Under these new Covid-19 induced circumstances, dentists are facing a sea of empty chairs. It’s hard. It’s scary, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with your patients in a new way.
Because patients may no longer be able to come to your office, you need to go where they are. On Covid-19 house arrest, many of your patients have probably dedicated a sizable portion of their new free time to scrolling through social media posts.
This is where you need to be. It’s time for your dental practice to get social.
To kick start your social media campaigns, I’m going to dive into three categories you should aim for: Educational, Engaging, and Encouraging.
Educational posts can provide instant value to readers. There are lots of moms out there doing their best to look after their children who might come across your video on recommended brushing schedules and engage with these posts, asking the questions they would at your dental office. This is a very positive social media interaction because it reinforces the idea that your practice is expert-based and it reminds your audience that you care about their dental health during these unprecedented times.
Create text-based posts with images or videos featuring flossing tips, toothbrush types, and other educational material. If you want to establish yourself as an online-based dental education authority in your community, consider adding or updating a blog on your website. Write articles about dental health tips and tricks, linking to them on social media. Create a schedule and announce this blog post series to your family, friends, fellow business owners, and patients.
Next, make sure that you are sprinkling in some engaging posts as well. With these, do not be afraid to use humor or talk about serious matters such as the impact of Covid-19, as long as the content is relevant to your audience. Engaging content should be hilarious, touching, or interactive.
Examples of this could be posting a meme of Darla from Nemo with a funny tag line, or taking a survey on what new features (some of us have Slurpee machines, Kuerigs, XBoxes etc.) you should add to your waiting room once your doors reopen. Including your staff is also a great way to be engaging on social media. Have them create fun videos or live streams detailing their daily work and explaining why they do what they do. You can also create little typed profiles of your team members with serious and funny information fields ranging from “Job Tile” to “Favorite Super Villain” to engage with your patients from afar.
Finally, you should consider creating some encouraging posts. Covid-19 has put many of us in a depressive state, whether it be from a recent tragedy, or just wishing to have a break, or see our friends and family. While you cannot solve their problems, you can do your best to increase morale through your practice’s social media account. You can create relevant health-related posts that explain the value of a clean mouth for overall health. Focus on the benefits of clean teeth for increasing confidence, bodily health, and other factors. Encourage people to pledge to maintain better dental health during a time when their dentists aren’t there to walk them through it.
If you’re well connected to your audience on a more personal level, consider doing a family post of one of your children or a young patient (with parents’ permission), exalting their healthy smile.
Another encouraging effort could be taking a step further and getting involved in an altruistic effort related to Covid-19. Is there a way you can send your extra masks to a local hospital? If you can, post about it. If you notice other people performing these sorts of acts in your neighborhood, thank them and share their good deeds with your audience. This creates a sense of unity that will encourage you patients to feel more optimistic during all of these changes and tragedies.
For all of your social media posts, consider the following tips:
- Do your best to cater to the platform. For example, if you want to post a video on Facebook, upload it directly to the platform instead of adding a link to an outside source like a YouTube video. This is because Facebook has an autoplay feature on videos directly uploaded to it, increasing views and engagement. Moving videos attract more attention than frozen video thumbnails.
- Always use images if you can. People respond to pleasing imagery. This goes for your social media posts and blog articles.
- Consider creating calls to action. If you are taking appointments for the future, link to a place where patients can contact your front office staff, or list your company phone number at the end of each post. You can also link to your site, ask for feedback, and more. What do you want your readers to do?
Stay healthy, safe, and social, everyone! If we work hard and be creative, I know we can get through this and come better than we began.