic. It also allows you to see which types of posts receive the most engagement from your fans. Using this data to tailor future posts can help you increase the interest and interaction fans have with your page.
Playing Nice with Facebook’s Feed Algorithm
According to one past announcement, creator Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook was built “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience.”
“But recently,” he continues, “we have gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
As a result – Facebook made changes to show “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
These and other changes since have been designed to help people find relevant content that encourages more social interactions from friends, families and groups they care about instead of video and other public content.
What do this & future Facebook Algorithm changes mean for my dental practice’s Facebook page?
Prioritizing posts from friends and family means people will see more posts and content from people and less from brands and businesses. While the impact has varied, businesses sharing posts that don’t generally elicit comments or interaction will see the largest decrease in distribution, while those who create conversation will see less of an effect.
Facebook has encouraged businesses to produce great content that is relevant and resonates with their audience – in other words, don’t try to game the new feed update by posting a fun video that has nothing to do with your audience.
Instead, play it safe and stick to content that’s relevant to your audience.
Is there anything my dental practice should be doing differently on Facebook to play to the algorithm?
According to a post AdWeek published when the above mentioned change was announced, there are a few things that businesses can do to continue to reach a larger audience on their Facebook pages:
- Encourage patients to add your practice’s page to Facebook’s see it first This feature essentially allows each person to customize their news feed experience by scrolling through friends and pages they follow and select who they want to prioritize seeing first.
- As a local dental practice, take steps to be included in the Facebook Local application, a standalone mobile app that helps people easily find what to do and where to go, as recommended by people they know and trust.
- Post engaging and relevant content that sparks conversations. As mentioned above, the more meaningful content and interactive posts – the better. Use polls to ask patients for their opinions, and be responsive on your pages to encourage back-and-forth dialog on your posts. If you are looking for ideas, check out this infographic with 30 Great Social Media Post Ideas for Dentists.
The biggest takeaway is that dental practices should continue to market their practices on social media – encourage positive reviews on their page to build trust among potential patients and have engaging content that keeps them social, engaged, interacting, and informative.
Dental Facebook FAQs
Here are some questions we commonly hear from dentists about marketing on Facebook:
Is Facebook really worth it?
Yes, for both communicating with your current patients and attracting new ones.
With the sheer volume of emails and advertising that the average consumers receive online, receiving no-strings-attached Facebook posts is a welcome reprieve.
You can stay connected with patients and start conversations with other members of your community just by sharing news articles and posts.
You can also use Facebook Boosted Posts to 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.
Is there a way to capture emails or other information about people who visit and/or like my posts or page?
Facebook is not allowed to share information that would help identify users who have liked your dental Facebook page. If they are part of a group you are in, you will be able to see some basic information about them, like their name & profile picture, but again you will not see their email address.
Similarly, you will be able to see who has liked your page’s posts, but unless an admin of your page is friends with them, you will not be able to see their email address. Even then, they will need to have their privacy settings set to allow that and you will need their permission before sending them anything via email.
One way a user might share their contact information is if you decide to advertise and ask for that information through a form. That’s why it’s so important to include your contact information, including your phone number and website link, directly on your page. People who want to learn more can quickly follow up with your practice.
Should I use Facebook Ads?
Dental Facebook ads are an excellent way to find patients in your area, especially if you’re looking for younger generations ready to use their dental insurance for the first time.
Facebook advertising provides detailed filters, including location, job title, and income level, so you can specifically target people who would use your services. There are even specific settings to find parents, which is essential for pediatric dentists and orthodontists.
If you’re nervous to start testing out these audience filters yourself, reach out to ProSites. We can help you get started by creating audiences, copy, and ad images to help you maximize the return on investment of your ads.
What is Facebook’s profanity filter? Should you keep it turned on or off?
According to Adweek, “[Facebook’s] profanity filter… will block the most commonly reported words and phrases marked as offensive by the broader community. Admins can set the profanity filter to strong, medium, or none, though Facebook does not provide a list of exactly what words will be filtered under each setting.”
It’s recommended to turn it off, as turning it on can accidentally restrict engagement on your page. Instead, try modifying “visitor posts” settings so you can review what people post on your page, or block overtly offensive words under “page moderation” (found under your “settings” tab).
What is the best day and time to post on Facebook?
Generally, the best time to post on Facebook is between 11 and 1 PM local time. However, you can find out more detailed information by visiting your Insights tab to learn when your followers are online by selecting “posts” in the left-hand column. There you will see a dashboard labeled “when your fans are online.” This gives you an exact timeframe for when your fans are the most active.
Next Steps for your Dental Facebook Marketing Success
There is no magic formula that will instantly build your authority on Facebook. While social media can be fun, planning and implementing a social media campaign takes time.
If keeping up with your social media marketing is not where you want to utilize your skills & resources, a qualified dental digital marketing company can help. To learn how ProSites can create a social media management program and/or drive dental leads with Facebook ads to meet your practice’s goals, contact us for a personal consultation at 888-932-3644.