Ever wonder what the big deal is with social media marketing these days? Curious why all dental marketing companies make such a fuss over things like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus (to name a few)? Well in this blog post I aim to explain who uses social media regularly, and why dentists should be using social media as part of their online marketing strategy NOW! You will start to see why advertisers today are pushing services like social media marketing for dentists.
Who Uses Social Media?
Everyone! Seriously, just about everyone is using some form of social media regularly. And it’s not hard to contemplate when you realize that there are already over a billion active Facebook users on the planet. According to research done by the Pew Research Center as of January 2014, 74% of all adults over the age of 18 use social networking sites. When taking a look at age, education and affluence, the numbers don’t vary too drastically for active users. The chart below shows a breakdown of the percentage of users within each group who use social networking sites:
|Who Uses Social Networking Sites:|
|% of internet users within each group who use social networking sites|
|All Internet Users||74%|
|High School Grad or Less||72%|
|Less than $30,000/yr||79%|
|*PEW RESEARCH CENTER|
Not only are people using social media on their own, but according to a 2013 study published by Constant Contact, “73% of all business owners used social media to power their brand.” So the chances are that most of your competitors are already using social media marketing to promote their business.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
So now you understand that the majority of people are using social media networking to engage with other people and brands. But understanding why and how your dental practice should be using social media is a completely different subject. Let’s go ahead and talk about the “why” and the benefits of social media marketing for dentists. Here are 5 things to keep in mind that will help with success:
1. Your patients & potential patients are using social media – This means that your target market is already using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest (amongst others). They are ready to actively engage with businesses and brands on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Sharing both affections for a business or brand, as well as sharing content are at the heart of social media. Creating social media posts that are the right mix of funny, smart, educational and engaging is critical to marketing success.
2. Social media is great for customer service – Providing memorable experiences about your practice and individual practitioners are essential for creating a strong reputation. Think of social media as digital “word-of-mouth” advertising. The more you can interact and engage your patients on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, the more you can build your loyal following. Also take the time to respond to both positive and negative reviews and feedback. Responding to negative reviews is pretty much a no-brainer, but taking the time to reinforce a positive review can lead to an even better connection with your satisfied patient or client
3. Social media reaches all ages and demographics – The table above shows just how much interaction and engagement each age group and demographic have with social media. The best thing about this data is that networks like Facebook actually keep track of large amounts of demographic data. By using personal information in a user’s profile, they are able to break down age, affluence, education, interests and other demographics that advertisers can use for targeted campaigns. This data can make for some very specifically targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook and other social networks.
4. Social media sites are free to set up & post – Every social media network offers free pages for your business. There is no need to spend large amounts of money to interact and engage with your target market. There are, however, paid services and advertising that can help increase followers and target specific groups for paid advertising campaigns.
5. Social media can increase web traffic & SEO – One of the ultimate goals of using social networks to spread the word about your practice or pieces of content, is that it can lead to higher traffic and web hits for your website. Many of your social media followers will want to read more about a piece of content that you might share (such as a blog post) and even be inclined to share this content with others. This is why there are specific strategies every dentist or business owner should think about when developing or sharing content. Knowing how to leverage these strategies can lead to an increase in web rankings, as Google and other search engines use social signals as an SEO ranking factor.
Hopefully, this article helped you better understand the powers of social media and why your dental practice should be using social media NOW! For more on the Pew Research: “Social Networking Fact Sheet” you can click here.
If you have specific questions about social media marketing for dentists or any other online marketing, you can contact a specialist at Elevate DDS Dental Websites & Marketing.