5 Ways to Use Social Media as a Communication Tool in the Dental Office
Key Use of Communication
Communication in any realm can make or break a relationship. Many of our patients use social media to find dental providers. They will ask for recommendations from media platforms such as Facebook. They also read reviews on Yelp. Some may do a Google search “dentists near my location” and then read the Google comments to find a provider with “good” ratings. We know this is not the way to find quality healthcare providers but “if I saw it on the internet it must be true” is something we are forced to deal with.
Social Media Etiquette
What happens if someone gives your office a “bad” review? Do NOT get into a social media battle with them. Speak to the dentist/owner and make them aware of the situation. Often it is just a minor misunderstanding that can easily be corrected with a phone call. “I understand you were not happy with your last dental visit. I apologize for any misunderstandings. What can I do to help correct this situation?” Show that you are more concerned about THEM than you are about a poor review. The patient should always come first.
Utilizing Social Media Posts
You can improve your social media presence by being proactive. A professionally done website will show the type of dentistry your office offers by showing before and after photos. Cosmetic dentistry is what draws people in—they all want that Hollywood smile.
A “Meet Our Staff” page will tell the patient about you before they arrive. They may ask for you specifically if you have the same interests. My “Meet Our Staff” article mentioned that I was a skier, and I had patients ask me where I liked to ski. I stated that I liked walking with my dog, and patients wanted to know what kind of dog I had. I used these as an ice breaker for new patients. Nothing too personal, just making conversation to put them at ease.
Breaking Through With Blogs
Short blog type posts can promote your office. A picture is worth a thousand words. For example, showcasing a photo of your staff presenting toothbrushes to a woman’s shelter or your office sponsoring a Little League baseball team shows interest in the community. Or a photo of your staff giving a presentation during Children’s Dental Health month can be impactful. Even a photo of your staff at an office picnic will show the comradery of the dental team.
Tips to Remember About Social Media Presence
Social media works personally and professionally from a student looking for employment to a dental office trying to reach new patients. You need to present yourself in a very professional and positive light. Prospective employers can very easily look up your social media account to see what type of person you are.
I once spoke to a coach from a very prominent football university who told me he disqualified a student from his list of final recruits because of things he saw on this student’s social media account! Even though this young man did very well on the field and during his personal interviews with the coaching staff, his social media account was filled with posts of drinking parties he attended. This coach told me he has enough to deal with and did not want to have to worry about his players partying. This young man lost a football scholarship due to social media posting!
Social media is a very powerful tool in communication. It can have a very positive effect both personally and professionally when used properly but can also be very damaging if you are careless.
Written by Colette Jesikiewicz CDPMA, FADAA