If your clinic still does not have a presence in social networks, this is a big mistake of the management, because today, social media marketing is one of the most affordable and effective technologies for promotion.
Almost immediately after the opportunity to create personal communities on social networks surfaced, it became clear that this was an excellent prospect for free marketing of your information to a huge audience. Today it is hardly possible to imagine a self-respecting company that does not have a page on Facebook. As for dentistry, the situation is somewhat worse. In India, according to the most conservative estimates, there are about several thousand clinics operating, while a meager number of dentists are active in social networks. At the same time, it is obvious that each clinic owner is not an enemy to himself and strives for prosperity, therefore such low indicators can be attributed to ignorance of the true capabilities of social networks.
Why social media?
In Western practice, Social Media Marketing (SMM) has long been almost the main mouthpiece of marketing activity and a link between the clinic and its target audience. “But this function is already performed by the website,” some would argue. The answer here is simple and categorical: the website is, in fact, an expanded business card of the clinic, and the social network is a global interactive platform. The point is that the presence of a clinic page on such platforms is a key indicator of its openness and friendliness, as well as a reflection of philosophy, mission and individuality.
Needless to say, you need to start any activity in social networks after having a clear concept of the clinic’s activities and development as a whole. If you draw parallels with a physical person, it is difficult to tell people about yourself if you have no idea of who you are. The comparison may seem a little strange, but in reality it is so. Before developing a website or page structure on Internet platforms, you need to have a ready-made brand book, which clearly describes the goals, objectives and, most importantly, the corporate style is agreed. It includes the logo and variations of its use, corporate font, colors, gradients and other elements that visually distinguish one company from another.
The structure of the clinic’s social media page
To give illustrative examples, let’s focus on the three most popular Indian social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Of course, one cannot fail to mention Instagram. It is imperative to use Instagram as a photo blog : it is a real paradise for effective demonstration of clinical cases, the interior of the clinic and happy patients. Many doctors are also turning to YouTube for sharing of longer videos. It should be remembered that in terms of content and advertising placement, the three platforms mentioned above offer more opportunities so far.
Before developing a website or page structure on Internet platforms, you need to have a ready-made brand book, in which the goals, objectives and corporate identity are clearly defined
The initial stage is filling in the basic thematic blocks that the social network offers and that the clinic can use to present its clinical capabilities and level of service. Services, price list, promotions, equipment, treatment methods, diplomas and certificates, doctors and their qualifications – absolutely everything that can be vividly and informatively presented should be presented. In addition, any sections that imply graphic design must be completed in accordance with the corporate identity (as discussed above).
Let’s move on to the most interesting part – the process of filling the page with content. In the world of SMM, they usually follow the classic scheme: 30% of entertainment materials, 30% of branded materials and 30% of educational (in our case, these can be articles about hygiene, modern methods of dental treatment and restoration, etc.). In fact, by monitoring and analyzing the pages of many clinics, one can constantly observe bias in one direction.
Some openly sing praises to themselves, without backing it up with any adequate facts. Others post funny pictures, videos and anecdotes, in most cases having nothing to do with dentistry. Of course, in practice, each manager himself determines the content policy of his clinic: there are no strict frameworks in which one must necessarily fit in. Another thing is important: if you entered the world of social networks without a clear strategy and understanding of what you want, then the creative ends very quickly.
It is often possible to observe very short distances, when from one fasting a day the clinic reached one fasting a month, and so on to complete oblivion. In addition, the promotion strategy in social networks must be reviewed or supplemented at least once every six months or a year. This is the period when mechanisms, services, trends and preferences of the audience itself change. As for the content policy, its correction or update should be carried out at least once a quarter, and ideally once a month, focusing on the data of analysts and statistics in this matter.
Increasing the page users
Anyone who has ever encountered creating a community from scratch wondered how to get a large number of users (subscribers, followers, etc.). Some entertainment pubs have more than a million subscribers, which, of course, opens up almost unlimited possibilities for advertising and PR. For objective reasons, everything is a little more complicated with dentistry, but this does not mean that it is impossible to build a large and successful community in our business.
When it comes to subscribers, there are two ways. The first is to just buy them. To do this is very simple and not at all expensive, but I will immediately make a reservation that this method is bad and ineffective. Firstly, the moderators of social networks have already learned well how to suppress such processes and are punished quite seriously for this. Secondly, even if such a promotion went unnoticed, all these users are dead souls or just bots. There is no benefit from them, except for the numbers in the subscriptions.
