How to Get More Patients With Facebook Marketing For Dentists
It’s a good time to be a dentist.
Employment of dentists is projected to grow 16% over the next 10 years – a lot faster than most other industries. By 2021, the dental industry is projected to be worth around 37 billion, with continued growth over time.
How can your fledgling dental practice stand out?
For decades, dentists relied on their reputation and word of mouth. But now, Facebook marketing for dentists is becoming a big part of the overall strategy.
A recent study says over 55% of dentists say they have Facebook accounts for their dental practice – and they’re driving new patients.
Why Facebook Is a Great Marketing Channel for Dentists
Do you follow your own dentist on Facebook?
You could imagine most dentists being a bit reluctant to get into Facebook. Getting told you’re not flossing enough is just as unpleasant on social media as it is at your appointment.
Studies say a majority of patients don’t believe a dentist’s Facebook page plays much of a role in the choosing of a dentist. But they said these things do:
- Recommendations from friends and family.
- Online reviews.
- The overall digital customer experience with the dental practice.
Any savvy Facebook marketer knows that a good business Facebook presence can address all three of those things.
So maybe it’s not the medium, but the way businesses use it.
What Is Different About Facebook Marketing for Dentists?
Precious few Facebook marketing resources can tackle the difficult prospect of marketing for local businesses. Dental practices are unique in that:
- They sell a service that people need. Dentists don’t need to convince people that they need to see a dentist. They need to convince people that they’re the dentist the person needs to see.
- They sell a service that people don’t want. Many people dread going to the dentist and could use some help to overcome the anxiety associated with dental visits.
- They’re not actually selling a product. They’re selling a long term relationship built upon trust and value - often with an entire family.
By focusing on these three key points, you can then formulate your strategy.
8 Key Strategies for Facebook Marketing for Dentists
Facebook marketing may be a tricky prospect for dentists, but a little planning will go a long way. You just need to focus on a few key areas.
1. Know Your Audience
Having a clear idea of your target audience is the key to success. To build your digital patient persona, consider these three factors (ALL of which can be targeted on Facebook):
- Demographics - age, gender, profession, income level, marital status
- Psychographics - buying habits, spending habits, hobbies, and values
- Technographic - what device, websites and social media sites your customer uses
Make a note of where your ideal patient falls into these categories. And if you don’t know, create a patient survey and gather data.
If you already have a Facebook page with plenty of “likes,” Facebook gives you this data on a platter. Go to Audience Insights to learn all about your users.
In terms of social networks, Facebook has the highest volume of users. On average, a dental practice in an urban area is surrounded by 250,000 users within a 5-mile radius.
And Facebook advertising is one of the least expensive methods of advertising there is.
With Facebook advertising, you get the opportunity to target your post directly to a user most likely to become a customer. This results in a higher ROI, and a lot less money you have to spend.
The three common, self-explanatory types of targeting on Facebook are Interest, Behavioral, and Demographic.
Stay away from Interest targeting. It isn’t a good bet for promoting a local business on Facebook. You’re just serving an ad to your competitors, or other companies in the dental field. Who’s “interested” in dentistry? Probably not a potential patient.
If you are choosing to go with interest targeting, layer it with other targeting methods. As a matter of fact, this should be a rule of thumb with any targeting you choose.
We recommend a combination of Demographic and Behavioral targeting. These targeting options are more specific and allow you to reach a more relevant audience, excluding those people you know won’t be interested in seeing a dentist.
2. Generate Reviews and Referrals
Facebook is extremely powerful for word-of-mouth marketing. We trust our friends, and we trust other consumers. And this social proof can be leveraged on or off your Facebook page.
A great review can have the power to make a patient switch to a new dentist from one they’ve used for years. And search engines like Google will capture your reviews on their search results page, boosting your reputation even further.
3. Keep a Close Eye on Your Competitors
It’s smart business to keep tabs on your local competitors.
Look for these things:
- What customers do they attract?
- What, and how often do they post?
- What seems to be working?
Go to your Facebook Page Insights and add your top local competitors to the “Pages To Watch” section. And make a point to visit these pages often, and take notes on how they’re doing.
