With over 30 years of experience in the dental industry, Gary Takacs is a firm believer that social media is the most effective way to connect with your patients. He took a moment out of his busy schedule to give us some tips on how dental practices can embrace the digital wave.
Many people see social media as a time waster, but Gary sees it as a game changer. He believes that social media is a great way to connect with your existing and potential patients, in ways that were just not possible few years ago. And we aren’t just making this up! Google commissioned a study which illustrates how social media is a vital part of the research process when we are looking to purchase products or services (Check out the article here).
“Social media, when done properly, becomes a part of the validation process, it becomes a social proof for consumers to make decisions about goods and services.” – Gary Takacs
In this day and age, a website is vital for the dental practice. Gary believes that your practice’s website is a great way to connect with potential patients as it provides valuable information about the services your practice offers. But what about your current patients?
The best way to stay connected with your existing patients is through social media. Your patients can then see a human side of your practice, which is not typically available on websites. Moreover, it’s an excellent way to filter and attract the right patients for your practice: people who connect with your posts and tone.
According to him, the most useful social media channels for dental professionals are:
Facebook: the majority of people who actively use social media use this medium to shop for their goods and services. Having a Facebook page gives your practice great exposure
Google +: a vital network as it gives your practice visibility on Google
YouTube: Before coming through your door, patients like having a sneak peak of your offices and staff. Be sure to share videos of your practice
Online review sites: having a presence on these sites gives you a strong validation standpoint
Gary stresses the point that as a practice, you need to determine how much time you are willing to spend on social media, depending on the number of social channels you are using. If you only have a Facebook page, you should budget one hour/week to manage your social media presence. But if you are using multiple channels, you probably need one hour a day.
And finally, one of the most important keys to your digital success will be to assign a social media champion, someone, who has some time set aside in their day to maintain your online presence.
Social media is a powerful tool, that if implemented correctly, can be a low cost/high return marketing strategy for your business. Need proof? Make sure to check out Gary Takacs on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google + and see how he has social technology working for him.