So, you’ve got yourself a shiny new social media account for your practice. You have plenty to say... but when it’s time to post, you find yourself staring at a blank screen. Wasn’t this supposed to be easy?
Sometimes it takes a little practice to feel comfortable posting in your new social media profile, but Optio Publishing is here to help. Here are a few ideas to help you write short and easy posts.
1. Be real. Patients often see their dentists and hygienists as professionals who breeze in, slip on a pair of gloves, fix up their mouth, and breeze back out. Social media is a great way to show them who you are “in real life,” and help patients feel more connected to you.
Post a picture of you and the rest of the team eating together in the lunchroom, or a group shot from the staff holiday party. Celebrating someone’s birthday in the practice? Post a picture of them blowing out the candles.
Show your patients the fun you and your team have together. Do you have a inter-staff joke about how one hygienist always brings exactly the same lunch to work? Snap a picture of them smiling while holding up their 10,000th identical PB&J, and write a quick caption about it.
EXAMPLE: Here at ABC Dental, you can always count on three things: that we’ll do anything and everything for our patients, that we’ll make our patients laugh at every appointment, and that Jenna will bring exactly the same lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY. She absolutely loves her PB&J – and don’t worry, she brushes as soon as she’s done. Tell us – what’s your favourite lunch to bring to work?
The next time Jenna’s patients come in for a cleaning, they’ll have a fun conversation-starter because they saw her online. A post that ends with a question – especially a fun question – is always great for getting your followers to interact with you online.
2. Make your followers feel like VIPs. Social media encourages people to be nosy. People like to feel they’re getting the inside scoop on something, or getting a behind-the-scenes look at a place they go to regularly.
If your practice is going through renovations, throw on a hardhat and take a picture for your social media fans. Write a quick post about the renovations – maybe it’s for a larger waiting area or another operatory – and update them on the progress. The next time they’re chatting with a friend who also goes to your practice, they’ll have the 411 on what’s happening.
EXAMPLE: ABC Dental is a major construction zone right now! As you can see, we’ve ripped out the old reception area and we’re in the process of building a larger, more open concept waiting area. We can’t wait to show everyone. We’re counting down until our Feb. 1 re-opening! – Katie B., Hygienist
3. Show gratitude for your patients. People are often extremely loyal to their dentists, and spend years or even decades going to the same practice.
If your patient averages an hour twice a year for a check-up and hygiene visit, plus a few extra appointments for filling cavities, fixing crowns, etc. that means that patient spends 8-12 hours a year either sitting in your waiting room or parked in your operatory chair.
You appreciate your clients, so don’t be shy about letting them know that. Write a post about how much you just enjoyed visiting with a long-time patient, and how you always chuckle over your running joke about the local sports team rivalry.
EXAMPLE: Just had a great chat with a long-time patient while we replaced a molar filling. He’s been coming here since 1998, and he never gets tired of joking about how the Leafs are going to crush the Habs. We’ll see, haha! -- Dr. Smith
The patient himself might never see the post, but it shows your social media followers that you’re a warm, friendly dental practice.
4. Embrace local connections. One of the easiest ways to gain social media followers and raise the number of people who see your posts is to write posts that are “shared” by the people in them.
For example, if you stop at the coffee shop downstairs every morning for a special kind of bagel to go with your latte, get a staff member to snap your picture with the barista as you pick up your order, or are getting ready to take a big bite. If you hire a local florist to bring in fresh bouquets for the reception area, take a picture and add a caption.
In your post, make sure you “tag” the business by using the “@” symbol and then typing out the business’s Twitter or Facebook handle. The name will turn bold, and the business will get a notification that you’ve mentioned them – and most of the time, they’ll share the post with their followers.
EXAMPLE: We order fresh bouquets from @ABCStems every week, and they never fail to brighten up the reception area. Since they’re located just downstairs from the practice, we get our order in minutes. Thanks for the gorgeous daisies today, guys! – Kathy, Reception
5. Don’t be afraid to have fun. Social media isn’t a joke, but it isn’t super-serious, either. Think about the kinds of things you like to see in your personal Facebook or Twitter feed. You want a post that will catch people’s eye in a sea of other posts competing for their attention, and maybe even make them smile.
If you get a huge shipment of branded toothbrushes every month, take a picture of a team member popping out of a box full of them – and add a caption about how many toothbrushes you give away each month, on average.
EXAMPLE: The toothbrushes are taking over! No, not really, but it feels that way when 1,000 brushes arrive all at once. I think our hygienist Rachel is having a little too much fun on this beautiful Friday afternoon. Have a great weekend, everyone! – Dr. MacDonald
Interacting with your patients through social media is a win-win for any dental practice.
It reminds your patients to make that appointment and come in – and, above all, it increases patient loyalty.
Want to learn more about social media? Check out our Social Media 101 post