Social media has been all the marketing rage for the past few years. Most everyone you know is using some form of it and enjoys being in better contact with family, old friends or businesses they like and want to receive their updates.

Social media marketingYou may be asking yourself the following questions for your practice: Does social media marketing for dentist make sense for my practice? Will I be able to attract new patients by using it? How often should I post updates? What do I post? How many social sites should I use? And which social media will be best for my practice?

Social media is a form of communicating with your patients. Certain patients will never use it, with others it may be the only way to reach them, while others will be annoyed if you contact them too often. You have to consider your patient base and be willing to give them an option to use it or not.

The best way to find out is to ask. Put out a signup sheet and collect email addresses. This gives you a way to contact them online to sign up for any sort of social media you may decide to offer.

The age of your patient base will impact how many patients will be interested in your social media sites.  As they like things you send out it shares with a certain percentage of their friends. They might like what you have to say and consider using you for their practice. Even better, they may like your website to receive posts each time you send them out.

How often you post depends on the expectation of the social medium and how often your patient base would deem your posts helpful or obtrusive.  On Linked In, you’ll want to post once a day. Where on FaceBook you may post a two to three times a week. On twitter, with only 140 characters to use, you may post up to three to five times each day.

Social media is a slippery slope for any business, not to mention a busy dental practice. Once you get started you are committed to publishing content on a consistent basis.  I suggest you assign someone who enjoys the challenge and has the practice’s best interest in mind and will keep up with posts and replying to comments.

As a dental practice we have to be careful not to be too clinical, to not be uninteresting and risk being defriended or to be too personal where we appear unprofessional.  

It is about striking a balance and using good judgment.  For example, a patient probably could care less about seeing a photo of a wisdom tooth removal but may share a photo of an improved smile or a before and after photo of a close friend.

According to Seth Godin, small business marketing maven, it is best to pick one or two social sites and do it well, rather than manage too many sites and appear inconsistent and inadequate.

The following better explains social media marketing for dentist:

TWITTER: I’m filling  #cavity

FACEBOOK:  I Like filling cavities

FORSQUARE: This is my dental operatory

INSTAGRAM:  Here is a photo of the bad tooth

YOU TUBE: Here I am fiilling cavities

LINKEDIN: My skills include repairing cavities

PINTEREST:  My collection of vintage dental drills

GOOGLE +: Let’s hangout and discuss filling cavities

Twitter dental marketingAs you can see there is a lot to know about social media marketing for dentist, and we have barely touched the surface. But over the upcoming months we will examine in depth each of the social mediums and explain how you can use them to better communicate with your patients and gain new patients.

Go to http://www.redstarmarketing.com/dental-marketing-company/dental-marketing-consultant/dental-marketing-expert/ and download your free 20 page report on using Twitter for your dental practice.