In an era where the average person spends over 3 hours per day on their smartphone, dental practices need to either go digital or go home. And in that digital world, over 90% of the US population uses at least one social media platform regularly.
So, a dental social media marketing strategy is an essential part of the digital strategy for every dental practice, regardless of how big you are or where you’re located.
Why Social Media Marketing Matters For Dentists
The appeal of social media marketing for dentists is clear — it’s an opportunity to reach more potential patients where they spend their time. Yet many dental practices misuse social media marketing. When you don’t do it the right way, managing social media pages can waste your team’s time and distract them from critical tasks while returning very little in terms of new business.
When you do social media marketing correctly, it can transform your practice. Many dental practices see phenomenal profit growth tied directly to leads generated by social media channels. Winning social media strategies can also help you generate engagement with existing and potential patients, feature glowing patient feedback, and be more impactful than traditional word of mouth.
The stakes are high for you and your practice, so we put together this quick list of dental social media marketing tips to help you get it right. Whether you’re new to social media marketing or want better results from your digital marketing strategy, we’ve got you covered.
Choosing The Right Social Media Platforms
Imagine social media as a bustling city — each platform represents a unique district with different types of people and communication methods. Your dental practice is a visitor in the neighborhood. So, while you want to stand out and be noticed, you must also fit in and look like you belong there. Because if your content doesn’t resonate with the audience, you won’t make an impact.
From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok, each social media channel is a potential growth opportunity for your dental practice. But your practice might not be a fit for every platform. You’ll want to choose the social media channels where your brand fits best and where your ideal clients hang out.
So, let’s check out the top social media platforms to see where your dental social media posts can get the attention they deserve.
Facebook: Connect With Patients & Build Trust
Think of Facebook as social media’s main street. There’s a bit of everyone on Facebook, but the audience skews older versus the other social media platforms. The demographic reach makes Facebook a great place to connect with parents, young adults, and older potential patients. Because of the channel’s broad appeal, every dental practice should have a Facebook page.
Use Facebook to establish trust and create personal connections with potential patients. Share patient testimonials, post behind-the-scenes photos of your practice to show off your personality, promote your offers, and engage with your followers.
Create a Facebook business page, keep your office hours updated (especially during holidays when your hours may change), and encourage users to leave reviews for you. In addition to creating engaging organic content, you can explore Facebook ads to target specific audiences and get your practice in front of more potential patients.
Instagram: Showcase Visual Content
Instagram emphasizes visual content by design. On Instagram, a picture doesn’t just speak a thousand words but can also attract a thousand potential patients.
Get creative with using photos and videos to stand out and communicate your value to potential patients on a visual platform. Patient testimonials do well here, too. Also, many dentists use Instagram to create engaging tutorials or educational content. You can even feature before and after photos, although we’d discourage getting too clinical on the platform. People are primarily here to be entertained, so keep it light and engaging.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine brightly on your dental Instagram account, featuring the brilliant personalities in your treatment room and at the front desk.
X (Formerly Twitter): Share Dental News & Updates
X is the most text-based of all the major social media channels. With a user base that skews heavily young-adult and male, it’s quite a different neighborhood from Instagram. Your social media followers on this platform aren’t looking for you to entertain them as much as they’re looking for an efficient way to keep up to date.
So, use X to send updates or offers, share dental news or articles you found interesting, or engage with current and potential patients. It’s not the most vital social media marketing channel for most dental practices, but when used correctly and strategically, it can be a part of a profitable social media strategy.
LinkedIn: Network & Share Professional Insights
LinkedIn is all about business. For dental professionals, it’s best used to showcase your expertise, network with other dental professionals, and stay updated on the latest industry trends.
Keep a well-optimized LinkedIn page to enhance your practice’s professional image and build credibility. You can share accomplishments, welcome new hires (and invite them to join your company page), and notify people when participating in a conference, webinar, or event.
While LinkedIn is not a primary source of new patients for most practices, it can play a vital role in building your credibility as a practice and as a dental professional.
YouTube: Share Winning Video Content
YouTube is exclusively a platform for sharing video content. Creating educational videos and sharing patient testimonials can engage potential patients and effectively showcase your practice.
If you love to create videos or have a unique angle, YouTube offers a stage to showcase your skills and expertise. Dr. Teeth’s YouTube channel has 262,000 subscribers and over 21 million views, so when done correctly, video content can absolutely help you find potential patients!
TikTok: Educate & Entertain Your Audience
TikTok is the newest neighborhood in the social media city, and it attracts a younger demographic. To stand out on TikTok, your content must be fast-moving, attention-grabbing, and entertaining. Trends change weekly on TikTok, and music plays a significant role on the platform.
