Dental professionals across the world are planning for a new normal as practices work to open their doors again. As expected, many dentists feel the need to begin treating patients as dental health plays an important role in overall health.
Dental patients may have some concerns about visiting healthcare facilities like their dentist's office. Dentists can address their patient's concerns and show the extra measures they are taking to keep everyone safe. The best place for dentists to provide meaningful, timely information is on their social media pages.
It's critical for dental practices to stay active on their social media pages. That is where concerned patients and the community are looking for support. Dental professionals have an authoritative voice in their communities as healthcare workers. That means that many people will look to you for advice and reassurance during times of uncertainty.
Posting to social media provides a way for you to establish your practice as a trustworthy source and gives you the chance to build trust and create relationships with potential patients.
Here are 7 ways to stay connected to your dental patients during unpredictable times.
- Record a short video that answers the common questions your patients may have about any changing circumstances. Some common questions are things like, “What to do in case of a dental emergency?” "What kind of changes can I expect when I come back into the practice?" Educate your patients and online followers about the changes your practice is implementing. Patients may be extra concerned about their health and safety during unprecedented times, ease their worries by acknowledging concerns and questions.
- Communicate your rescheduling game plan. Use your practice's social media pages to promote communication with your patients. Your social media pages are a place to validate concerns, answer questions, and keep in touch with your patients. Give your followers updates and share the details about your rescheduling plan. In your posts, include information like when your patients can expect to be contacted for rescheduling and what dental procedures are being prioritized. Urge your patients to come in to ensure their teeth and oral health is in tip-top shape. Emphasis the importance of oral health and the role it plays in overall health. Make sure to include a sense of urgency because appointment times fill up fast! The more clarity and information you give to your patients, the better.
- Address cleanliness and safety concerns. Illustrate to your patients that you take their health and the health of your dental team very seriously. Share content on your social media pages that show the measures that your practice is taking to ensure that your practice is safe and sanitary. Share valuable information on your social media platforms by outlining the steps you are taking to prepare your practice. Share behind the scenes photos of your team washing the instruments, door handles, and chairs. Describe new equipment like air filters and PPE you are using to protect patients and team members. Build trust with your patients and followers by explaining the precautions you are taking before, during, and after appointments.
- Explain that your dental practice is organized and prepared to treat patients. One main benefit of social media is that it gives potential patients a good feel for the experience they can expect from your practice. Take and share photos of your friendly dental staff in their masks and personal protective equipment. Explain that you are working overtime to help patients with their dental care and show gratitude for your team by thanking them in your caption. Your professionalism and competence will shine through as you stay connected with your followers online.
- Show empathy. This year has been tough on your patients and communities. Many dentists who have not historically offered discounts are now showing compassion by offering discounts on dental treatments and providing flexible payment plans for struggling patients. If your practice has the means, you may consider offering a helping hand while your community gets back on its feet. People are financially struggling, but many people are on edge about their health. Express your care and concern for those who are worried and, as a healthcare professional, offer tips on ways to stay healthy.
- Make a plan to stay consistent with your social media posts. There is sure to be a "new normal" after the COVID-19 pandemic. We can anticipate new habits and expectations will be set. Both by the healthcare industry and the general public. What does this mean for your dental practice? As businesses have shifted, convenience and availability have become a requirement. Your dental practice will need to be easily accessible for patients who want to communicate with you from home, without necessarily picking up the phone. Your office can adapt to these changes by setting up virtual consultation options, staying connected with patients online, and having an achievable, long-term social media marketing strategy in place.
The importance of social media for dentists and orthodontists cannot be stressed enough. There is no better method to showcase leadership, build relationships, and provide support to your patients.
My Social Practice is a digital and social media marketing agency that specializes in helping dental, orthodontic, and optometry practices market themselves. Use the power of social media, websites, and online reviews to grow your practice! Find out how we can help your practice grow!
Download our guide on how to stay connected with patients between visits.