In our last post we walked you through the process of setting up a dental practice Facebook Page. Hopefully by now you’re becoming more familiar with the ins and outs of managing it and are enjoying the excitement of giving your practice its online personality! In this post, we’re going to look at how you can start capitalising on your new Page by discussing Facebook marketing ideas for dental offices and offering you our top dental marketing Facebook tips.
Facebook marketing for dentists is about using your Page to generate positive interest and using Facebook’s dedicated advertising tools to grow your patient base and bring more patients into your sales funnel. In short, it’s simply the process of marketing your dental practice on Facebook.
So what are the benefits of Facebook marketing for your dental practice? Well, let’s start with this one: social media is designed to help us build just the kind of relationships with people that will convince them to try your practice, remind them to make their appointment and calm their pre-appointment nerves. Responding to posts, answering questions, publishing testimonials and offering advice all show that you are a friendly, caring and helpful practice; and writing posts, making videos and sharing research will demonstrate your professionalism and your place as a market leader.
Secondly, it’s much cheaper than traditional print, radio or TV marketing. For a fraction of the cost, you get the same reach as bigger companies with bigger budgets, and you are able to use Facebook’s knowledge base to target your marketing so the money you do spend is spent more wisely.
Thirdly, it’s so quick! Gone are the days of waiting for proofing, printing and delivery, now you can have your ad written and published in minutes. And if your advert’s not working, instead of going through a costly re-draft and re-print, you can amend it with just a few clicks.
More than half of us now use search engines to find a new dentist. Good Facebook marketing for dental offices means having your Facebook Page appear in those search results. This is why more and more dentists are now taking advantage of the fantastic marketing potential afforded to them through social media sites.
Benefits of Facebook Advertising for Dentists
A Facebook advert (or ‘ad’) is just like a normal advert you might place in a magazine or send out through the mail; it contains key information about your service that you want to promote. But in this case, the ad will appear directly on the pages of Facebook users.
Facebook knows a tremendous amount about its users, their preferences, likes, dislikes and so on, and taking advantage of its ad functionality gives you access to this information, helping you to reach not just large numbers of people, but large numbers of the right people. This is called targeting, and Facebook is great at it. In fact it’s so good, that Facebook advertising revenue is set to outstrip print advertising by 2019.
Of all the social media ad-targeting offers out there, Facebook’s is the strongest. It’s also cheaper and it provides you with detailed feedback (or ‘insights’) on the performance of your ads so you can hone and refine them as you go.
Creating Dentist Ads on Facebook
Creating an ad is a simple process, and Facebook guides you through this well. But before you post your first dental Facebook ad, it’s important to be clear about its objective. For example, are you building awareness about your practice, filling last minute appointment-cancellations or promoting a new offer? Being clear about this will help you to word your advert appropriately.
Next, you’ll want to clarify exactly who you’re targeting. Facebook will give you several different options for this. A ‘Lookalike Audience’ is a population outside of your existing patient population, but who have a lot in common with them. This is a great audience to target when you’re building awareness about your practice. You can also target by location, as narrow or as broad as you like (down to postcode level).
You’ll probably be targeting your existing patient population if you’re trying to fill appointment cancelations or advertising new services that are now available at your practice. You might choose Facebook’s ‘re-targeting’ option when trying to bring new patients into your sales funnel. Re-targeting focuses on people who’ve shown interest in a previous ad but are not yet patients.
Facebook will even enable you to ‘split-test’ your dentist Facebook ads. This is where you create an ad, duplicate it and change a couple of aspects (wording, images etc.) in the new version. You can then run both ads to see which performs better in your Facebook insights, and choose the highest performing one to go with.
Other approaches to Facebook advertising for Dentists
In additional to the ad itself, there are lots of other advertising approaches you can employ to complement your primary strategy.
- Link to local posts and news articles to help you stay connected to your local communities
- Ask patients for feedback through your Facebook page
- Share friendly photos of staff and some before and after photos of your best work (with permission of course)
- Consider running promotions and competitions to energise your audience
- The more people who Like your Page, the more newsfeeds it will appear in, so encourage existing patients to click that Like button
- Try and get patients to write a positive Facebook review, as research has shown that 90% of people are more likely to buy a product after reading online reviews about it
Facebook Post Ideas for Dentists
A healthy Facebook Page is an active one. A Page with old content and few updates doesn’t engender confidence and won’t drive engagement, so it’s important to keep things fresh. The best way you can do this is through posting, and posting regularly. Try to get something new on your Facebook page every day!
But what makes for good dentist Facebook posts? You certainly don’t want to be posting advert after advert for your practice, as Facebook is primarily about relationships. Instead, think about the BBC’s mantra to “inform, educate and entertain”. Here are a few dental Facebook post ideas to get you started.
Sharing interesting articles, videos and fun facts can be a good way of getting content out to your patients. Keep things light and fun and make sure the subject links to everyday lives so you can be sure it’s relevant. Share advice that could help your readers, just don’t get too technical or clinical in your wording.
Putting up inspirational and motivational messages can be helpful too, as these are often shared (especially when accompanied by pictures). These should be related to teeth, smiles or dentistry in some way but can be related to general well-being too.
Write about your team and individual members of staff and show the fun side of your practice. Doing this will put faces to names and give your business the personal touch, which can also really help calm the nerves of anxious patients.
Talk about your successes as a company. Of course be humble, but mention the awards you’ve won, your engagement with the community, your great work and remind people that there’s more than just a scale and polish on offer! Also keep an eye on what other community organisations are doing and help to celebrate their achievements. They may return the favour and take your Page to a whole new potential patient base.
You could answer a “question of the week” that could come directly from patients, or may be one of a number of questions you’re frequently asked as a dentist.
Another great dentist Facebook post idea could be to simply keep an eye on the calendar and celebrate important days such as saints days, national holidays and birthdays of notable people (including your staff!). You could even change your dentist office Facebook status to reflect these.
Finally, be sure to promote your special offers and recommend-a-friend promotions. Facebook is a network of friends and family and is the perfect place for these kinds of campaigns.
Top tips for Facebook posts
Let’s finish off with some of our top tips to really make your dentist Facebook posts stand out.
- 49% of people say they share content because they believe it will benefit others; providing tips and advice in posts is one of the most useful things you can do
- People are more inclined to watch a short video than read an article, so why not put a video in your post instead of writing something?
- Social media is all about connecting with people, so give your patients the opportunity to comment on your posts by including questions
- Remember that lots of people are nervous about coming to the dentist, so don’t post up pictures of equipment or graphic procedures!
- Keep it professional. Remember this is a business Page and not a forum for overly personal thoughts or details.
- If you have a post you’re particularly pleased with, look out for the blue ‘Boost Post’ button which will allow you to turn it into a Facebook ad.
Facebook marketing doesn’t just have the potential to revolutionise the way you advertise, it could re-energise and refresh your entire business and have your patient base happier – and larger – than ever! There are no hard and fast rules about what to post on Facebook for dentists, but hopefully we’ve given you a few ideas to get things started.