Another way is a little more complicated, but much more effective – to correctly manage the clinic’s page and post high-quality content. Trust me, good social media work is always rewarded with “likes”, reposts and subscribers. I have already mentioned that a social network is primarily an interaction. The variety of questions, comments and discussions among users is an indicator of the success and accuracy of your strategy. Be in constant dialogue with your audience, respond as quickly as possible to questions, feedback and comments, encourage opinions and questions. If you don’t, people will quickly realize that you don’t care, and the community will eventually cease to be alive and be covered in cobwebs.
Social media advertising
Like dental clinics, social networks also want to make money, so they are constantly developing and expanding their advertising offers. I am convinced that today, compared to other channels, advertising on social networks is the cheapest and most effective method of drawing attention to your product or service. I say “today” because no one can predict how the situation will change in the future: platforms are constantly changing pricing policies and tariffs. So for activity in social networks, the expression “here and now” is very relevant.
Let’s take a look at why you need to have a stable social media advertising budget. Only the most famous and largest clinics with many years of activity and a well-thought-out strategy have 10 or more thousand subscribers. This means that, according to statistics, about 500 people will see a daily post of such a clinic. And this is the best case. But what if your dentistry has only 200-1000 followers? Without proper advertising and promotion of materials, posts alone (even if they are very interesting and competently composed) are ineffective.
The main advantage of social networks is that here we can clearly choose the audience to which we want to convey our message: gender, age, place of residence, occupation and hobbies – the targeting mechanism reproduces the full portrait of a potential patient. How it works: For example, a clinic is located in Mumbai, and you want as many people as possible to know about the advanced bite correction technique that it offers. With the right skills, you can target your message so that your message will be broadcasted to the citizens who are interested in the esthetic aspects of their smile.
Budget and other nuances
As for the post contests, promotions and discounts for subscribers, here, in order to get maximum efficiency, you need to proceed from the level of user activity in a particular social network. Taking into account the geographical features, the effectiveness of advertising campaigns should also be evaluated. If, when promoting a post within a medium-sized city, the response in the form of likes of 50 users is a success, then, say, for the state capital and large cities this figure should be an order of magnitude higher.
Let’s move on to the material side of the issue. Of course, the more funds are invested in the development and promotion of your page, the better, but we all know that an unlimited budget is a utopia. At the initial stage of launch, the minimum effective budget is 10 thousand rupees per month. This figure is the result of evaluating the effectiveness of about a dozen such projects. If all of the above conditions are met, which allow us to consider your community interesting and attractive, the growth of users will be approximately 40-80 people per week, and the effectiveness of advertising campaigns in the first months will increase exponentially. When the site becomes more popular, budgets can be adjusted and distributed to specific promotions and projects.
Who should do this?
Never entrust the administration and even more so the development of the official clinic page to the administrator! This is the same as putting an ordinary person with a driver’s license in a Formula 1 racing car and waiting for him to podium at the Grand Prix. SMM is the same profession that needs a long and painstaking study. Moreover, continuous development and improvement is very important here, otherwise the moment may be missed. So only professionals should do this. Yes, it is in the plural. The position of an SMM manager implies that a person is fully responsible for the concept and marketing component and is the main generator of ideas. To directly create content, you need a specialist with a journalistic or philological education.
Agree, reading fascinating and witty texts is pleasant in any industry, so whether users will study your posts with interest or scroll through them like annoying spam is entirely up to your copywriter. The materials should be not only literate, but also branded, so that any message in the subconscious is associated exclusively with your clinic and brand, so the entire visual component should be under the control of the designer. Perhaps this is the minimum staff of specialists.
In our agency, we additionally involve a proofreader and a PR specialist to work with social networks . The first one is needed in order to exclude even the slightest possibility of errors in the text (I am very strict about this, so I pay attention to such moments). A PR manager is required to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with other sites and resources. This will help the subsequent exchange of links and publications, as well as building the desired image on the network. For example, if the profile of your clinic is pediatric dentistry, from a PR point of view it would be logical to establish cooperation with major portals for child care. It all depends on the imagination and the desired approach, but you should start by clearly understanding that SMM is a whole complex of works by a team of professionals.
Finally, I would like to remind you that we live in a very interesting time when people are in constant contact with each other and have access to colossal amounts of information. This is a huge plus for the dental business, since it has become much easier to maintain the loyalty of old patients and attract new ones. By being flexible, open and wise, winning the attention, respect, and trust of patients is easy. I would advise you to determine the priority site and develop content focusing specifically on the features of that particular SMM platform.