It is generally understood that the power of social media is something that any business must harness and use if they expect to get ahead of competitors in today’s busy marketplace.
However for dentists, social media is a bit more obscure. There are some age groups and activities that lend themselves very well to social media. Fashion has always been driven socially. For a business to understand how they can use social media they have to understand the two very different approaches.
First you have activies that have been driven by social pressures in the past and likely will be always driven by social pressure. Fashion, dining, most sports and many other activities are social activities. They are done with other people and driven by interaction. Any activity that is actually social can and should be driven hard with social media.
Dentists are Not Inherently Social Media Driven
The big question looms, “how can an activity that is done alone and which is not social driven, use and benefit from this strong medium?”.
Dentists have asked me this question many times over recent years. The problem is that things you do alone are not driven by social pressure. They are driven by other pressures. Beauty can be social driven and thus cosmetic dentists can focus on beauty and create followings and engagement. The more social an activity, the easier it is. Thus a cosmetic dentist has a harder job than a fashion designer. Similarly orthodontists can tap into the beauty pathway and also into the teen age group and effectively use social media.
The other approach is indirect and requires following your own interests to create a social media following and then use this to direct people to your specific services.
For example, a dentist who is also a tennis play can drive his social media through tennis. If you are imaginative and fun, you can gain a following and use this to direct your social circle to your services as they need them. This is a less direct path, but much more effective than just sticking to dentistry and trying to create a social following about a technical subject such as dental care.
Engagement comes first and if you have set yourself up well, this results in visibility and branding. Learn more about social media and our related services.
Obviously with enough investment of time, anything can be done. Any that includes building a huge following for your dental practice. But in real-life that costs a lot of money and the actual return on investment is very low. This is a case where for a dentist, social media works in reverse to say a fashion designer. A socially driven activity can get a big following very inexpensively and thus get a big return of sales on a small investment. As a dentist, the reverse is true. You must do a lot of work to get a large following and generally you will get poor sales compared to time/money invested. So seeking a huge following and spending a lot of money on social media is not a smart strategy. What is a good strategy is finding group-driven things you enjoy and then personally building a wide following or circle and using that presence to bleed visitors to your main website. Then you get the cost way down, the return goes way up and bingo, you are mining a great source of patients for your practice.