4. Provide a Clear Call-to-Action
The most successful Facebook pages and posts involve a clear call to action - something that moves your patient closer to scheduling an appointment.
A simple way to offer this on Facebook is to let patients “Book Now” with the main button on your Facebook page pointing to a form on your website.
5. Be personal
Here’s an opportunity to reduce some of the anxiety associated with dental visits. Facebook is your opportunity to talk with your patients when they’re not in your office. Get to know them and let them get to know you. Avoid jargon and technical stuff that your patients won’t be interested in knowing about.
6. Be Family-Oriented
Dental practices are a place for every member of the family - mom, dad, and kids. Consider this extra-wide demographic when working on your messaging.
Include photos of all members of the family in your posts and ads to foster a family-friendly atmosphere for your dental practice.
7. Appeal to Emotion
The best performing content on Facebook evokes an emotional response.
Go beyond the actual things you sell (like cavity fillings and root canals) and get into ideas like comfort, confidence, trust, and good health.
Going to the dentist is nerve-wracking for many. Some people put off their appointments for as long as possible. So, work on a friendly voice and messaging that comforts and reassures the patient.
Here’s an example of a post that appeals to emotion:
Here’s a voice that does not appeal to emotion:
8. Share Content That is Relevant and Encourages Engagement
Every social media marketing strategy boils down to this: without engagement, there is no traction. Using Facebook advertising is a perfect way to target your audience and increase your likelihood of getting likes, shares, and comments out of your post.
Sharing important resources such as dental industry updates or the latest blog post up on your site is also a great way to promote your website and your brand as an authority in the dental industry. Use the best SEO for dental practices and your blog will rise in the rankings due to increased traffic from social. It’s a win-win!
Facebook Dental Marketing Trends For 2020
Facebook’s platform and algorithms change all the time. Stay on top of what features Facebook is promoting to get even better success with your marketing efforts.
Use Facebook Messenger’s ad options to reach more engaged users.
According to Facebook, 54% of US social media users said they preferred channels like Facebook Messenger over email, phone, or chat. And this shift is likely to increase.
A major part of the customer service experience for years, now Facebook is offering advertising options for the Messenger app. This will make it easier to get your message in front of engaged users.
Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more. Having a bot set up on your Facebook page is a way to provide customer service even when you are not available.
The above screenshot is an example of a messenger bot with quick replies set up. The customer can select an option that best suits them or reply with their own message. The best part? Setting up a Facebook messenger business bot has never been easier.
Promote your brand and content on Facebook Groups to reach hyper-targeted audiences.
Facebook is touting Groups as a means to get more organic engagement. Its latest algorithm and site design suggest Groups as a means for like-minded users to communicate. Make sure you are following relevant dentist groups on Facebook to network and grow your professional expertise, form partnerships, and learn from fellow dentists.
Track conversions and website activity with Facebook’s new ad options.
Like with Google and Microsoft, Facebook offers targeting for users who have been on your website. With the use of Facebook Pixel, you can track user behaviors to deliver more targeted messaging.
Facebook is focusing many of its new ad options on creating custom audiences using pixel behavior. If you haven’t already, take a good look at your website to see where you could possibly track an action made by a user. Here are a few examples:
- Contact forms
- Appointment pages
- Email newsletter signups
- Event signups
Winning Facebook Posts For Dentists
Need some inspiration for Facebook marketing for dentists? We've hand-picked some of our favorite posts so to help put you on the right track.
Post about your office’s unique personality, or provide a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day. Highlight what separates your dental practices from others.
Feature your employees in your posts. This helps to build trust and make your patients feel like they really know your employees.
Create content your audience wants to see. This is thought leadership and goes a long way toward establishing your credibility and qualifications as a dentist.
Get involved in your community. People like to support businesses they feel care about them and where they live.
Giveaways and competitions are another great way to earn engagement on social media while promoting your dental service. Get your followers involved and into the office!
Talk to Us
Marketing on Facebook is a must for any dental practice, new or established. With some simple strategies and attention to your patient, you’ll soon see positive results from your Facebook efforts.
An effective Facebook presence will help any dental practice, whether it’s a few months away from opening, or if it’s been open for years.
Let Pacific54 start or improve your dental practice’s Facebook presence. Talk to a representative today!