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5 Ways to Optimize Your Dental Social Media Marketing

Enhance your dental clinic's social media presence with these effective strategies. Learn the balance between brand building and HIPAA compliance in dental social media marketing.

Table of Contents

Social media has quickly become a core part of marketing many dental practices. You can attract and engage potential patients through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as you promote your services and expertise.

But of course, simply creating an account on your platform of choice and starting to post some content is not enough to reliably succeed. Instead, planning is vital to improve your social media presence and optimize your marketing strategy.

That sounds complex, but it doesn’t need to be. Consider these five choices when planning your dental social media efforts, and you will significantly increase your chances of success.

All dental marketing exists on a spectrum, and social media is no different. Your goals may range from building basic awareness about your brand as a dental practice to actively driving leads that turn into future patients. Within that spectrum may be goals like nurturing your existing patient relationships and driving website traffic.

Where you land on this spectrum relates directly to your strategic and daily social media management. Every post you make needs a goal behind it that drives it and falls within this range.

At its best, social media for dentists follows the 80/20 rule.

Eighty percent of your posts on Facebook and Instagram should be on the brand-building and relationship-nurturing side to build consistent engagement and interest. That leaves 20% for more promotional web traffic and lead generation efforts to make a good balance.

When social media platforms like Facebook first became popular, organic (unpaid) efforts were the name of the game. However, over the past few years, organic reach has cratered on these platforms.

Today, the average marketing post on Facebook receives only a 3% to 5% engagement rate when measured against the total page followers.

As a result, dental social media has become much more of a pay-to-play environment.

While organic social media management can still work to a limited degree, it pays to budget for paid efforts on these platforms.

Here, dental marketers have two choices:

  • Boosted posts are great for increasing brand awareness beyond your follower base and getting that engagement rate going.
  • Dark Ads are more promotional and traditional ad campaigns ideally suited for lead generation and driving web traffic.

When first building your social media strategy, you can either go broad or deep.

Do you want to focus all of your efforts on a single platform like Facebook, or expand to other platforms like Instagram?

The choice largely depends on your available resources.

It’s challenging to dominate multiple platforms with limited attention or budget.

Unless you have a dedicated social media manager on your staff, the most effective strategy tends to be focusing on the single platform most relevant to your audience.

There is one exception, however.

If you partner with an agency specializing in healthcare marketing, you can build efficiencies and pool resources in a way that may allow you to expand beyond a single platform.

In that case, the shared backend and parent company tend to make Instagram and Facebook a great pairing for dental marketers looking to succeed on social.

HIPAA is a vital consideration for all dental marketing, and social media management is no different. Making your social media presence HIPAA-compliant means training everyone who might post about patient privacy on the dental practice’s behalf. Common violations include:

  • Posting images, videos, or personally identifiable information about a patient without their written consent.
  • Posting any type of gossip about a patient.
  • Posting any photographs or images in which patient or Personal Health Information data might be visible.

Failure to follow HIPAA guidelines for your social media channels means potentially significant legal trouble.

You can avoid it by ensuring that your social media posts never use electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI).

However, that means not being able to post any before-and-after visuals or client testimonials on your channel.

Most dental practices start by trying to manage their own channels. After all, how different could it be from maintaining a personal profile on Instagram?

Quite different, as it turns out.

You’ll need to understand nuances like ideal posting frequencies and times, what types of posts generate the most engagement, how to read social media analytics for improvement opportunities, and more.

Social ads will be more expensive because you aren’t an expert at bidding strategies and high-quality ad creative. Then there’s the opportunity cost of managing social media while other tasks around the office might not get done.

Working with an agency that specializes in healthcare marketing can solve these challenges. Posts will be optimized to their platform as well as your brand and audience, and ad cost will become more efficient. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to focus on your core competencies and daily tasks as a dental professional.

Ultimately, there is no simple or one-size-fits-all answer to the costs of a healthcare marketing agency. Instead, those costs depend on the speed at which you’re looking to grow and reach your patient goals.

For $1,000 to $2,000 per month, you’ll get faster results while also focusing on lead generation and brand building. That amount includes the cost of organic posting, paid posting, and social media management.

For best results, work with a vendor that can consolidate services such as bundling social media management with SEO, content marketing, and pay-per-click ads. This will ultimately lower the cost of dental marketing.

Published on
Jun 07, 2023

Written by
DoctorLogic Employee