Let’s talk about Facebook, and how to effectively use this platform to grow your dental practice.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform on the planet. At last count, it had amassed 2.8 billion active users. That’s over a third of the earth’s population. If one out of every three people use Facebook regularly, it’s guaranteed that at least some of your prospective and current patients use it, too.
Research shows that Facebook users spend an average of 38 minutes each day interacting on the platform. To build a community and stay top of mind with your patients, you need to be active on Facebook, too. Hang out where your target audience hangs out. You can also use Facebook’s powerful advertising tools to expand awareness for your dental practice.
In this post, we'll share top Facebook tips for dentists to help you find success on the platform and grow your practice.
Create a Business Page
First things first, create your Facebook business page, if you haven’t already.
A business page is different from your personal profile. It unlocks the door to Facebook Business Suite, a toolset for managing and marketing your business across Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
You can use Facebook Business Suite to create ads, set automated responses, and monitor your practice’s performance. It is completely free to use, but provides an invaluable service for small businesses, like dental practices, in particular. Using Facebook Business Suite, you can directly compete with big dental franchises, and ultimately win over more prospective patients than you would without it.
Fill Out Your Profile Completely
Creating a facebook business page for your dental practice is just the beginning. to get the most benefit from your time on facebook, you need to take a few extra steps.
Now that you’ve created your basic Facebook business page, it’s time to optimize it and make it shine. Follow these tips:
Answer everything. Don’t leave any field blank. This includes address, hours of operation, link to your website, price range for your services ($$), and even if you offer free wi-fi in your lobby. The more information you can provide your target audience, the more they’ll trust you. Plus, you’ll be providing the quick answers that they’re after.
Claim your vanity URL. When setting up your business page, Facebook assigns youp age a randomly generated URL. But that’s not easy to remember for your patients. You want something clean like: Facebook.com/YourDentalPractice/
Tweak the cover photo. Due to changes with Facebook, the cover photo doesn’t matter as much as it once did. When someone visits your page, the cover photo is now partially obscured and requires the user to scroll up to see it in full. But that doesn’t mean that you should neglect it. Many people scroll up just to see what cover you have, so include a photo that reflects your practice’s personality. Team photos perform well.
Edit tabs. Under your cover photo are a list of tabs, or quick links to other pages in your Facebook business profile. This includes photos, about, reviews, services, and events. Decide what you’ll share with your audience by choosing which tabs are displayed and in what order. Edit tabs by navigating to your page settings. If you have over 2,000 likes, you can even add customized page tabs.
Customize your call to action button. Your call to action button has a prominent position on your Facebook business page. It’s designed to pop out at users because it’s so visually different.
Image Courtesy of Alexander Brao, DDS, Facebook
Optimize this call to action button by using descriptive text. Here are some examples you can use to encourage immediate action with prospective patients:
- Contact us
- Call now
- Book now
- Get directions
- Get quote
- Send message
By clicking on this call to action button, the user is taken to a link, whether it’s within Facebook (i.e., send a message) or outside of Facebook (such as to your website).
Get Reviews for Facebook
As soon as you have your Facebook business page up and running, it’s time to collect user-generated content, specifically reviews.
Reviews help your page stand out. Every review is a major trust signal that prospective patients will look for when selecting a new dentist.
To get reviews, share your page’s URL with your current patients and ask them to leave a review. You can ask directly in person and post signs around the office asking them to leave reviews on your Facebook page. And this is why claiming your vanity URL is important. It’s easier to direct a user to an easy-to-remember URL than a string of random numbers.
Additionally, you can ask at the bottom of your email newsletters. Or you can even ask your Facebook followers to leave reviews.
Set Up Messenger
Set up Facebook Messenger so that current and prospective patients can communicate with you directly through Facebook. By setting up your messaging service on Facebook, you increase the likelihood that prospective patients will reach out with quick questions they may have.
You can configure your messenger to pop up immediately after someone visits your website. Greet them with an automated message and offer to answer frequently asked questions, such as “When are you open?” or “What dental services do you offer?” You can preload the answers to those questions, too.
Image Courtesy of Gordon Dental Implants and Cosmetics, Facebook
It’s important to be responsive on social media. You want your patients to feel confident that they can reach out to you through your Facebook page, and you’ll actually respond to them. Quick responses build trust and demonstrate your value.
Pay for Facebook Ads
Over the years, Facebook has evolved into a pay-for-play medium. In other words, if you want to get in front of your target audience, you’re going to have to pay for it.
While it’s free to be on Facebook, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get in front of your target audience. Facebook wants to improve the user’s experience by carefully selecting what the user sees in their feed. You may have noticed that the news feed isn’t purely chronological. Instead, Facebook determines what you’ll see based on several factors, including what you’ve liked in the past.
So, as a business, you’re not guaranteed to show up in your follower’s news feed just because you create a new post. Facebook’s algorithm determines when your posts show up organically to your followers based on past engagement.
One way to ensure that you get in front of your target audience is to pay for ads. Fortunately, Facebook makes it easy to set up an ad campaign. And it’s affordable, too. You can pay as little as $5 per day and connect with the exact audience that you’re after.
Because Facebook has such a large user base and it knows so much about its users, you can target your ads in many different ways. You can focus on location, but you can also narrow it down even further. For example, you can create a campaign for people who’ve recently moved to the area. Or those who are newly engaged (teeth whitening is a popular service for those looking to take photos in the near future).
You can also target people who haven’t heard about your practice but are similar to your current patients. These are known as lookalike audiences. Targeting lookalike audiences takes a lot of the guesswork out of your marketing.
Think small to generate more leads through your ads. If you’re targeting more than 5,000 people, your audience is too big.
If you have followers, you need to post content that they’ll care about. While Facebook does promote paid ads more than organic posts, you should still post your “free” content frequently. That’s because increased engagement improves your chances of showing up on your followers’ feeds.
Ask your followers to like, comment, and share your posts with others. This will increase the likelihood that they’ll see future posts from you organically in their feed.
If you’re stuck on what to post, create a theme for each day of the week. Here are a few ideas:
- Makeover Monday - Show after photos of your patients. Avoid showing before photos, because it can be jarring in the news feed. (Some people are more sensitive to graphic visual images.) You can always link out to a blog post or service page where you show the before photos.
- Team Member Tuesday - Interview one of your team members to build a human connection with your audience. Ask a series of questions or, better yet, record a video interview and upload it to Facebook.
- Wellness Wednesday - Share helpful tips and advice on how to maintain and improve oral health.
- Trivia Thursday - Quiz your followers on dental health issues. This can be a fun way to interact with your patients while also sharing educational content.
- FAQ Friday - Answer frequently asked questions. Or encourage your followers to ask you questions on a live Q&A session that you host every Friday.
Are you overwhelmed with the idea of posting and managing the Facebook business page for your dental practice? Let us do it for you.
We offer social media marketing services that allow you to connect with patients and grow your business. Through our Connect90 service, you'll receive an easy-to-use content calendar along with customizable content that will help you effectively build your community on Facebook and promote your practice. Learn more about our done-for-you marketing strategy.