What To Look for in a Dental Social Media Management Company
Social media is so integrated into our day-to-day lives that it has changed the very fabric of how dental offices interact with patients.
Social media management companies are competing to manage your practice’s social media presence. But what’s your goal with social media? Who is best equipped to help you reach your goals? Do you need someone or should you just do it yourself?
Learn the answers to these questions and much more.
Paid vs. organic dental social media management
Before we go any further, we should outline what we mean by dental social media management.
- Paid social media management: This is what we do at :Delmain for our dental clients. It refers to managing paid advertising on social media, primarily through Facebook and Instagram. It entails targeting the right people with the right ads to achieve a key objective.
- Organic social media management: This refers to the day-to-day management of your social media accounts. Think sharing content, replying to comments, and posting messages and updates.
What’s the goal of organic social media management?
Despite not always resulting directly in new patients, organic social media has an important role to play.
We talk to many practices that are underwhelmed with the ROI of organic social media. This is often because they’re looking at social media management through the wrong lens.
While often labeled as social media marketing, social media management is more about connecting with existing patients and building relationships than it is about generating new patients. It’s more customer service than marketing.
So what should you be trying to achieve with dental social media management?
Engagement with your community
Engagement is a broad word, but we define it as any sort of interaction you have on social media. This could be someone “liking” your page, a comment on a post, or even a question you receive on your page.
While these interactions are not as effective in achieving direct revenue, they go a long way towards keeping you top of mind with your patients. This will lead to more loyal patients and stronger relationships with the patients you already have.
Communication with your patients
Once someone “likes” your Facebook page or follows you on Instagram, you have established a line of communication with them.
This leaves you with an easy way to communicate new services, policy changes, special events, or anything else. It also presents a good opportunity for you to answer any questions your patients have about your practice.
Building your brand
Whether it’s sharing a blog post, posting pictures from your practice, or hosting a weekly “Facebook Live” video, social media presents a great avenue for building your brand.
While you never want to overload your followers with content or messages, show them your personality and values. It will go a long way towards framing how they’ll see your practice.
The best way to manage social media is in-house
At :Delmain, we don’t directly manage all of our client’s organic social media efforts.
Why not? We think it’s better left managed in-house by someone who knows your practice, community, and patients best.
While a dental social media agency can help you if you don’t have the bandwidth or someone you trust on staff, you’ll get far more out of social media if it’s managed in-house.
Why should you keep social media in-house?
- You and your team know your practice better than any agency ever could
- Social media requires daily attention and prompt responses
- In-house dental social media managers can be flexible and adapt
- Patients are far more engaged when dental offices post actual practice fodder
- It can end up being more work for a dental office to coordinate with an outside manager than to post themselves
- Social media agencies do not provide the best ROI
Learn more about why we recommend practices to manage their own social media.
Can a social media agency still provide value?
While we think the best option for dental offices is for them to manage their social media in-house, we realize that this is not always feasible.
In these instances, organic social media management companies can provide some value.
When searching for an agency to manage your social media, look for the following traits.
Social media focus
Work with an agency that is squarely focused on organic social media management.
The truth is, we don’t do organic social media management for a reason: our focus is on driving as many new qualified patients to your practice for as little of an investment as possible. The skills that make us a great web design, SEO, content, and paid advertising agency do not necessarily make us qualified to manage your organic social media.
Organic social media management requires unique skills and systems that specialists know in and out. We’ve found that many agencies that try to do everything do a lot of things okay, as opposed to a few things extremely well.
Understand your goals
Any partner you work with (including :Delmain) should be completely aligned with your goals and what you are trying to achieve with your practice.
Talk with any agency you are considering and make sure you are aligned on what you’re hoping to achieve. Do you just want practice announcements posted quickly? Do you want them to repurpose general content like “happy national floss day” and other non-practice specific material? Manage your Facebook Live Chat app? Make sure you are on the same page.
Additionally, if you talk with a social media management company that tells you they can deliver you hundreds of new patients without any paid ads, be cautious. Without an existing page with thousands and thousands of likes, organic social media marketing rarely can deliver on that promise.
Skillful patient interaction
Your social media management company’s primary task will be representing your practice well and interacting with your community. Make sure that they’re good with patient interactions and their tone and attitude match your practice’s values.
Ask for examples of their communication style and posts they’ve done for other dental practices. Additionally, ask what metrics and key performance indicators they will use to define success. This will give you an idea of what they’re doing for others and confirm that they have the capability to meet your needs.
Utilize modern technology & practices
Just like when you search for an SEO agency, choose a social media agency that’s focused on the future.
While Facebook and Instagram have been around for over a decade, the practices and services that increase engagement and make management more efficient is constantly evolving. Make sure anyone you work with is using modern methods and techniques.
Actively monitor your profiles
A key component of social media management for dentists is answering and engaging with Facebook users. Your audience has an expectation that your accounts are being monitored and that you’ll respond promptly.
Take for instance when a potential patient leaves a question on a Facebook post about whether you offer Invisalign at your practice. If their question is not answered promptly, they may have already found a competitor that answered.
Experience with dentists
While the agency you work with doesn’t need to be exclusively dental-focused, work with someone who has experience with dentists.
Dental offices have their own unique challenges. A dental-focused agency will have familiarity with these challenges and understand the importance of HIPAA compliance. They’ll also be able to do more on their own and will require less from you. Plus, more experience will mean they’ll have a better strategy for managing your social media.
Our recommended dental social media management consultants
Minal and Rita are best selling authors and international speakers, and have extensive experience working with dental offices to help them get the most out of social media.
Both can help train your team to become self-sufficient social media managers for your practice. Additionally, Rita specializes in managing day-to-day social media for dentists and other medical professionals.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore social media
Just because it doesn’t require an expert, doesn’t mean it’s not important. We believe social media can be impactful for helping strengthen relationships with your patients and engaging with your community.
While :Delmain doesn’t directly manage organic social media for dentists, we’re experienced paid advertising partners for dental offices across the nation.