January 3, 2021
By now, you probably know that social media is here to stay. You might even have social media pages for your practice or a social media manager as part of your staff roster. But are you keen on social media listening yet?
In this article, we'll explain why social media listening is an important tool for dentists and dental practices and why you should start implementing it ASAP!
What is social media listening for dentists?
Social media listening is almost exactly what it sounds like – listening to what people are saying about you and your practice on social channels.
Even if you don't have social media channels, people will still write reviews of your business and describe their experiences at your practice on their own personal platforms. You can find these reviews and comments if they have open/non-restricted profiles by simply Googling yourself or searching for your business on different social media platforms.
Why is social media listening important for dentists?
Social media listening is important because, whether you like it or not, your company is being mentioned. Wouldn't you rather know what people are saying about your practice and have a chance to improve than to completely ignore feedback from your valued customers?
When practicing social media monitoring, you'll want to listen to all available channels where your dental practice may be mentioned. This includes regularly scanning Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram mentions, but also business-specific social media like LinkedIn, Yelp, review sites, and Google My Business.
You'll want to do this regularly, maybe once a week, so you can address concerns or reviews as a business in a timely manner. If you don't have a huge budget for marketing, this could be a project on particularly slow days for your receptionists. Have them reach out to customers who have provided reviews, or simply address their comments online.
Get the exact information you need. Exactly.
It is important to keep track of common themes in reviews on social media like, does your dental practice do particularly well while helping children through their appointments? Maybe you're the best cavity-filler in the area, or maybe you need to improve on your first impressions through some outdoor signage to help patrons find your business.
You can learn all this and more by keeping track of the comments your clients are making on social media.
Listen to your competitors' social media
This is where market research comes in. You'll also want to listen to the social media of your competitors' businesses. If they have been present on social media for a longer duration, you can check their channels to see how they are interacting with their patients and try to emulate that through your own marketing efforts.
If you're not interested in participating in social media that's fine, but you can still listen to their channels to find areas of improvement if you find that your business isn't being mentioned frequently online.
It may sound overwhelming, so start small. Start simple. Let's look for what people are saying about visits to the dentist. Not for a specific reason, but as a starting point.
A simple boolean search: dentist AND visit
What you'll initially find is some relevant items and then some noise. Don't worry about the noise for now. Look for two things:
- What people are saying
- What your competitors are saying
The first helps you understand what your customers are thinking, but the latter tells you what your competitors think their customers want to hear.
Let's narrow the search a little further and add COVID-19 to our query: dentist AND visit AND covid
Now you can see how the search results are beginning to be more interesting, revealing consumer insights albeit with some colorful language 🙂 You will start noticing how your competitors use different media channels as well.
For example, in the above you will notice how Instagram was used to spread awareness, whereas Twitter acts more like an emotional reservoir for all your customers.
Remember, social media is a powerful tool that can help you attract new patients and build loyalty with your existing patient roster. Existing patients who feel a loyal connection to your business will be likely to refer their friends in need of dentistry services to you and return for future appointments.
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