It’s not easy for a doctor to stand out in a world of viral dance trends, but some dentists have a huge TikTok following, so it can be a valid part of your dental social media marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing Tips For Dentists
Now that we’ve reviewed the leading social media marketing platforms, let’s take a look at some general tips for boosting your engagement on these channels:
Be Consistent With Your Brand
Ensure a consistent brand image across all your social media platforms. Use a design tool like Canva to save brand colors, fonts, and logos and create templates for quickly creating new posts.
When you use the same title slide, logo design, layout, and font across multiple posts, your style starts to become recognizable to your audience. If they like your content on Instagram, they’re more likely to engage with future posts, too.
Consistency also helps you build credibility and increase recognition, making your dental practice recognizable and trustworthy. Featuring the same faces or cast of characters adds to the sense of continuity within your content.
Create Engaging Content
Attention is a currency on social media. So, if your content is boring, you’re better off not wasting the time to create it. Certain types of content perform better than others, in general.
Here are a few types of content we see get high engagement:
- Happy patient testimonials
- Fun oral health tips & myth-busting videos
- “Meet-the-team” staff introductions
- Behind-the-scenes content that shows a human element
- Video content, in general
Here are a few ideas that don’t perform as well:
- Before and after treatment photos
- Clinical breakdowns
- Text-only posts with no photo or video content
Keep these rules in mind when creating your content; you’ll help create a well-rounded and engaging experience for your audience.
Implement A Content Calendar
One of the most significant dental social media marketing mistakes we see is posting randomly or when you have the time. Instead, create a content calendar to keep your social media posts consistent and organized. A calendar lets you create quality content in advance and ensures you don’t miss out on any opportunities to engage with your audience.
Tools like SproutSocial or HootSuite will help you create an impactful content calendar and schedule your posts so that your front desk team never forgets to post at the right time. Posting consistently, at consistent times of the day, will train your followers to expect new content from you and help to boost engagement.
Engage Daily With Your Audience
Effective social media marketing is social, meaning communication needs to be a two-way street. Think of your social media activity as a conversation, not a monologue. When you post something, you should expect and encourage feedback from your followers. And be prepared to reply to their comments, thank them for participating, or encourage further conversations.
If you think you can just post stuff to your social media page and watch your following grow, you’re wrong. It doesn’t work that way. Show your followers you care about them, and they’ll reward you by helping your practice reach even more potential patients!
Collaborate With Local Influencers
You can search out some local social media users with a large online following and get them to talk about your dental services. They can share their experiences, offer exclusive deals to their followers, and help you reach local patients you wouldn’t find otherwise.
Choose influencers who vibe with your target audience for the best results. You can pay influencers a commission for new patients or reward them with free or discounted dental treatments!
Run Contests & Giveaways
You can boost your dental practice’s social media presence by introducing contests and giveaways. Organize a creative contest, such as a “Brightest Smile Challenge,” or offer giveaways like a complimentary teeth cleaning session. Try to make entering as easy as possible so that more people will join and maximize your reach. Choose rewards that your patient base will be excited about and that align with your brand’s image and values.
Pay Attention To What Works (& Do More Of It)
Many dental practices seem to think it’s good enough to keep creating content, whether or not it’s working. Instead, you should regularly monitor and measure your social media performance to identify what kind of content is working best and what days or times you get the best engagement. Use this data to refine your content strategy and dramatically improve results.
Dive Into Paid Advertising
Free exposure has often been one of the most attractive parts of social media marketing efforts. But the best things in life aren’t free, unfortunately.
Running social media ads on Meta (Facebook and Instagram), YouTube, or TikTok can be a highly profitable way to find new patients. Paid ads will help you reach a much wider audience than you can through organic content. And with the advanced targeting algorithms these platforms are using today, they’ll also help you be much more efficient with your marketing spend.
Pro tip: Use your organic social media content as a testing ground for new ideas for ads. If posts get a lot of engagement with your target audience organically, they’re likely to do well as ads!
Master Social Media To Grow Your Dental Practice!
Hopefully, you’ve uncovered some tips today to help you maximize your social media journey. It’s easier to be successful on social media as a dentist if you follow the advice we’ve laid out above.
Pick your best channels, create engaging content, and post regularly. And, don’t give up! Consistency and continuity are as important as any other strategy. Most likely, your practice won’t go viral overnight. But with dedication and persistence, these dental social media marketing tips will help your practice grow!