Everybody needs to go to the dentist. We know that, and so do (most of) our potential patients. But how can you make sure it’s your practice they end up visiting? Traditionally, a lot of us have relied on reputation and word of mouth, and both are still huge drivers today. It’s just that our patients have now gone ‘social’ so we need to make sure word of our good reputation is spread across our online communities as well as our offline ones.
Of the many social media platforms out there, Facebook is the biggest and the one best equipped to help you build and promote your online reputation. In fact, in 2017 Facebook was rated the most important social platform for marketers, so it’s a great place to start. Facebook’s primary marketing offer is its ‘Page’ – similar to a personal Facebook page, but designed for businesses. It’s still relatively early days for dentists’ Facebook Pages, but creating one will allow you to build relationships with your patients, demonstrate your professionalism, obtain public testimonials and feedback from patients and reveal the friendly face behind the face mask. Ultimately, it is designed to help us build and retain our patient base.
Now, we’re willing to bet you didn’t go into dentistry to spend hours becoming a social media guru, so let us reassure you at the outset that creating dentist Facebook Pages need not be daunting. In this article, we’ll take you through the process step by step and give you a hand up onto the powerful platform that is the Facebook Page. And did we mention it’s free?
Login / Create an Account
First off, you’ll need to log in to your personal Facebook account, or create a new one if you don’t have an account already. This is because a Facebook Page is managed through a personal profile. But don’t worry; you don’t need to link your personal page to your business Page unless you want to (other than to manage it).
Create a Page
Next, it’s time to head over to Facebook’s ‘Create a Page’ tool. Once there, select ‘Business or Brand’, give your Page a name and choose a Category for your listing. If you type ‘dentist’ into the Category box, Facebook will give you some handy options to choose from. Then it’s simply a case of adding in contact details for your practice and hitting ‘Continue’.
Dental Practice Facebook Profile Pictures and Cover Photos
When you find yourself at the profile picture stage, don’t skip it! Photos are incredibly important when it comes to relating to your Facebook patient base.
Your profile picture is your Facebook calling card; it will appear next to your posts, comments and messages, so choose something professional such as your logo, or a picture of yourself if you’re the sole-dentist at your practice. Your profile picture will often appear as a small icon, so choose a simple image that will display well at that size. Note, it should be a minimum of 180 x 180 pixels. It will also be cropped to a circle next to your posts, so keep that in mind when choosing an image.
Your Cover Photo sits across the top of your page like a banner. It won’t follow you around Facebook like your profile picture, and you might want to make this photo a little more fun. Good dental Facebook cover photos could include staff photos, a picture of your practice, or even an offer you’re currently promoting, if applicable.
Make sure both photos you use are good quality, and if you’re stuck for inspiration, take a look at some other dentist pages on Facebook.
Content on your Facebook Page
Congratulations, you should now be able to see your new dental Facebook page! Your Page is configured into three columns. The one on the left, below your profile photo, is primarily for navigating. The column in the middle is where your posts will appear, and the column on the right contains more information about your Page and enables you to invite friends to like it.
You’re doing well, but we’re not quite done yet. The next job is to add some information and content to your page by clicking on ‘Page Tips’ below the ‘Welcome to your new Page’ panel at the top of the middle column. Here you can add a short description about what you do, invite friends to like your new page (the more the merrier, right?), link to your website, add some handy buttons beneath your cover photo, add another personal profile as an admin for your Page, and create a username for people to find you more easily.
It’s really just a case of following the prompts at this stage, but as a rule of thumb, the more of this information you fill in, the better experience your patients using Facebook will have.
Next, go to the left hand column and select ‘About’ (click ‘See more’ if it’s not visible). This is a very important section as it’s what will give visitors the lowdown on your practice. You’ll see a lot of the information you’ve already entered. Edit what you need to (editing ‘Category’ will enable you to add a few more search categories for Facebook to list you under) and complete as many remaining fields as possible. Once again, refer to other dental Facebook Pages for inspiration if you need to.
Write a Post
Once you’re finished entering your content and configuring settings, it’s time to write your first post. Don’t think too hard about it. It’s true that some first posts are the stuff of legend (the CIA’s first tweet is a great example), but posts can be deleted and amended at will, so perhaps begin with a little professional welcome note to your first visitors.
Finally, spend a little time looking around your new Page. You might find the ‘…’ button beneath your cover photo particularly useful as a management tool and it’s also where you’ll find the valuable ‘View as Page Visitor’ option. Give it a click and check out your handiwork over a well-earned cup of tea.
For a more thorough exploration of the options and designs available to you, check out the ‘Settings’ tab at the top right.
Setting up a dental Facebook Page is a fantastic first step in moving your dental practice into the social media world. Make sure you check in with your Page at least once a day in order to respond promptly to posts and messages and to keep honing and refining the look and feel of your Page. Facebook offers lots of development tools, so aim to discover a new feature to try each day. And while you get comfortable with your new virtual shop-front, we’ll be busy writing our next article about some great Facebook marketing ideas.