Social media marketing is a powerful tool for dental offices and many other small businesses. Although Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have been around for years, more people nowadays use social media as their portal for the World Wide Web, which makes social marketing even more valuable. Getting started in social media marketing isn't fairly easy, but finding long-term success is more challenging. Do it right, though, and you can connect with potential customers while engaging your loyal visitors. Ready to learn more? If so, read on for eight marketing tips for dental offices and other small businesses.
First, make a free account in Google My Business and make sure to use the exact same contact information on your business Facebook and Twitter pages. Doing this increases the chances of your pages appearing in Google's organic search results. This is a great way to get more eyes on your social media profiles, which often translates to new customers over time.
That said, here's our second tip -- don't worry too much about whether your social media efforts are driving in new customers. Yes, the goal of marketing is to increase profits, and that means getting customers. However, social media is more of a broad, big-picture effort that's more about branding than sales. When handled with care, social media marketing is definitely worth the investment, but you won't see as direct results as you would with straight-up advertising.
Start out simple of you're new to social media marketing. Don't build pages for your dental office on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all at once. Rather, start with one and expand later. Facebook is a great place to start because of your numerous options for engaging with others. Social media marketing gets easier once you've mastered the craft on one platform.
Fourth, start a blog. Your social media marketing efforts will fall flat without interesting material for your feed, and with blog posts you're in charge of making compelling content. Why should customers care about your dental office? Use your blog to let them know. You can also write blog entries about fun seasonal topics, such as whether eating too many Christmas cookies actually increases the risk of cavities.
Our fifth tip is to share photos, especially if you're marketing a dental office. There are two reasons for this. First, posting fun or interesting "day in the life" pictures can make your office seem more welcoming -- and that's a huge advantage for dentists. Second, people are more than twice as likely to engage with social media posts that have photos or videos attached.
Sixth, engage with customers directly, even if they leave negative feedback. Social media offers the opportunity to communicate directly with customers. This is how you keep people coming back (and prevent disgruntled customers from heading elsewhere). You don't need to reply to every single comment, but be active enough so that people know you're listening.
Seventh, make most of your social media posts in the afternoons on Thursdays, Fridays and weekends. Timing is everything in social media marketing -- post too early, and your update might go largely unnoticed. You get the most return on your investment from posting between 1 and 4 p.m., when more people are likely to be watching their feeds.
Our final tip is to not be afraid to ask for help. Social media marketing can be complicated, and not everyone is cut out for it. Just because signing up for Facebook or Twitter is free doesn't mean everyone is equally capable. However, our quiz can help you determine whether getting help is in your best interests, or whether you should consider trying Facebook Ads.