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Increase Dental Patients’ Lifetime Value Using Social Media

Social Media Marketing

Regardless of how well-established your dental practice is, bringing in new patients will always be a continuous goal. A steady stream of patients is the key to making a profit, after all.

It’s important to remember, though, that your patients aren’t merely collectibles. Just because you’ve acquired them doesn’t mean that you can already tick them off your list. You have to keep them as close as possible for as long as possible if you want your dental business to thrive and survive in the long run.  

Many dentists don’t realize that retaining current patients actually brings more benefits than generating new ones. It’s cheaper, easier, and more profitable! Here are several stats to prove it:  

  • Acquiring a new patient can cost five times more than retaining an existing patient.
  • 82% of companies agree that customer retention is cheaper than acquisition.
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25-95%.  
  • 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.  
  • You’re up to 14x more likely to get an existing patient to book with you, as opposed to getting someone in for their first appointment.

Here’s another reason why turning one-time patients into loyal patients is vital for your practice: they could be your biggest evangelists, proudly telling their friends and family about your impeccable service. Not only will you keep them coming back to you, but you’ll also drive them to refer you to others who are looking for a dentist.  

Winning the hearts of your first-time patients and maintaining a solid relationship with them shouldn’t be all that complicated. Thanks to social media, reaching out to them can be done in just a single click. Whether you post fun surveys to get to know them better, host a live Ask Me Anything video, or even share the link to your newest blog post, your options are endless.

As you plan your dental social media marketing strategy, however, it’s crucial to make sure that the cost of your marketing efforts isn’t higher than the estimated patient lifetime value (PLV).  

In case you’re wondering, PLV is the total revenue you can earn from a patient while they remain under your care. You can use it to predict the financial viability of your practice, helping you decide whether your practice will be profitable or not. This metric isn’t fixed, as it can be recalculated and improved.

There are two formulas in solving for your patient lifetime value. You can learn more about them, as well as the importance of PLV to your dental practice, in our detailed post here.  

In this article, we’ll be focusing on the different ways to increase dental patients’ lifetime value using social media. Following these best practices will guarantee you the most loyal patients who will keep your business up and running.  

1. Keep It Casual

As much as you want to maintain a professional demeanor to preserve your credibility and authority, social media isn’t the place to be clinical – unless your goal is to bore your audience.

Keep in mind that social media is a more relaxed platform. Using a stiff or technical tone will lead you nowhere. You’ll never get the traction or engagement you’ll get from an informal, friendly tone.  

Talk to your audience as if you were their friend. Show them how relatable you can be outside the clinic. That way, they’ll be more comfortable having you to care for their oral health.  

Who knows, they might even get so comfortable that they look forward to every dentist visit!  

2. Engage with Your Audience

time to engage phrase and clocks on wooden surface

Social media is all about connecting with people, and in your case, with your prospective and existing patients. It’s more than just posting content and sharing updates for everyone to see; it’s about posting content that can elicit a response – be it a like, comment, share, or reaction.

So, how exactly can you encourage your audience to engage with you? Ask questions. It’s that simple!

People love expressing their opinions whenever they’re given a chance, and it makes them feel valued to know that their thoughts matter to you. This is where you take advantage of polls and surveys, asking about relevant topics like their oral hygiene routine or their favorite brand of toothbrush.  

Or you can always go for open-ended questions by posting them as your status.  

Tag them in a reply or share their comments if necessary. This will bring you more exposure and encourage others to join in the conversation.

3. Get Personal

No, we’re not talking about sharing your life problems here. By getting personal, we mean showing the human side of your dental practice. That’ll show them that you’re not just another dentist who’s trying to fish for patients on social media.  

Although there’s nothing wrong with promoting your services on social media, you don’t have to overdo it. No one likes being pitched to. Besides, you have the profile section and your website to highlight your services.  

Displaying a more laidback side is great for building relationships with existing patients and making them feel more secure with you. Share photos of you and your team, BTS stories, or perhaps even participate in a viral challenge.  

Also, if you’re supporting any local organizations, be sure to promote them on your platforms, especially if they’re hosting an event. You’ll inspire your patients and earn their respect, giving them all the more reason to want to stick with you. Plus, you could build a positive reputation within your community.

4. Respond Quickly

Social media is the top choice for customer service, according to Sprout Social.  

This is why you should respond to your followers ASAP when they send you a message. Better yet, assign someone to handle all the inquiries made on social media. Patients will be impressed if you respond to their concerns within minutes!

Your patients will view you as a dentist who really takes their job seriously, increasing their likelihood of scheduling future appointments with you.

5. Offer Incentives

Who doesn’t love perks and free stuff? Rewarding your patients will keep them coming back to you.

Here are three ideas to help you get started:  

  • Give existing patients extra value by starting a loyalty club or dental membership plan program.
  • Offer coupons that are only valid for a short period.
  • Host a 12 Days of Christmas event every December where you gift your patients with freebies or discounts for 12 days.

Once you have a plan in place, advertise it on your Facebook and Instagram for the duration of the contest.  

6. Manage Your Reputation

five star rating concept

Most people today turn to online reviews to decide whether a particular brand is the right option for them. Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter play a key role here, serving as a platform for users to sound off and share their thoughts regarding a business.  

In case you’re not aware, Facebook actually has an entire section on business pages dedicated to user reviews. Anyone can rate your practice on a scale from one to five, after which they can leave a comment to explain their rating.  

Take time to acknowledge each of your reviews so you can encourage others to leave their own reviews, too – and yes, that includes negative ones. However, you might want to reach out to them privately if you feel uncomfortable replying to them in the public eye.  

Ask them why they weren’t satisfied with your service, what you could’ve done differently, and what you can do to remedy the situation.  

Responding to negative feedback shows that you genuinely care about your patients and that you value their opinions. This can go a long way in establishing their trust with you.  

7. Post on a Regular Basis

What’s the point of creating social media accounts for your dental practice when you hardly post anything? Posting every hour isn’t a good idea, either, as there’s a huge chance that your followers will find that annoying.

What’s the ideal posting frequency then? These guidelines will tell you:  

  • Once or twice a day on Facebook and Instagram
  • Three or four times a day on Twitter
  • Once a week on LinkedIn
  • One or two videos per week on YouTube or TikTok

Ready to Use Social Media to Increase Your Dental Patients’ Lifetime Value?

three happy dental patients holding photos of smiling mouths

Following these strategies will no doubt help maximize the lifetime value of your patients, which will eventually grow your profits in the long run.

Then again, we’re always here to lend you a hand whenever you need one!  

Our social media team here at Digital Resource will be more than happy to help your practice retain existing patients and acquire new ones at the same time. With years of experience in working with dental practitioners across the country, they know what it takes to get you to the top.  

Contact us today to learn how we can turn your business goals into a reality!

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