Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 Facebook 1

So you’ve got a Facebook page for your dental practice. Now what?

Sept. 14, 2016
Your dental practice's Facebook page can be a powerful marketing tool, if you use it properly. Don't just open a page and forget it. Here are some easy and applicable ideas to attract new patients.
Facebook can be a great way to stay in touch with your current patients, reach new patients, generate digital reviews, and receive referrals from your patients. Initially, most dental practices are excited about the potential of Facebook. But then they let their business page become stagnant because they don’t know how to create great content or they forget to publish content consistently. If you want to see success with your Facebook page, I strongly suggest you follow the steps here, and always analyze if the marketing channel is working for your practice.

Facebook posts
Using Facebook posts to generate awareness for your practice is essential for Facebook marketing. In order to be successful you need to post content consistently, daily or multiple times a week. Your content needs to help educate, entertain, and call your patients to action. An example is, “Don’t forget to schedule your dental exam today!”

Daily posts are a great way for patients to interact with you. Once a patient comments or “likes” your content, their family and friends will see the post on their newsfeeds and your practice will get more exposure. I recommend putting your information in the text of each post so that people can call your office, visit your website, or email your staff right from the Facebook post.

If you’re just getting started with Facebook marketing, it can be challenging to create quality content or have enough content to publish each day. I recommend you either hire a designer to help with some of the content, try creating your own (if you have the skills), or download social media kits to help your office produce enough content for this marketing channel.

Facebook ads
Most dental practice owners don’t know this, but you can actually create an ad on Facebook and target your local market. For example, say a doctor in San Diego wants to educate the local market on the benefits of regular hygiene exams. He or she can create an educational e-book or digital flyer for consumers in the San Diego area and invite them to download it in exchange for an email address or their contact info. You can also target friends of your patients who follow your Facebook page and send them messages. They will see that their friends are current patients of your office, and this is a great marketing tool for your practice.

Facebook offers
Another cool strategy is Facebook offers. For example, if you want to create a coupon for 20% off a first visit, you can create an offer and target your local market. Potential patients can redeem the offer when they visit your practice and show the printout of your offer. You can consistently try new offers and figure out which types work best for your practice and generate many new patients. You can also use this strategy to attract new patients to your in-house membership program.

Facebook check-ins
Facebook check-ins are an interesting strategy. You can reward your patients with gift cards, movie tickets, or other surprises to “check in” to your office on Facebook. All of their friends and family will see that they’re a patient of your office. and this will build social proof that your practice is top quality. It will also remind others to schedule their dental appointment. Because they know someone who goes to your practice, they’ll be more likely to schedule an appointment with you. I recommend that you create an incentive to encourage your patients to “check in” to your practice so your page will generate more awareness and patient referrals for your practice.

Facebook reviews
Facebook reviews are essential for successful Facebook marketing. Encourage your patients to submit good reviews because the reviews will be public to anyone who visits your Facebook page. It might be a good idea to reward patients to submit positive reviews about your practice. When patients submit reviews these will also be shared on their newsfeed, which will generate a digital referral for your practice.

Facebook contests
Contests can make dentistry enjoyable. I’ve seen many variations of contests, but the ones that work the best encourage and reward patients to submit good reviews or share your Facebook page with their family and friends. When you pick a winner, make sure it’s someone who will be excited and post even more about your practice when they win.

Facebook can be a great way to market your practice. The key is to remain consistent with your marketing and post updates on a regular basis. If you’re having a hard time creating content for your Facebook page, download social media kits to help you post regularly. I would also recommend diversifying your marketing strategy and building a quality dental website for your practice. Also, consider spending some of your marketing budget on direct mail advertising. Facebook is not a magic bullet for all of your marketing needs, but it can generate awareness in your local market.

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Jordon Comstock is the founder of BoomCloud Apps, a software company that allows dental offices to accept payments via there websites and create in-house membership programs. Jordon also owns RocketFire, which gives dental office a small team of web designers for an affordable subscription. Contact him today at (801) 753-8586 or [email protected].