Does your practice have an Instagram page? Are you an avid Tweeter? Do you interact with patients on Facebook? In this blog we are going to discuss the use of social media in dentistry.
Social media has the potential to be used as an opportunity to create value for both medical professionals and patients by providing a new communication method for clinicians with “the potential to engage patients”¹. If done ‘correctly’, social media can transform patient and clinician communication and interaction.
In a 2018 paper researching the role of social media in dentistry, and patients’ and dentists’ attitudes toward social media usage and their current online behaviours in this context, Parmar et al. found that more than 55% (290/532) of dentists sampled, have accounts for their dental practice on various social media platforms. While 73% (374/511) of patients did not expect their dental practice to have a social media presence.
As most consumers in this modern world, the majority of patients will be on social media and rely on more than just ‘word of mouth’ marketing. The dental industry, like most others, has ‘influencers’ in its area who have all become known and relevant (but not limited to this) via their social media efforts (as well as their professional value).
In a study carried out in 2020 for the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, 10% of females reported that they searched for dental clinics on Instagram, with only 3% males doing the same. Can we argue that Social Media has an influence on patients choosing a dental practice?
Social media channels like Instagram provide dental professionals with the perfect platform to showcase their work to their followers in the sense of ‘free’ marketing. Some pages also offer ‘meet the team’ posts and other personable features, as well as staying aligned with other practices in what seems to be a fairly competitive market.
Over the past year, social media has played a huge role in keeping patients updated with practice news regarding COVID-19. We have found that around 90% of our customers are on social media, and it is a great way to stay connected and up to date with latest news and announcements.
Do you think social media helps your practice stay connected with your patients? We would love to hear your thoughts.