Having a great social life these days is, in many ways, easier than ever before. With so many powerful and dynamic social media outlets available for business and personal use, friendships and business relationships are easier to cultivate than ever. Connecting with people around the world through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube is as easy as connecting with people in your neighbourhood.
Definitions of what a social life is, have changed as the Internet has grown and evolved. While some people bemoan the less personal nature of socialising online, others argue that many social network connections eventually lead to face-to-face meetings and real relationships. With the availability of Skype video calls, face to face connections can even happen from across the globe.
Social Media is Ideal for your dental practice. When it comes to business connections, the personal nature of the relationship tends to be secondary to the business focus of the connection. In this way, social media is an ideal tool for wide-scale social networking and marketing for your dental practice. Also, since most social media channels are free or inexpensive, these tools are available for any size business, no matter how small. In many ways, the Internet and social media have leveled the playing field for small businesses, allowing them the same tools and opportunities to compete in a global marketplace as the largest companies.
So how can social media be used to maximize benefits in your dental practice? Read on for some guidelines……
It’s All About Relationships: First and foremost, use social media to form genuine connections with your patients and potential new patients. Engage your followers by responding to their posts, tweets and comments. Show a genuine interest and they’ll return the sentiment — and will probably tell others about your business. As detailed in Google’s ZMOT macro study, 19% of shoppers engage in sharing and social behavior when deciding what to buy and where to buy it. 14 % of users engage in mobile behaviours, like using their smartphone to find directions or search for a product, during that same stage.
Create a Buzz: Social media is an excellent way to keep your followers, patients and fans engaged with all the latest news about your dental practice. Are you launching a new product or dental treatment, or opening a new dental practice? Make sure to spread the word about any upcoming exciting events happening at the practice through social media.
Is anything about your business related to a current newsworthy event or trend? You can make, strengthen and enhance that connection by talking about it on social media.
Build Your Brand: As your community of social media friends and followers grows, so will your credibility. Stay tuned into what people are saying about you. If you ever start to get feedback that doesn’t reflect your brand or mission statement, make the necessary adjustments so that public sentiment about your brand will change accordingly. When you are posting on the blog, write your posts for your customers, not at them. Don’t tout your latest product as the greatest thing since sliced bread; instead, answer their questions and teach them more about the dental industry. Give customers an insight into your dental practice.
Stay Engaged in a Positive Way: All great relationships are built on trust and quality communication. Always stay genuine and respectful in your social media conversations. Cultivate and craft relationships naturally, never in an overbearing or heavy-handed way. Allow your social media relationships to grow and unfold organically. Online social influence on purchasing has increased by 19% in the past year, and it’s showing no sign of stopping.
The more you engage with consumers socially, through Facebook, Google+, Twitter and your blog, the more connection you’ll build. The increase in social’s importance means that the benefits you see in the near future will only increase in the long run. Follow these basic steps, and not only will your relationships thrive — your dental practice is likely to benefit as well.
If you would like further information about your dental practice social media strategy, please call us today on 01202 677277.