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Social Media 101 for Dentists

November 10, 2021

Almost 4.5 billion individuals worldwide use social media. It’s a powerful tool, granting the everyday user the ability to interact with others, share personal information, and generate a following. Those who gain the coveted status of influencer—a marketing term and job title referring to an individual who can influence consumers to purchase a product or service or behave similarly by promoting it on social media platforms—are met with fame, fortune, and power.

Influencers exist in every market: young adults, skateboarding, music, healthcare, and even dentistry. For example, you might know of Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper. She is a talented board-certified dermatologist, skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic surgeon who gained popularity online for her diagnosis and treatment of extreme skin conditions. She took advantage of the internet, implementing expert marketing tactics, and maximizing her ability to reach a large audience via social media. Since 2015, she has amassed millions of followers, received branding deals, started her skincare line (SMLD Skincare), and is the host of her own TLC show now in its sixth season, Dr. Pimple Popper.

As you can see, social media is essential for modern-day marketing strategy. Not sure where to start? From brand recognition to consistent posting schedules and engaging content, we’ve got you covered with the 101.

Brand Recognition

Take a moment to think about the everyday brands in your life. Perhaps you’re a loyal follower of Nike, sporting their sneakers and cool aesthetic on the daily. Or maybe you’re a die-hard Apple fan with your computer, phone, and earbuds following suit. Whatever it is, these examples are clear reasons why brand recognition is essential to modern-day business growth and success.

CEO and cofounder of Buzzstream Paul May shares, “Build the right relationships with the right people and nurture them over time and you’ll always have a leg up on the competition.”

As a general rule of thumb, consumers must see a brand three times before becoming what’s known as “brand-aware.” Brand awareness is the ability to recognize unique characteristics and tie them to a particular product, service, or company.

First thing’s first: You need to set the foundation for your brand. This means honing in on what makes you, well, you. Your brand should be clear and cohesive and include a clear call to action, using everything from your color scheme to your logo, website design, and content. In short, you need to tell the consumer who you are, why they should care, and, assuming they care enough, what steps they should take to participate. All of these make up your story.

Claire Berg Schmidt, director of marketing with Brandpoint, says, “Brand awareness isn’t just simple name recognition –it’s how well your audience understands the qualities that make your brand unique. The best way to communicate your brand value is to craft a narrative that addresses their needs and allows them to see how your organization fits into their lives.”

When you think about how individuals discover you and your brand, what platforms are they using? Are they being referred to you by word of mouth? Are they finding you on social media or your website? By understanding your audience and where they spend their time, you can better hone in on your advertising and increase your return on investment (ROI). This is a fancy marketing term to say, “How much do you spend on and how much do you gain from each successful new customer?” Do the math, and if the return looks significant, you’ve got a winner.

Consistent Posting

It’s also essential to post consistently. Your audience needs to trust that they can depend on you. And consistent content, images, and updates will do just that. Founder of MeetEdgar Laura Roeder shares, “If you want to double the traffic you get from social media, double your social media frequency.”

Consider following a theme. For example, on Monday, you post about business-related updates; on Tuesday, educational content; Wednesday, related news features; Thursday, team highlights; and Friday, events or festive content.

Set a phone reminder to post at the same time every day. If it helps, you can schedule posts in advance so they’re ready to go. One strategy is to set aside time every Friday to prepare the content for the following week. Remember to add hashtags, as these are essential to get in front of as many eyes as possible. Growth marketing consultant Angie Schottmueller shares, “Hashtags provide a trifecta of topical relevance, scannable usability, and findability. I strategically lead all tweets with a relevant, all-caps topic hashtag.”

Additionally, as mentioned above, ensure your visuals and written content follow your brand guidelines. Lexi Mills, managing director of Shift6, shares, “They key thing here is to make sure you are saying or providing something that others are less likely to provide, candor can be very valuable here however it is always important to get a few people to give their thoughts on a statement to make sure it is in line with company values.”

Engaging Content

To top it all off, all of your efforts are only worth it if you’re successfully getting in front of your audience, piquing their interest, and building a personal connection with them. So, how do you accomplish this? We’ve got some tips to get you rolling.

Use Visuals

In a sea of content, it can be challenging to stand out, which is why exciting or eye-catching visuals are one of the pillars to a successful marketing strategy. Remember to use imagery that tells the story of your brand and aligns with your core values. Additionally, consider using infographics to share quantitative data or to illustrate rich educational content. It provides a fun break from your standard written material, allows you to simplify concepts, and presents your data in a compelling fashion.

Write for Your Audience

A helpful tool when beginning to understand and write for your audience is to create a buyer persona. For example, in dentistry, this might be a middle-aged mom. She works part-time, is the primary caretaker in her household, and requires a dental office that treats all ages. She values intelligence, efficiency, and friendliness. And she is interested in a provider who is modern, socially connected, and easily accessible. She enjoys content on health education, family, and events. With the buyer persona in hand, we can easily craft content with which our audience will identify and engage.

Include a CTA

The cruciality of a call to action (CTA) cannot be understated. Think about it: Your audience may enjoy your content, but without a clear next step, they’re left in the endless black hole of online media. The key to conversion is an easy and enticing CTA. This might be “call for a free consultation,” or “schedule an appointment.” Including a phrase instructing your audience what to do next can be the difference between a lost opportunity and a new patient.

Social media presence is essential for any modern-day marketing strategy. By establishing brand recognition, following a consistent posting schedule, and creating compelling content, you are sure to find success in the digital space.