A Guest blog from Deploy Dental. The opinions expressed are from Deply Dental not Dr. Larry Emmott. However I believe it is valuable for dentists to get various takes on technology issues in order to make good technology choices. This is the second of a three part series on the value of Facebook. Part 1 is here.
The Internet in general is the fastest growing source for new patients. Statistics show a large segment of that is coming from Facebook. In a recent poll of 23,000 Americans, 16% used social media as a source for health care information, with 94% of those people choosing Facebook as their primary source2. One surprising aspect was that the average age of respondents was 41 years old. We would infer from this poll that using Facebook as a means to find and connect with health care providers is becoming more mainstream among even older Americans, and in the coming year it will be even more important for these providers, such as dentists, to increase their presence and participation on Facebook. These statistics directly correlate to new patients, because, whenever a current patient becomes a fan of your page and clicks the ‘Like’ button, a notification is placed on their wall where all their friends can see it. In today’s modern world when it is often quipped that ‘Nobody talks to each other anymore’, this is becoming the new word of mouth advertising. There is almost no higher recommendation you can receive.
5. The Growing ‘Viral’ Aspect
The viral aspect of Facebook is one of the most powerful examples of reaching large amounts of people quickly. If one fan ‘Likes’ a post, then you are instantly exposed to all their friends. If two of those friends like it as well, then you are growing at an exponential rate. Since the average Facebook user has 140 friends, you can very quickly be reaching thousands of people in only a few clicks. This is not to imply that any of this is a given, only to demonstrate the potential ‘reach’ of your Facebook Page. It still takes a lot of hard work, and it is the dentist’s responsibility to create the valued content that encourages their fans to take the action of ‘Liking’ or ‘Reposting’.
Part 3 will examine:
6. Engage Current Patients
7. Personal Connection
Editors note: It is quite possible for a dentist to set up a social media program, including Facebook, by him or herself. On the other hand you may find it valuable to use a service to help set it up and maintain it. In addition to Deploy Dental the following vendors can help with setting up your social media presence.
Sesame Communications: Sesame is my favorite and a sponsor of EOT. They are currently offering 365 days of free Facebook content; just send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
DoctorBase: I have not worked directly with these people but we have talked on the phone and I like their approach. They also have a great blog.