We know that as a dental professional, keeping up with what’s hot in social media marketing may be the last thing on your mind. It’s a vast, constantly changing landscape, and you’re busy enough running your practice. But in 2020, your practice’s online presence will be more critical than ever for attracting and retaining patients, and there are a few major developments that you should be aware of so you can meet their expectations and stand out in your community.
With just a little bit of planning and team participation, you can take advantage of these social media trends to grow your reach, strengthen relationships, and build your reputation.
You need to be present where your patients and potential patients are spending their time online, and in 2020, there’s no question that more of them than ever are going to be on Instagram. While other platforms are seeing their growth level out, Instagram’s continues to skyrocket.
If you haven’t created an Instagram account for your practice, do it today. Set a follower goal with your team, and start bringing up your Instagram page with your patients. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is to simply ask, “We’re trying to hit a follower goal for our Instagram page this month. Would you please help us out?” Also, print out your Instagram Nametag and place it somewhere patients can see it to make it easy for them to follow you.
Then, you’ll need some content for your Instagram page. You can get started by cross-posting content from your practice’s Facebook page, but you’ll want to start creating Instagram-specific content as soon as you can, which leads us to…
Bite-sized content in story form is shaping up to be the primary way social media users interact with content in 2020. On Instagram alone, 500 million users interact with stories every day, along with brands posting nearly as many stories as they do regular content. Why are stories so appealing to both consumers and marketers?
They give you the freedom to experiment because they only last 24 hours. They are visually engaging and designed to be both created and consumed in the moment, rather than shared to a permanent feed. When people interact with stories, they know they’re getting the latest content (and avoiding pesky FOMO). Plus, in 2019, stories drove more action and engagement per view than virtually any other type of social media content.
And perhaps best of all, stories are easier to make and publish because followers don’t expect a polished piece of content. Stories are about being authentic, spontaneous, and inviting interaction. Whether you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat in your practice, check out the available tools for creating stories and post a few this week.
As we move into 2020, one trend stands out across all platforms social media platforms: people are watching more video than ever before. And not just watching—people are clicking, engaging and purchasing because of video content! In fact, about 80 percent of consumers report buying a product after watching a video about it.
In every age group, time spent watching TV is dropping while time spent watching online video is rising. As this shift continues, sharing video content on social media will only become a better way to reach your patients and potential patients. Do you have a strategy to capitalize on the unique ways video can build relationships and grow your dental practice?
Video production used to require a whole team and weeks of work—not anymore! Everything you need to make a great video is on your smartphone. Take a moment and explore the video capabilities your phone has and available editing software, like iMovie and Adobe Premiere Clip. Even if they’re not professional-grade productions, regularly sharing short video clips from your practice will help you attract and retain patients.
Getting through to consumers in 2020 is all about trust. For dentists, now more than ever, your potential patients don’t trust what YOU say about your practice online. They need a recommendation from a member of their trusted social network to consider giving you a call.
This is the reason many brands have started to work with social media influencers to promote their products. Companies pay millions of dollars for famous people to create Instagram posts endorsing their products, which are seen by millions and millions of followers who trust their recommendations.
We know that it’s probably out of your practice’s marketing budget to get an endorsement post from Scarlett Johansson, but you can get great results for your practice by applying the same technique on a much smaller scale. Instead of trying to collaborate with celebrities, reach out to micro influencers in your community. Micro influencers generally have around 10,000 to 100,000 followers, and are much more authentically engaged with their audience. For example, you might give free teeth whitening to a local micro influencer in exchange for them posting content about their experience with you and tagging your practice.
Along with fun and spontaneous social posts, your current and potential patients still value personal, educational content that showcases your expertise. This might be a short blog post, podcast, or video from you about dental care or current threats to oral health. Focus on building a relationship of trust, not just repeating “call today to set an appointment.”
And when you do promote your products and services on social media, do so in a way that empowers patients to make the right choices for their family’s dental health. Share your thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of treatments you provide, and what options patients have to address dental issues.
Learn more tips for surviving (and thriving at) social media in our free guide.