Are You Using Social Media to its Full Potential?

By: Noha Abou-Hashima

In order to stand out from the crowd, many dental practices smartly choose to take their business to their patients, rather than the other way around. They do this by utilizing social media. Why is this the smart thing to do? Because unlike your website, social media is an active platform that allows your patients to form a bond with your practice.

When you engage with your patients online, your practice becomes more than just another dental office. It becomes a familiar place where your patients know they can feel comfortable. Patient engagement online allows your patients to form an emotional bond with your brand, thus distinguishing your practice from the competition. But are you getting the most out of your social media?

It is generally a good idea for your practice to engage with patients on multiple social media platforms. But, do not make the mistake of treating all social media platforms the same. Not only does the type of content differ, but each platform also targets a specific audience with specific interests. In our previous blog posts, we have discussed how content like online reviews can improve your SEO or how you can capitalize on User Generated Content. This article will walk you through some of the more popular social media platforms, and how you can write content that caters to each platform and its audience.

Related article: 5 Ways to Reach Your Target Audience via Social Media

  1. Twitter
  2. Twitter is all about simplicity. The 140 character limit keeps users' feeds from getting too crowded with content. When writing a post for your practice's Twitter, keep in mind that your followers are looking for short, simple tweets that get the message across in a matter of seconds. See the example below of what a short and relevant tweet looks like.

    Though short tweets are probably the easiest and least time-consuming to read, you can still use Twitter to promote longer content related to your practice. If your practice has a blog, you can link to it on Twitter, but remember that links are also restricted to the 140 character limit. Using a social media management tool like Hootsuite not only helps you schedule your posts, but also shrinks links to fit the character limit. Use relevant hashtags and an interesting caption to prompt your followers to click the link to your blog post.

    If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can add images to your tweets. One trick is to combine text and image into one post, so you still have room for hashtags and links. When it comes to Twitter, give your creativity free reign and come up with different ways to make your practice and your tweets interesting for your followers.

  3. Facebook
  4. Everyone loves a good narrative, especially a positive one. And since Facebook has no limit on the amount of content allowed per post, it is the perfect platform to share narratives involving your practice. Whether it's an article that mentions your practice, an event that your practice was involved in, or even something that happened in the office, you can use Facebook to share these features with your patients. Adding images to your posts will not only add context, but it can increase your engagement rate by up to 37%.

    People like to share their thoughts and opinions with others. Maximize your patient engagement online by encouraging your patients to interact with your posts. Of course, the topic of the questions is up to you, but below is an example posted by one of our clients.

  5. Instagram

  6. If you take a lot of photos and want to share them with your patients, then Instagram is the place for you. As a social media platform dedicated to images, this is where you let your photos do the talking. Short captions give some context to your photos, but should not overshadow them. The screenshot above is an example of an Instagram post by one of our clients, Lawrence West Dental, where they’ve posted a sweet personal picture from the office, with a short caption, and relevant hashtags.
    Feel free to share photos of humorous moments at the office, personal celebrations such as staff birthdays, or patients who are happy with your services and are willing to share their experience with other patients.

From short and sweet text, to photos of your practice, there are (almost) no limits to what you can do with social media. Just remember that the point of social media is establishing a personal connection with your patients, and letting the viral nature of each platform help you reach to potential, new ones.

If you're still not sure on how to cater to your social media followers, contact us at UpOnline to learn about our Social Media services.