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4 Ways Dentists Use Social To Educate Patients

An August 2017 article on Adweek.com outlined some tips when it comes to marketing dental services online, particularly via social content.

In a world where one out of four people uses the internet to self-diagnose and treat health symptoms, and 62 percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. use their devices to research health conditions, the need for reliable information cannot be overstated. Thus doctors from a variety of disciplines are building an online presence to reach out to their patients.

Many dentists, for instance, have realized the importance of online patient education and taken action accordingly. They are creating websites, participating in online communities, and using social media to connect with potential and current patients. By doing so, they’re sharing trusted content, reducing the traditional anxiety associated with seeing dentists, and promoting their practices simultaneously.

And since 62 percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. use their phones to look up information on health conditions, this social approach has experienced great results.

Blogging

You may be wondering what exactly you need to blog about because, let’s face it, there aren’t a ton of best-sellers centered around dentistry.

Yet blogging is one of the best ways to provide facts on different oral health problems. It’s also great digital branding for your dental practice. Use it to advertise your services and increase appointment bookings. A blog post can detail the causes, symptoms and treatment options for specific issues; visitors are then able to make informed decisions from your trusted advice.

By furnishing educational material, you’ve established yourself as an industry expert, and given the public a reason to seek out your services.

If worried that you might not be able to blog for lack of know-how or time, you can always hire a copywriter to assist with blog posts.

Partnering with specialists in online communities

As a general dentist, you may not have the expertise required to perform surgery on a patient. In such a case, you might need to refer a patient to an oral surgeon, orthodontist or other specialist. But don’t wait for a patient to come to you first to refer him or her.

Partnering with other dentists and specialists to form an association that is available to patients online can increase your visibility. This is especially so when you choose to partner with only highly-qualified people like yourself and those who already have a following.

Such an association acts as a hub, where patients can access a wide array of dental professionals, all in one place.

Take a moment to check out Mexico Dental Network, an online community of 25 experts from different clinics in Tijuana, Mexico. These dentists came together to provide affordable services to American and Canadian patients.

Use of fun videos

While blogging and online communities offer an interactive platform, videos are working magic, too.

And because video represents a majority of all internet traffic destinations, fun videos seem to be winning. One such example is Milad Shadrooh, otherwise known as The Singing Dentist. He has reported overwhelming success as a result of his viral videos.

Shadrooh records videos of himself singing parodies to popular songs, replacing original lyrics with dental health jargon. He does so to emphasize the importance of dental hygiene, particularly amongst children. In an interview with The Sun, Shadrooh says he is currently overbooked as a result of this surprisingly effective marketing medium.

Can’t sing? No worries, all you need is a talented creative team. Or someone really adept with an iPhone and Auto-Tune.

Social media engagement

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest are burgeoning communities. And while practices use websites to promote products and services, they should also understand that social media plays an important factor in client acquisition and retention.

Dentists (with permission) can share before-and-after photos from their clinics, links to informative articles, hygiene tips, and testimonial videos.

 

Robert DiGioia
Robert DiGioia
Robert is a journalist, graphic designer and copywriter. After a 13-year stint in Manhattan, he's returned to his native New Haven, CT, as a creative director for Hearst, writing for Connecticut Magazine and supporting Hearst's ad sales and marketing teams.

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