The world has gone social media crazy, so we’re often asked by dentists if their practice should be taking advantage of the many (many!) platforms available.
It’s not always an easy question to answer. After all, we’re all about marketing and visibility — but that doesn’t mean we encourage every dentist to jump on every social media trend.
Ready to dive into the world of handles and hashtags? Here’s a look at the four most popular social media channels and whether they’re a good fit for a dentist or dental practice ...
Setting up a Facebook presence is a clear “must-do” for any dental practice, in our opinion. (If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, we can help.) It’s the most popular social media site in the world, and you need to be where your patients are.
Patients looking for a new dentist use Facebook to check out different practices, compare locations, read reviews, and see who’s involved in the community. In fact, they often find your page through Google — so it’s not something that can be set up and forgotten. Your Facebook page should be updated regularly and you should encourage patients to review you, in order to make the most out of this platform.
Not only is a Facebook account critical for getting people to find your practice, it’s also a useful way for you to specifically target the patients you’re trying to reach. For example, boosting posts or advertising on Facebook can help reach a broader audience than just those who like your page.
So, should you be on Facebook? As a practice — definitely. As an individual —only if you want to. (Oh, and never friend-request your patients.)***
This one isn’t as straightforward as Facebook. For some practices, it might be an OK fit — but in other cases, we’d actually recommend staying away.
Twitter was designed for short bursts of text: 140 characters, to be exact. Even though you can add photos and links to your tweets, it’s primarily a “status update” type of social channel.
Twitter is for sharing articles, witty observations, snappy one-liners, and quick perspectives on anything from a TV show to our current political climate. You can see how this could get tricky. It doesn’t have the steady audience of Facebook, and it also has a much younger demographic.
Simply put, your patients are not looking for a new dental practice on Twitter.
We do think dentists — as individuals, not as a practice — could benefit from having a Twitter account, providing you keep things professional.
When you’re at a dental conference, it’s likely going to have its own hashtag (i.e., #DentalCon2017). Following this hashtag and chiming in is a great way to join conversations, highlight key parts of a presentation, and make professional connections.
So, should you be on Twitter? Just as yourself, if you want — probably not as a practice.
No, no, no. The only brands that should be on Snapchat are the ones targeting teenagers — and, even then, they’re often trolled for existing in that space. Snapchat is not a place for a professional dental practice.
So, should you be on Snapchat? Nope, nope, nope!***
Instagram is highly connected to Facebook and Twitter, and many apps give you the option to post a status or photo across multiple platforms with a single click. But that still doesn’t mean Instagram is the place for your dental practice.
Instagram is an entirely visual medium, where it’s all about the photos — not the captions. Certain practices do very well on Instagram because they’re able to consistently post content that’s appealing to the eye:
It’s not easy to run a corporate Instagram account, but it’s also not impossible. If you feel your practice has someone with a sharp eye for photography, it might be worth trying. If not, stick to Facebook — where it’s not all about pretty pictures.
So, should you be on Instagram? Only if you feel the practice can provide beautiful photos on a consistent basis.
Any questions? We’re always here to help!