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How to Better Communicate with Your Dental Patients Online

Our patients don’t see us sometimes for six months between their appointments and they don’t think about us between visits. It’s not like they’re wondering, “what’s going in my dental office? I wonder how my dentist or my hygienist are doing?”. They’re not thinking about us, so we need to put things in front of them to remind them why they love us, why they chose us, and maybe they will go out and even tell their family and friends about it.

Social media is a way you can stay connected with your patients even when they’re not in the practice.

Here’s how to communicate better with your dental patients online:

While were talking about where to post, let’s talk about WHAT to post. If the only thing you’re posting is whitening specials or coupons, patients don’t want it, they will unfollow you in a second if you are posting just clinical posts – you need a balance. The rule is 80/20: 80% social and 20% business promotion, 20% about procedures or education and 80% social, that’s the fun stuff!

How can you be social without being salesy or overly promotional?

  • Highlight one of your employees and talk about who your new employee is and a little bit about them.
  • Show pictures in the practice with your team, or;
  • Having lunch together or;
  • Maybe you dress up for Halloween, or you decorated your office for the holidays, show these moments.
  • Show your doctor being real, show your team being real!

So many times what our patients think of us, they think scrubs and jackets and they’re afraid of us when they’re in the office. On social media they want to see the real people that work for you. So show your personality, but make sure it’s appropriate. Don’t show things like your team out drinking. Or, if you have a picnic with your team together, make sure that everybody looks presentable in the pictures that you post because this represents your practice. Show things that patients would be interested in seeing and want to see and then remember the 20% for business-centric posts.

Much like in your newsletter, maybe highlight the new procedures that you do, maybe a case that you did that you want to highlight, of course, get the patient approval for these things that you want to show so you can get more, people can see your work and want more. Maybe they want a procedure just like that or maybe you’re offering new services like sleep apnea. Maybe you’re doing Invisalign, and don’t forget education – educate your patients on some procedure or homecare or something along those lines but just make sure it’s not too much of that because people just don’t want to see it. It is social media for a reason and you should post three-four times a week.

I wouldn’t post every day but I also wouldn’t post only once a month because most of the stuff we post doesn’t get seen by everybody all the time. One idea is to make Monday or Tuesday your education day and rest of the week your fun stuff. Make a calendar and stick with is (consistency counts!) If you need help use the companies out there if you need it. If you don’t have somebody on your team that’s social media-minded, then find a company to help you but be sure the content is your team and it’s content you have provided to them.If you are going to work with a company to help you with this, make sure you’re giving them enough content because otherwise they’re just going to post, hey it’s national toothbrush day! And patients don’t really care about that – they want to see your practice.

Laura Nelson

Laura Nelson, BS, MS, FAADOM is the founder and driving force behind Front Office Rocks, and the leading provider of on-demand virtual training and resources for dental practices.