Social media has been around for a decade now. While some practices are successfully managing their social media, many continue to face challenges.
In some cases, dentists may not fully understand what social media is doing for their practice. This is common when team members are not personally involved with social media. If you aren't familiar with the tools, it's tough to know what would be considered high-quality marketing or not.
Here are three ways your social media marketing may be hurting your practice.
Leaving out relevant clinical topics
The first way social media marketing can hurt practices is in missed opportunities to attract ideal patients. I see countless social media posts for dentists on a daily basis that are doing nothing to support the practice's goals.
It's important to show your human side, and your team should also be posting about the dentistry that you want to attract more of (think 80/20 mix, respectively). If you want to grow more clear aligner therapy, dental implants, or smile makeovers, then you should see those dental care themes in your social media content.
Make social media work better for you by including patient-friendly clinical content along with your human-side content.
Relying on filler content
The second way social media marketing can hurt practices is through filler content that patients dislike or ignore. Sometimes practices are offered free social media content as an add-on for other services they have purchased. In some cases, dentists think this is ideal and an easy way to fully automate their social media. However, as the saying goes, "you get what you pay for," and often the free content is lacking in engagement or not applicable to the practice.
How many patients want their valuable newsfeed space filled with stats about how much saliva they produce in a day? Not many, based on the low reach and flat response this type of generic content often results in.
Stop using content that doesn't work. While you may not get dozens of likes on your post about dental implants, you can rest easy knowing that patients who want this treatment will be drawn to the topic -- and your practice. This will benefit you much more than the random post about saliva.
Not personalizing your posts
The next way social media marketing can hurt practices is by not personalizing content, which puts your reach and visibility at risk. Practices are leaving money on the social media table when they constantly post content that lacks personalization. This is a notorious issue when practices are using completely hands-off solutions.
Look for hands-on options or "do social media with you" solutions that encourage you to personalize your social media marketing. Personalization doesn't have to be terribly time-consuming, and it is often a make-or-break aspect of social media.
The most important type of personalization is using your own photos rather than stock photos whenever possible. You can also personalize your content by adding your city or town name to your posts. For example:
- Hey, Denver!
- Thank you for your referrals, Minneapolis!
- Happy Holidays, Bakersfield!
These small personal touches can make a huge difference in your visibility and patient engagement, not to mention overall marketing results. Facebook and Instagram monitor whether accounts are getting interaction (clicks, likes, shares). If you post too much content about saliva without engagement, both Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram will reduce your visibility more and more over time.
If any of these issues sound familiar, the good news is that it's possible to turn around your results. With social media, you are able to easily implement new strategies to help revive and make over your social media communities.
Make social media work better for you, expand your practice visibility, attract your ideal patients, and allow patients to grow trust with you before they've even met you. Keep me posted on your progress!
Editor's note: Hear more thoughts from Zamora about social media in the exclusive video content below.
Rita Zamora is the author of the book Get Found, Get Liked, Get Patients - Making the Most of Social Media. Since 2008, she and her team have offered customized "done for you" as well as "done with you" social media marketing services for dental professionals across the country. Learn more about Zamora and her services on her website.