There was a time when social media was an optional adjunct to dental marketing. That time has passed. Billions of people, including 90 percent of millennials use social media daily. Your patients and potential patients are there, your dental practice needs to be there as well. Except, it is not quite that simple. With hundreds of networks and more appearing every day, choosing the right ones can be a daunting task.
Top social media platforms for dental marketing
The options for social networking are seemingly endless. However, many are short-lived endeavors that are unable to gain significant membership. Others are niche sites, designed for a very specific demographic such as people who share a hobby. Additionally, some are not marketing friendly. That leaves just a handful of good choices.
Of course, you want to select the networks with the most potential patients. However, the top contenders include:
- Facebook – With 7 billion active users per month it is a global leader in social media, and it has a comprehensive suite of promotional tools.
- Instagram – The fastest-growing social network in Canada, Instagram is quickly becoming a favorite of marketers across all industries. Its emphasis on visual content presents the ideal opportunity to showcase your skills.
- YouTube – You know it as the best place to post your video content. However, YouTube has been integrating social networking features since 2016. Today, it offers ample opportunity to engage with your audience.
- Pinterest – It began as a niche network serving crafters and DIYers. However, record-breaking growth quickly proved that everyone has something to pin. With a simple, bulletin-board style, Pinterest quickly became a favorite of many internet users.
- Twitter – There have been reports of its decline for decades, and it is no longer as trendy as other social networks. However, it would be premature to dismiss Twitter as a marketing powerhouse. The network still has 336 million active users and third-party platforms bringing the potential reach to 1.6 billion.
- Nextdoor – An up-and-coming social platform, Nextdoor had a much smaller user base than others on the list. However, it has a unique benefit that makes it worth consideration, and that is local audience. The network is divided into more than a quarter-million neighborhoods, allowing dental practices to reach people within driving distance of their offices.
- LinkedIn – No, it is not a great place to market dental services. Therefore, many dentists overlook the opportunity that LinkedIn does offer, which is building your professional reputation and network. It can also be a good resource when hiring employees.
Choosing the right networks
In addition to the common networks listed above, there may be a few others that are popular among your patients. This depends largely on your location and target demographic because those factors impact social media use. Any network with marketing potential is worth considering, but that doesn’t mean you should try to join them all. Opening too many accounts is a common mistake.
The ideal number of social networks depends on how much time your marketing team has. Completing a profile is not enough. Social media marketing involves ongoing maintenance, information updates, content creation, and engagement with the audience. If time is limited, opt for fewer profiles, and allocate enough resources to make the most of them.
Final thoughts – don’t forget to optimize
No matter what network or networks you choose, creating a profile, and posting some content is not enough. You need to know if it is actually helping your marketing and how you can improve results. Virtually every network offers some analytic tools, which help you track engagement, ad response, post reach, and other metrics. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to make use of that data, especially if social media management is handled in-house.
It is a mistake to treat your dental practice’s accounts as a personal profile simply post what you think people will like and hoping for the best. Instead, utilize the analytic reports, track response to various campaigns, evaluate what type of content your audience responds to, and refine your strategy accordingly.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren.
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