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What Facebook “reactions” mean for your dental practice

Just when you were comfortable with patients “Liking” your practice’s Facebook posts, the social media channel has added brand-new “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad” and “Angry” reactions.

Patients can now share more specific feedback with you, which is good. Of course, not all of the feedback may be favourable ... which means you’ll want to keep a close eye on how patients are receiving new posts.

Here’s how the five new “reactions” may play out on your practice’s Facebook page ...

LOVE: This one takes “like” up a notch and provides you with more of a heartfelt reaction from patients. When someone takes the time to hover over “Like” and choose “Love” instead, you know they’re really into the promotion you just announced or the fun staff photo you just posted.

HAHA: This is a fun reaction, and we hope you see plenty of it when you post a joke or a funny cartoon. Of course, many people will still click “Like” because they may not understand how to use the new reactions -- and that’s fine, too!

WOW: This is one the less-used reactions but it’s handy when something is especially interesting, surprising or even shocking. It’s not likely to come up much on your practice’s page, but it would be a great reaction if you shared a patient’s “before” and “after” photos after orthodontic work or cosmetic dentistry. “Wow” is exactly the way you want patients to react to your stunning transformations.

SAD: This reaction is surprisingly emotive -- tiny tear and all -- and would be the perfect response to a practice post about a beloved hygienist's last day or the announcement that a dentist is retiring. Not only will it make the staffer feel like they’ll be missed deeply, but it will inspire similar feelings in patients who see the reactions.

ANGRY: This is essentially an amped-up version of the “Dislike” button Facebook users have been clamoring for, and it’s the reaction you don’t want to see on the practice’s page -- unless it’s a patient commiserating about how the practice was unexpectedly closed because of a bear roaming around the parking lot.

If you start seeing “Angry” reactions to a photo or post, immediately take a closer look at what might be upsetting your patients. Was it a joke that seemed funny but was maybe offensive, now that you look closer? Was it a post about pricing that frustrated patients who believed the costs were too steep?

You may decide to delete the post to avoid further “Angry” reactions, and that might be exactly the right call -- saving the potentially controversial post from ever being seen by the rest of your patients.

Although it may seem like “Angry” is a reaction you never want to see, it could be a valuable way of finding out what you need to address -- straight from the patient’s fingertips!

Any questions? We’re always here to help!

Heather Laura Clarke
Heather Laura Clarke
Heather has been working at Optio Publishing in various capacities since 2008, and she's currently a Custom Content Strategist and Social Media Manager. She is also a freelance journalist for newspapers and magazines across Canada, and spends far too much time on Pinterest.
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