Are you stuck trying to figure out how best to grow your dental practice? Not sure how best to use digital marketing to your advantage? Believe it or not, social media can play a significant role in helping you add new and loyal patients.

That’s right. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other platforms can add true value to your marketing efforts. But first thing’s first. You have to have a presence on these platforms if you ever want to make any headway.

But before you go out and create a handful of profiles for your dental practice, ask yourself if you really need a presence on each platform out there.

Chances are you don’t. In fact, chances are even if you did create a profile everywhere across social media, eventually, you’d simply stop posting to a few, and focus only on one or two platforms. So, why not cut right to the chase?

We recommend creating, and managing, 1 or 2 social profiles at most, particularly if you don’t have a dedicated social media manager. Over time, once you’ve mastered social media marketing, you could add a profile to the mix. But for now, focus on a few – namely Facebook (without a doubt) and perhaps Twitter or Instagram.

Once you have your profiles established, you’re ready to unleash these four strategies – which you can begin to implement immediately across all your social networks to generate buzz and attention around your dental practice.

Highlight your cutting edge technologies and offerings

Patients like to know that the dental care they’re receiving is part of the latest cutting edge trends. You can help them – and your prospects – feel confident about the care you provide by sharing your approaches and accomplishments on social media.

For example, if you actively post articles about your approaches and technologies, be sure to share these posts across your social platforms. Think of social media as an extremely effective approach to public relations. When something new and exciting happens with your team, social media can help you share it with the world.

Did you introduce a new whitening service? Share it online! Did you find a way to quicken the time it takes for a root canal? Your patients want to know this. Turn to social media!

Personalize your dental practice with patient stories focusing on people with severe or serious dental issues

Your patients and prospects will absolutely respond to your social shares highlighting your cutting edge approaches and technologies. However, many of them will also respond to human-interest stories, particularly those patients who suffer from more severe dental issues. They want to be moved and inspired.

That’s where patient stories come in.

The stories you create for your dental practice will follow the journey of your patients as they struggle and thrive through their dental battle.

These stories will talk about the patients’ history, the months and years that led them to your office. The stories will take the viewer through the realities of complicated dental care – including the treatments, the support of doctors and staff, the devotion of family members and friends.

In other words, these stories peel back the curtain on what it’s like to be a patient in your office, without you having to rely on slogans and catchphrases.

These types of stories are best told through video, but articles can suffice. Regardless, for specific segments of your audience, this is the type of content they want to read and share. It goes beyond clinical terms and procedures and, instead, focuses on empathy.

You can also take a much simpler approach to sharing patient success stories. A good tip is to keep tabs with the patients who have gone through more complicated care with you. If, for example, a young woman who needed a full mouth reconstruction recently graduated from high school, promote her ceremony on your social platforms (with approval, of course).

This isn’t the time to pat yourself on the back. The spotlight belongs to your former patient – you’re merely there to help share in her accomplishments. Grabbing a picture of her beautiful, genuine, smile, certainly won’t hurt your cause, however.

Be the source of vital information –and share it on social media

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 90% of all internet users (or 93 million Americans) have searched for health-related topics online (up from 62% in 2001).

In other words, your prospects are looking for answers online that only you and your team can provide.

It’s time you start providing those answers!

You should be posting content on your website regularly and then promoting these on social media. But don’t just share your own content. Here’s a good tip to follow:

Create a list of influencers whose social circle you’d love to be a part of. You can then use a tool like Hootsuite, or even create lists directly within Twitter, to keep track of the latest social shares of your influencers.

This makes it easy for you to share quality content from these influencers with your own audiences. Not only will this strategy help build your social following, but it will also:

  • Help you share content regularly without having to produce more than your team can handle
  • Help your practice get noticed by these key influencers

Use social media to promote upcoming events

Social media serves as one of the most efficient ways to get the word out about all of your upcoming events, seminars, and webinars.

By using social media, you’ll not only grow your event attendance, but you’ll also show your followers how invested you are in your community.

For all the good social media can do, make sure to forge your path with care

Social media empowers you to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of prospective patients living in your immediate area. But make sure that through all those posts, shares and hashtags, that you retain your professional branding.

Sure, social media users are typically pretty informal, but it’s up to you to ensure this informality doesn’t spiral down into recklessness. We recommend you create clear office guidelines (even if you’re the only one who’s going to post on social media) to explain exactly what can and can’t be posted, shared, or expressed.

Without this guideline in place, social media likely won’t grow your practice – it’ll damage its reputation.

But once you have your guideline in place, and profiles set up, you’re well on your way to casting a spotlight on all the tremendous achievements and accomplishments of your dental practice, which in turn will bring more and more patients to your office.