When it comes to your dental practice growth, there may be a vital tool you are missing: Facebook. Yes, the social media site is not just an app that keeps your patients glued to their phones in the waiting room. It’s not just a procrastination tool you use when you really don’t feel like going over the practice budget. Facebook has rapidly changed the way that businesses market themselves. It gives small business owners like yourself the chance to compete with large chains and corporations.
Facebook for Small Businesses
When you create a Facebook page, it helps your practice grow in several ways. First, it allows your loyal patients to become spokesmen for your business. Each time a person “likes” you on Facebook, he or she becomes a “Fan.” Your updates and posts will appear on your Fans’ newsfeed. Most importantly, each time they interact with you on Facebook, it may appear in their friends’ newsfeeds. In this way, news of your practice will spread more quickly than with other advertising campaigns.
Additionally, Facebook boosts your SEO rankings. Search engine optimization, or SEO, determines how quickly you show up on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and similar tools. For example, if you have good SEO, you will show up on the first page when potential patients search for dental care in your area. Although likes and Fans do not seem to have any bearing on SEO, relevant content can help your page rise to the top.
Finally, Facebook brings your practice closer to your patients. People see this site as a more personal form of marketing. Even though most people are not going onto Facebook to be “sold to,” if they have liked your page, they actually want to see your posts and updates. The site also gives you a way to share outreach programs and volunteer opportunities, so you can build a connection to the wider community.
5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Practice Facebook Account
Ok, so you can see the importance of Facebook to your practice growth. However, as with all marketing strategies, you need some savvy skills to work with this tool.
Set a specific goal.
“Specificity” is one of my mantras as a dental coach. You are more likely to get something out of Facebook when you have a defined goal for its use. A great example would be “I want to increase revenue among 18 to 35 year olds by 10%.”
Keep your page fresh and interesting.
No one is going to be checking out your page if you don’t have anything worth seeing. Post on a regular basis. Avoid sales pitches; Fans are looking at your page to glean information, to learn about updates at your practice, or to find out about your involvement in the community.
Offer dental advice.
When you provide friendly advice about dental hygiene, diet, and oral health, people appreciate your personal concern. They are also more likely to come back your page.
Keep up with Page Insights.
Facebook provides a handy tool that allows you to see how well your page is working. The Page Insights app shows likes, shares, and the median age of your Fans. This data will show you what posts work best, so you can create similar updates to more effectively target your prime audience base.
Don’t let it become a time waster.
We’ve all spent far too much time on Facebook. When you are using the site to promote your business, it is easy to get stuck in the maze of Fans, page data, and new posts. To save time, post your practice blogs to Facebook. That way, you won’t have to come up with new material every time you log on. You may also want to hire a social media or PR expert. These professionals understand the confusing realm of SEO and Page Insights. They can maintain your page, and you can spend more time caring for the new patients that your marketing strategy brings to the practice.