Social Media Do’s and Dont’s for Dental Practices

Young Professionals sitting a their desks with various social media notification boxes imposed over them.

Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. And, if you’ve noticed, it’s a vital part of any dental marketing strategy. Many people complain that social media is invasive and annoying, but a majority of American people are on it, including your patients. If you don’t try to connect with them on social media, a competitor will.

Social media is actually a great place to nurture relationships with current patients and establish trust so that lurkers will become patients. With well over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is ripe for the picking and a great place to start your dental marketing.

The online world of social media has its own etiquette. With that in mind, it’s important that before you begin posting you have a solid understanding of the do’s and don’ts of social media. This can save you from a lot of heartache and trouble over time.

Let’s start with the dont’s. After all, these are the most important things that you do right, so that you prevent any issues.

Don’t get political

Seriously. You’re a business. Represent your business in the best light possible and keep things strictly business. This last election season was heated, and many a business found themselves in hot water for supporting one candidate or another. While it’s easy to wish people could respect people’s differences, it’s easier said than done.

Do not post pictures of patients or any of their identifying information

You might want to post pictures of your cavity free club, however, before you do that make sure you have parent permission (on a signed form that your lawyer has looked over). You don’t want to violate any HIPAA policies or patient trust. When quoting testimonials, do not use patient’s last names,

Don’t be negative

Ok, this one seems simple enough. There’s enough negativity in the world. Avoid taking part in it by committing to posting help and uplifting content. If you aren’t sure whether a post was effective or not, check the stats on Facebook insights to see how many people hid your post, hid all your posts, or took any other negative action.

Avoid conflict

It’s quite common for patients to come on social media and complain about an experience they had. Never, ever engage in conflict with a patient. Offer resolution, be transparent, but do not stoop to their level.

Steer clear of marketing lingo

People know when they’re being marketed to. Instead of using overly polished marketing language on your social channels, stick to helpful, authentic tones. People tend to find that more relatable than marketing, which makes them more responsive to your posts.

There’s no need to post five times a day

We’ve all known that one person that just blows up people’s news feeds. Don’t be that person. Stick to posting when you have useful and purposeful content to share. Your content marketing strategy should help you develop a posting strategy that speaks to your audience.

Keep your posts brief

And don’t just use text! The shorter your posts the better. Consider that most people are reading from mobile devices and as a result are looking for snackable content.

Phew, that’s a lot of don’ts. Thankfully, the do’s are a little easier to follow. After all, doing social media right really requires you follow just a few guidelines.

Use images and videos

People tend to have a higher response rate to videos and images. They’re also easier to share, which helps your content reach more people over time.

Use captions in videos

Always caption your videos. A whopping 80% of people watch videos without audio. Providing captions will help them better appreciate the video.

Ask for good reviews

Establish an ethical way to have happy patients share reviews. This is particularly important on Facebook and Google. These reviews can help rank your website and, more importantly, make a difference in how people view your business.

Post regularly

I know, I know. We said not to post too much. But that doesn’t mean you can’t post regularly and stick to a posting schedule. You might regularly post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or Saturday through Thursday. Whatever your strategy, it’s important that you stick to your schedule because people will come to expect your posts.

Ask questions to engage people

Asking questions on your Facebook page and soliciting feedback helps people feel like they’re interacting with your business and making a difference.

Keep your profile complete and up-to-date

Your profile is indexed by search engines. Maintaining your profile will ensure that people get the most accurate information possible.

Share tips and tricks

You’ve got years of experience in dentistry. One of the best marketing tips for dentists is to share the information you have. Use Facebook to share these tips and tricks and turn them into an image to make more shareable. Ask people what they have questions about so you have a constant flow of ideas.

Connect your social media to your website

One of the biggest parts of website design for dentists is making sure you have your social networks accessible from your website. This helps link both and makes it easier for people to connect.

Celebrate holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving

Use your post to also alert patients of changes in hours during the holidays. There’s also a ton of fun and whacky days out there (like national ice cream day). Celebrate in office to have some fun with your staff and post the pictures on Facebook to show your team’s personality.

Use apps to allow people to take various actions

This might mean booking an appointment, hosting content, contacting the office, or sending a message through Facebook. Each of these apps creates a connection point between you and patients.

Navigating the world of social media can be scary, but when done properly it can make a huge difference in your marketing strategy. From more leads to a more engaged audience, the benefits far outweigh the cons and have great potential for your business.