4 Ways Dentists Are Using Social Content to Educate Patients

Opinion: Many dentists have realized the importance of online patient education and adjusted accordingly

In a world where one out of four people uses the internet to self-diagnose and treat health symptoms, the need for reliable information cannot be overstated. There is a growing concern for doctors from different fields to build an online presence and reach out to their patients.

And while this concern is prevalent among medical doctors, others have gotten the digital presence memo and are excelling at it.

Many dentists, for instance, have realized the importance of online patient education and adjusted accordingly. They are creating websites, participating in online communities and using social media to connect with patients. By doing so, they are sharing reliable information with patients, reducing the anxiety involved with seeing dentists and promoting their practices.

And since 62 percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. use their phones to look up information on health conditions, this social approach has experienced great results.

If you have yet to use social media to educate patients and promote your medical practice, this post is for you. I’m going to highlight how dentists are successfully using social content to educate their patients in spite of the anxiety, fear and “boredom” that surround dentistry.

Blogging

Image courtesy of Inbound Systems.

You may be wondering what exactly you need to blog about because, let’s be honest, dentistry isn’t such an interesting topic that people would be excited to read about it on a daily basis.

Yet blogging is one of the best ways to provide reliable information on different oral health problems. It is also a great digital marketing technique for your dental practice. You can use it to advertise your services and increase sales.

Through a blog post, you can detail the causes, symptoms and treatment options for specific dental problems. People who visit your blog can learn more about their symptoms and make informed decisions about their dental health.

And since you will brand yourself as a qualified dentist, patients are more likely to trust the information you offer on a regular blog.

When this happens, you will have provided educational material, established yourself as an expert in the industry and given people a reason to seek your services.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are worried that you might not be able to blog for lack of writing know-how or the time to write, you can always hire a freelancer to assist you with your blogging needs.

Partnering with other specialists in online communities

Image courtesy of Jennings Healthcare Marketing.

As a general dentist, you may not have the expertise required to perform dental surgery on a patient. In such a case, you may need to refer a patient to an oral surgeon, orthodontist or another specialist. But you don’t need to wait for a patient to come to you in order to refer them.

Partnering with other dentists and specialists to form an association that is available to patients online can increase your visibility. This is especially so when you choose to partner with only highly qualified people like yourself and those who already have a following.

Such an association acts as a hub where patients can access a wide array of highly qualified dentists and specialists, all in one place.

If you’re still wondering what we are going on about, take a moment to check out Mexico Dental Network, an online community of 25 dentists and specialists from different clinics in Tijuana, Mexico. These dentists have come together to provide affordable services to American and Canadian patients.

So, when the local dentist is too expensive, the community provides a better alternative.

Use of fun videos

While blogging and online communities offer an interactive platform for passing information and answering questions, videos are working magic, too. Since dentists understand that their craft can get boring, they are now using fun videos to educate patients on dental care.

And because videos are expected to represent 74 percent of all internet traffic in 2017, fun videos seem to be winning. One such example is Milad Shadrooh, otherwise known as The Singing Dentist. He has reported overwhelming success as a result of his viral videos.

Source: The Singing Dentist, Dr. Milad Shadrooh.

Shadrooh records videos of himself singing parodies to popular songs, replacing actual lyrics with dental health information. He does so to encourage children on the importance of dental hygiene and raise oral health awareness.

In an interview with The Sun, Shadrooh says he is currently overbooked as a result of the videos. While his intention of posting the videos was to raise awareness on dental care, it turned out to be a successful marketing technique.

Fun videos act as an interactive patient education tool, as well as a great promotional technique. By incorporating videos into your educational material, a lot can change for better. And no, you don’t have to hone singing skills like Shadrooh. All you need is a reliable creative team.

Social media engagement

Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest are where most people hang out. And while business owners use websites to sell products and services, they also understand that social media plays an important factor in making sales.

Dentists, too, need to capitalize on this aspect and join the rest of their colleagues who are currently experiencing results.

To excel in educating patients through social media, dentists share before-and-after photos from their clinics, links to informative articles and various dental tips.

They also post their patients’ stories to encourage others with similar symptoms, provide testimonial videos and answer dental questions.

Source: My Social Practice.

Conclusion

Using social content to educate patients is an art that not only shares reliable health information but also promotes business. You can incorporate these four methods in your practice to reach a wider audience and improve dental care, promoting your business in the process.

James Jorner is a content strategist and marketer at Effective Inbound Marketing. His company specializes in online branding and digital marketing for businesses.

Image of selfie in dentist’s chair courtesy of BraunS/iStock.