If you own, run, or just manage a dentist’s office, then you have to use modern technology every chance you get in order to keep up with your competition. Consumers expect the latest and greatest features, and that’s not just in terms of their treatment when in the chair. Using Twitter is a necessity for your office to communicate and do well. Keep reading to learn 10 reasons why you need to use Twitter in your dentist office operations.
1) Share before and after pictures: Not all dental appointments are for routine inspection and examination of the teeth and gums of people’s mouths. Many, especially adults, want to make their teeth whiter or their smiles look prettier. Even if you don’t do a lot of cosmetic work in your office, it’s very helpful to post before and after pictures of your work so people can see what they’re getting when they come in. This is easy to do if you use something like TwitterBerry on your smartphone, since the TwitPic feature lets you take and then immediately share pictures.
2) Generate backlinks for your website: One thing that social media is great for, especially Twitter, is generating backlinks for your website. Dentist offices often rely on local search engine optimization for their success by getting Internet users to their website. From there, hopefully, you can convert traffic into appointment requests or at least contacts you can follow up with. Any posts you make with backlinks help boost your website in the search engines, and if your followers share your posts, that’s even better.
3) Update parents and patients on hours or closures: Whether it’s seasonal changes in hours or just updates on your office availability during inclement weather, Twitter is a great way to let your entire patient base know what’s going on any given day.
4) Respond to questions: Consumers have questions, and many of them, in particular, want to know about oral hygiene because they’re not very knowledgeable about it. Make your Twitter account a safe space for your patients to ask questions, and even open the doors so to speak for other users to post questions. You can enhance existing relationships and possibly build trust with others that convinces them to become clients. Just make sure that everyone knows things posted on Twitter are very public, and let everyone know you can’t do full diagnosis of issues online. Still, people needing answers are much more likely to go online these days then make phone calls, so the potential here is incredible.
5) Make people laugh: No one really thinks of the dentist office as fun, but if you’re able to bring some humor, levity, and wit to your account, you might just generate a loyal following on Twitter simply because you’re entertaining. If that proves to be the case, you’re likely to pick up a few clients along the way when they realize they need a dentist.
6) Provide oral hygiene tips: No one is going to follow a Twitter account that’s just a bland stream of coupons, ads, and self-promotion. While such things are expected from any business Twitter account, the content needs to be useful, if not entertaining, to followers in order to be worth their time and attention. Posting tidbits about good foods to eat and drink or the latest ideas in dental care can help patients learn and take ownership of their oral hygiene between appointments.
7) Promote deals and specials: Regardless of what the previous two points have gone over, you still need to advertise yourself from time to time. You don’t want to post specials every day, because then they’re not special. However, if 90 percent of your content is focused on entertainment, education, and answering questions, then you’ve earned enough trust to put deals and coupons into the other 10 percent of your tweets.
8) Let folks know about peak appointment times: Patients and families tend to fall into two categories, those looking or immediate or near-future appointments, or those planning six months ahead. Keep everyone up to date on peak times through your Twitter account. If you’re like a lot of family offices, you get slammed during college breaks and summer vacation since that’s often the only times kids can come in for their work. Give people a heads up about what stretches of your calendar are the most open for getting a good visit time.
9) Remind patients about open enrollment for dental insurance: This varies from one state to the next, but for most folks, registering for dental insurance primarily happens through the open enrollment period that comes in November and December of each year. Send out reminders about when it starts, when it ends, and even what some of their options are. This is a great time to let folks know what insurance plans work at your dentist office.
10) Endorse products: If there are particular oral hygiene products that you really like as a dental professional, a Twitter account is a great way to let your patients and clients know what they are and how they can help their mouths.
Now that you know 10 reasons why your dentist office should use Twitter, be sure your office has an account, lets clients know about it, and explore the possibilities listed out for you here.