It’s late 2019, you probably have a website, you probably have a social media account or two. Maybe someone in your office posts pictures and news of events or new team members on your social sites. Is this information getting on your formal website as well?
Is what you’re posting on your website about new services, new doctors, new insurance and payment options also being published on your social sites? Is anything coordinated? Now’s the time.
Let’s examine what’s happening on social media and why your dental or medical website needs to connect and communicate with these.
What is Social Media?
Popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and others. Recent research confirms that individuals spend a great amount of their time on social media every day. Moreover, according to Statista, over 80% of the American population had social media accounts in 2017. In contrast, a recent survey conducted by Clutch of small business owners/managers, nearly 25% said they currently don’t use social media for their business, while 8% don’t ever expect to use social media. Are you one of these small business owners?
Let’s dig into the data and what separates these popular social media players and why you should care …
169.5 million people in the US—or more than half of the population— use Facebook, a 0.9% increase from 2017 according to eMarketer. This means that a very large percentage of your patients and future patient spend a great deal of time on Facebook.
According to Statista, during the first quarter of 2019, the number of monthly active U.S. Twitter users amounted to 68 million, an increase from 66 million in the previous period.
Instagram was launched as a social networking platform unique in its concept of sharing photos and videos. This photo-sharing social networking app thus enables you to capture the greatest successes of your dental office, with your mobile phone’s camera and convert them into promotional pieces for your practice.
Pinterest is a photo-sharing and visual bookmarking site and app that enables users to find new ideas for projects and hobbies that interest them.
Why Connect Your Website to Social Sites?
If the sheer volume of users and their data didn’t impress you, let’s look at what we’ll call nurturing, funnels, and sales cycles. Adding social media links on your website is a great way to keep in touch with these vast numbers of potential new patients, and stay at the top of their consciousness. Assuming you have great content on your social media platforms, and your website visitors decide to follow you, you essentially get the opportunity to nurture them through your content. The goal is to achieve top-of-mind awareness and convert them further down the road into new patients.
You might be old-school and think you can achieve success via email or direct mail. You might have a point, but most patients don’t sign up on website mailing lists unless there’s a great offer for them. If you’re a dentist starting a new practice, you might need to give away free procedures in an attempt to build a mailing list.
Let’s look at it this way, there’s a lot less effort involved in a web visitor clicking the ‘follow us’ button on Facebook, compared to signing up on a mailing list. It’s still a great idea to offer an e-newsletter subscription if they sign up. But for your website visitors who aren’t comfortable with joining your list or parting with their email, gently move the conversation over to social media instead. You’ll have greater success.
Here’s an added reason, adding social media links to your website may increase your site’s visibility on search engines. Although Google has never proclaimed that social linking is a factor, there are many indicators and pundits that agree that it’s important to link your website and social sites.
By including social media share and follow buttons (like the ones to the immediate right) onto your website, you’re providing the opportunity for your content to become shareable, with viral potential. This can increase awareness of your practice, and provides a nearly free marketing tool for your marketing services as shareable content is a great way to keep patients entertained and up-to-date with what’s going on in your office.