Having a social-media strategy for your practice is no longer a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “right now.” Twitter, Facebook and the like can seem trivial, but they — along with a user-friendly Website — are vital for a modern dental practice. Here’s how to take advantage.

 

BUILD A BETTER WEBSITE: Professionals can help you create an effective, good-looking site for not too much money. If you have even a slight facility with

technology, you can use an industry-specific site template like the ones available

at DentalFreeway.com to give you tailored, turnkey solutions.

 

Already have a site? Streamline it. Showcase your team and their credentials;

highlight the specific services you offer; prominently note your location

and contact information. If your budget permits include a “virtual tour” of your

space. And don’t be afraid to brag a little — the most effective sites are interactive

promotional brochures.

 

Finally, talk to your IT pro, or even a tech-savvy friend, about search-engine

optimization (SEO). Learn which keywords will help your site rise to the top of

local search queries. Sign up for Google Analytics (free) and Google AdWords

(cheap) to monitor your site traffic and increase your visibility.

 

SET UP YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE. Research shows that 57 percent of dentists use Facebook as a marketing platform. That figure ought to be far higher.

 

ESTABLISH A LINKEDIN PROFILE: “Facebook for businesses” does an excellent job of connecting professionals who can vouch for each other, refer patients and share industry insights. Signing up takes just minutes; you’ll see your connections multiply almost instantly.

 

GET ON TWITTER. It’s the easiest social media format to master and maintain; learning the rudiments is a snap. It’ll then serve as a no-cost, real-time squawk box you can use to promote your practice, answer questions and allay concerns.

 

NEVER STOP ASKING FOR TESTIMONIALS.

Post a sign in your reception area encouraging patients to go online and share their thoughts. though, don’t delete negative reviews. Your credibility will be enhanced by letting patients have their say — and it’s a constant reminder to focus on good service.

 

Follow these tactics, and your practice will take an immediate technological leap. In dentistry, after all, we strive to make a difference in every patient’s life. Transforming your practice through social media communication can be equally potent medicine for you.