Social media is the latest marketing buzzword. You may be watching TV, dining at a restaurant, or using your computer and see or hear anything about a social networking site. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogs, or another of the many social networks might be used.
Whether you use social media or not, you’ve probably seen their logos. Social media has evolved into a way of life as well as a potent marketing tool for companies.
But, as powerful as social media is, some company owners are still not taking advantage of this amazing chance to develop their brand, citing one or more of the following four myths:
Myth #1: It’s a passing fad
Social networking is still in its infancy, but it has already established its worth and is undoubtedly here to stay! Facebook has approximately 400 million active users who spend more than 500 million minutes every day on the platform.
Traditional advertising, such as newspaper advertisements, phone commercials, and direct mailers, is static. They are generally ads for your products or services. There is no way to contact, engage, or address the viewer’s issues after the printed item is given.
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs enable you to interact with and engage your audience via one-on-one or group dialogues.
This means more possible new patients and more therapy acceptability for you.
Do you know someone who truly enjoys going to the dentist? I don’t, and I’ve been in the business for over 30 years. However, one of the most fascinating aspects of social media is the potential to become genuine, not simply an advertising or an image in a telephone commercial…you become real!
Your viewers will picture their dentist as a genuine person, with a personality, interests, loves, dislikes, and even ups and downs… you’re real…you’re human. You have also become their “go-to” person in your profession.
Viewers are reading your blogs to understand more about dentistry, why they should see a dentist and get their treatment done, and how there might be medical concerns if treatment is not completed. All because you are offering vital information in your postings that were previously accessible to patients owing to time constraints and information access when visiting your clinic.
All of this contributes to creating credibility, developing confidence, and removing some of the dread associated with “going to the dentist”…and if a patient or possible new patient knows someone who has a dental condition, who do you think they will recommend them to….you!
Myth #2: Social Media Platforms Are Exclusively For Teens
Social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are no longer exclusive to youngsters. Businesses have discovered that social networking sites provide an excellent chance for interacting with and engaging their target audience.
Women over 55 are the fastest-increasing group, according to Inside Facebook, a Facebook monitoring source. Women made up over 56.2% of Facebook’s viewership, while women over the age of 26 account for 45% of Facebook’s US audience.
What this means for you: Women make nearly 80% of purchasing choices for themselves and their families.
What proportion of your patients are women, and what is their typical age…I’m guessing they fit into one of the two categories listed above. Women use the Internet and social media networks at an alarming rate. When your office phone rings, the vast majority of calls are from women arranging appointments or seeking information.
Myth #3: It takes too much time and is overwhelming.
If you attempt to utilize all of the networks at first, the number of social media platforms accessible and all of the information on social media might be daunting.
One of the finest bits of advice is to start with just one, preferably two, social networks and learn how to utilize them. It’s preferable to be active and consistent on a few sites rather than semi-active and inconsistent on several.
Time is always a key element in managing social media, but once beyond the learning curve, most of the work can (and should) be placed on “auto-pilot”.
If you later decide you want to be active on the other sites but don’t feel competent or have the time to handle them, you may always outsource part or all of your social media activity.
What this means for you: Choose where you want to begin and dive in…act!
Understand that you may delegate someone in your practice (who must recognize the advantage and be sociable) to maintain your social media accounts; but, this person should never post in the first person as if they are speaking for you. You should also have a social media policy in place that specifies “what to and what not to” publish.
As you go, you will realize that many of your articles and material may be completed ahead of time and scheduled to appear in the future. Several sites enable you to make one post and then that site will automatically publish your information to multiple other network sites…sort of a “one post does it all” situation.
Myth #4: It Will Be Expensive.
Your advertising budget is one of the most expensive aspects of your practice. You’ve got your newspaper and phone book advertisements, magazine ads, direct mail campaigns, and may be printed newsletters.
Traditional print advertisements have two significant flaws: 1) As previously stated in this essay, they are static, and once read, there is no interaction with the reader. 2) With print advertising, particularly direct mailouts, the return on investment is just around 5% at best…what happened to the remaining 95% of your investment dollars?
Solution: Use social media marketing to communicate with current and prospective patients.
What this means for you is that all of the social media networking sites are free to join, have unlimited usage, and are promoting your practice 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
It would be a mistake to claim that social media is completely free since there is the time needed in managing your sites, particularly when they are effectively managed, whether in-house or outsourced to a third party.
When you consider how many, or should I say how few, people are really reached by conventional advertising, the expense of maintaining a social media presence pales in contrast.
When you consider that only around 15% of the population still utilizes phone books and print advertisements, with the remaining 85% relying on internet sources, you can understand why developing and maintaining an online presence is vital to your practice.
Bottom line: When done effectively, social media marketing may reduce your advertising spending by up to 90%! This means more money for your children’s education funds, more money to travel and enjoy life, and…last but not least, more time on the golf course (or your favorite activity)!!
The basic goal of social media marketing is to serve as a bridge that connects you to people, information, and even businesses that you would not have had access to before. It’s one-on-one interaction and word-of-mouth advertising in its purest form, and…most importantly…free. it’s
You increase your practice’s online presence, make connections, acquire their confidence, and cultivate lucrative relationships via your social media communities and patient inactivity, eventually resulting in more new patients, treatment acceptance, and product and service revenues.