There was a time, as recently as ten years ago, when a dental practice could safely ignore the online market. Having a website was always useful, of course, but it was considered being on the cutting edge. A dentist simply didn’t absolutely need a website in order to make ends meet. Standard marketing could be plenty to make sure new patients were rolling in. Unfortunately, these days that’s simply not the case. These days, you absolutely need to implement dental marketing strategies if you want to grow your practice at all.
But that’s not all you need. Just having a website simply isn’t good enough, no matter how much one wishes it were. Having a website is good, of course, and you absolutely should have a well designed, well put together website in order to help attract new dental patients. But you also need to learn how to use social media in order to market your business!
What is social media? Social media is a catch-all term for various ways people communicate online. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter allow you to send out information to hundreds, even thousands of people quickly and easily, with a single press of the button.
If you’ve been taking care of marketing for any length of time, no doubt your eyes have already lit up at the different possibilities of being able to get information out to thousands of people almost instantly. But it’s not enough to merely be able to do that. These days, people want to have plenty of content to help distract them from their every day lives. It’s not enough to simply be able to send them information, you have to also be able to entertain them.
How can dentist do that? One of the easiest ways is to actually communicate with your patients. Don’t simply consider Twitter and Facebook a website replacement center. Instead of simply putting up news and information, you could actually encourage conversation and discussion with your potential customers. This allows them to become part of the conversation about your dental practice, which in turn helps them feel invested. Once people begin to feel invested in your office, they’ll begin paying more and more attention to your practice because of that investment.
You may also consider making some content specifically for your online persona. It’s similar to making a television commercial, or perhaps a magazine ad, but it targets your online areas specifically. By making entertaining content, you encourage your existing patients to share that content with their own friends, who in turn will share it with their friends. In doing this, you can attract a huge number of people to your various online sources, which in turn will allow you to market to even more people.
The idea behind online marketing is simple; get people invested. So when you’re thinking about how to market online, make sure you’re considering your social media outlets as two-way conversations, not a simple one-way advertisement. Otherwise, you’re simply not making the most of your online marketing possibilities.