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Dental Practices Miss Opportunities with Social Media!
The Office for National Statistics says that the number of Britons going online has doubled since 2006 and almost half of the 33 million current UK internet users use social networks on a daily basis. The figures also show that although the majority of UK users are aged between 16 and 24 years old, 19 per cent of older people (aged 65 to 74) now also use social networks. It has already been said that the best target for advertising is your own database of patients. This new study demonstrates that about half your patients are available to contact for free. Not only that, but they are your best advertising with the ability to tell many times that number of people about your services.
The social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn present an extraordinary marketing opportunity for dentists who are looking to promote their independent practices. Potential patients are increasingly embracing social networks as an integral part of their everyday lives. There are five key reasons that this is important:
- High visibility to a large number of people
- Personalised connectivity with potential patients
- Personal self-promotion
- 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are more likely to purchase the products or services from the businesses they follow on social media
- 65% of all Internet users between the ages of 18 and 24 consult the information, comments, and opinions available over the social networks before making a buying decision for any products or services.
If a dentist invests enough time and effort to build a great social media presence, the results can be astounding. You need to encourage patients to be followers, maybe by promoting this in the surgery and waiting room with newsletters and offers only to subscribers to your `page`.
What to say?
You need to maintain a constant dialogue going with your followers. Keep the interest going with –
- Oral health tips
- Promotions on services such as offers on Whitening before Christmas
- Prizes for every hundredth follower
- News from the practice – staff introductions
For the really geeky amongst you, there are `auto-programs` available which keep posting for you at times that people are most likely to be online. This means you don`t have to worry about hitting the computer every few hours. The more inventive you are the better the results.
Dr John Shapter – QCS Expert Dental Contributor