For dental practices, it is difficult to ascertain an exact monetary figure from what is achieved from participating in social media. It has been well documented that, particularly for dental practices, social media is best regarded as a brand awareness tool, rather than a producer of direct sales; despite this, it's still definitely worth joining in, if administered appropriately.
If you are unsure whether your social media efforts are achieving your goals, here are some examples of what could be hindering your campaign.
1) Are you capturing the wrong audience?
If your followers and those you follow are not similar to your target demographic, it’s unlikely your social media efforts are going to help towards reaching your goals. For example, it’s worthwhile following local businesses, as they may recommend your practice to their staff and customers, expanding your reach. Whereas, whilst it’s entertaining, following your favourite celebrities and high end brands is unlikely to result in any new business.
2) Be prompt
It’s essential to regularly check your social media pages, even if you’re not necessarily posting. If a follower enquires via social media about a treatment or appointment time, you need to reply to them straight away, if they do not receive a prompt response (ideally within 2 hours) they may contact someone else.
3) Lack of commitment
Similarly to point 2) if you’re involved with social media, you really do need to be committed, try not to leave your pages idle as nothing looks more unprofessional than a social media page which hasn’t been updated in months. If you’re struggling with this, delegate the task to another member of staff who has a particular interest in social media to make the updates for you, failing that employ an outsourced company to look after the pages for you.
4) Don’t be boring and self-centred
Be careful not to fall into the cliché and be the ‘what I had for lunch’ tweeter. Be creative with your posts and keep it varied, every post doesn’t have to be about the practice. For example, posts could include: photos of team building days, fun facts, case photos, staff certifications & achievements, new blog posts, sharing industry news and commenting on local issues
5) Are you being persuasive enough?
This is a particularly delicate one. If you are promoting a new service or special offer, write about it persuasively enough so that the user is encouraged to contact the practice, but be careful not to do the ‘hard sell’ as you could risk losing precious followers and likes.
It’s good to regularly review what you post on social networking sites to ensure that you are getting the most from it. Sometimes asking a friend or family member from outside the business to evaluate your efforts could be useful to keep you on the right track.
If you would like more advice about social media and how it can work for your practice, give Dental Design a call on 01202 677 277 who will be happy to help you.