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5 ideas to take your dental social media to the next level

Staying active on social media is a must for dentists. Try these dental social media marketing techniques to reinvigorate your practice.

Smiling dentist poses for photo for his dental social media

At a Glance

  • Social media is important for dentists to connect with patients, build their brand, share helpful content, and manage their reputation.
  • Dentists should leverage social media to extend their reach, serve patients by sharing reliable dental health information, and manage their reputation by responding professionally to all feedback.
  • Other effective social media strategies include adding ephemeral content on Instagram/Facebook Stories, going live on Facebook, and investing in paid ads to target specific audiences.

Social media is a way of life in 2023 and beyond. Today, people use it to connect with loved ones, build community, research brands, vet local businesses, and shop — and people are using it more than ever. A 2023 Sprout Social report found that 53% say their social media use has been higher in the last 2 years than the previous 2.

Since successful healthcare marketing requires meeting your patients where they are, staying active on social media is a must for dentists. Beyond simply making a profile, dental practices must create and share relevant, authentic, and helpful dental social media content to boost engagement and drive interest. Read on for 5 ideas to level-up your dental social media strategy today. 

Patient Perspectives Report

Social media for dentists: ideas for success

Check out our top 5 dental social media strategies below.

1. Create a professional and cohesive brand experience for your practice

A “brand” is what you want patients to think of when they hear your dental practice’s name. Building a brand for your dental practice helps you distinguish yourself from local competitors.

A brand gives personality to your dental practice, helps you maintain consistency in marketing and communications, and lends itself to trust and credibility. It’s crucial to reinforce your brand in every patient experience, including on social media. Here’s how:

  • Be consistent Use the same profile picture and cover photos and the same biography on all social media sites.
  • Create and use branded hashtags CVS Health, for example, has a few branded hashtags it regularly uses on various social media sites, including #CVSheartatwork and #ProjectHealth.
  • Create your own graphics If there is an opportunity to create graphics that use your prascaataice' colors and font, do so. On Instagram, for example, you can edit the cover photo of your story highlights. Take a look at CVS Health on Instagram for an example. 
  • Emphasize your brand colors Use the same colors again and again in social media posts to build and reinforce awareness for your practaice. Check out The Treatment on Instagram for a good example of this. 

2. Share original content

According to Pew Research Center, 7 in 10 Facebook users and around 6 in 10 Instagram and Snapchat users visit those social media sites at least once a day. This means your dental practice has a real opportunity to stand out by creating and sharing your own unique content.

A few dental marketing content ideas to consider include:

  • Research summaries If you’ve recently published new research, consider sharing snippets of that information on social media. According to TechSmith, 83% of people prefer watching video and accessing information or instructional content via text or audio, so share your findings in a visual and easy-to-understand way.
  • Blog posts Publish blog posts on your website and then share links to those blog posts on your social media profiles. Blog posts can answer questions that patients frequently ask, discuss your treatments and services, or talk about timely topics.
Blog posts can answer questions that patients frequently ask, discuss your treatments and services, or talk about timely topics. ”
  • Photos and videos Showcase your staff and your office space in photos and videos. Also, consider showing off your patients with their written permission. Ask them for a testimonial about their experiences at your practice and post them on your website and social media.
  • Media articles Share any media articles where you’re quoted, too. Being quoted as an expert demonstrates your knowledge and experience and positions you as a leader in your field. While an article isn’t your own original content per se, your quote and insight are original and should be shared.   .

3. Engage with patients

Use social media as a communication tool — rather than just a broadcasting tool — to extend your online reach, better serve patients, and manage your reputation. 

  • Extend your online reach When you engage with others on social media, you extend your online reach and create greater brand awareness. Do this by following relevant profiles, commenting on other people’s original content, and mentioning or tagging other profiles when you share their content, as examples.
  • Better serve patients Social media is flush with disinformation and misleading claims. For example, after the WHO published research in 2023 outlining the possibly-carcinogenic nature of aspartame, The Washington Post reported that at least 35 dietician influencers were found to have accepted money from the trade group American Beverage to question the efficacy of the research in social media posts.
  • As a trusted member of the community, take opportunities like this to share unbiased and empirical information that helps your dental patients best care for their oral health on your dental social media accounts.  
  • Manage your reputation A positive, widespread reputation is essential to attract new dental patients, so practices should ‘like’ or respond to patient feedback. Engage where appropriate. Thank people who share your content or write positive feedback about your dental practice, and also be sure to reply to all negative feedback.
While it can be tempting to simply ignore it, responding to negative feedback benefits your business in the long run. ”

While it can be tempting to simply ignore it, responding to negative feedback benefits your practice in the long run. Tebra’s 2023 Patient Perspectives survey found that almost 2 in 3 patients (64%) would return to a practice that addressed the concerns or a negative review shared online. 

Be it positive or negative, you should reply promptly and professionally. Also, never admit fault and do not reveal any protected health information, in accordance with HIPAA. Read more about how to respond to patient feedback in Tips to handle negative online reviews with ease

Optimize Operations

4. Share live or limited-time content

Content that is only available at a specific time or for a specific amount of time creates a sense of urgency. Creating a sense of urgency or scarcity is a time-honored marketing tactic, and one that you can leverage to boost dental social media engagement. 

There are a few different types of limited-time and live content that you can try as part of your social media marketing plan:

  • Facebook and Instagram Stories Stories are photos or videos that disappear after 24 hours. Your dental practice can post about promotions you’re running, share timely updates, or get in on social media trends.

Sprout Social found that 33% of the most memorable brands on social media publish timely, on-trend content, and Stories are an excellent way to do so.  

  • Facebook Live Facebook Live videos are broadcasted live and viewers can engage with them by reacting or commenting in real-time. Facebook Live videos publish to your profile after the broadcast ends. Dentists will commonly live stream procedures, such as teeth cleanings or whitenings.

5. Invest in paid dental social media ads

Sponsored content, paid social media, or “paid social” are ads that look like organic content but are actually paid ad placements. Paid social appears in news feeds, and users can react or comment just like they can with organic content.

Running paid ads has a few benefits. One, doing so allows you to effectively target specific patient profiles. If you’re an orthodontist, you could use paid ads to target adults in your local area with children aged 7-12 to stay top of mind as they explore the need for braces for their children.

Running paid ads allows you to effectively target specific patient profiles. ”

Paid social even lets you build look-alike audiences using a patient list, boosting the likelihood that your content will be seen by prospective patients.

Paid dental social media also helps you reach new audiences and build brand awareness, so patients who are not yet ready to visit your dental practice now are more likely to recall it when they do need care.

It can also help you drive traffic to a specific asset for lead generation. Say you’ve created a downloadable guide for parents of young children on oral health strategies for children. With paid social, you can specifically promote that content or asset on social media.

Interested in more ideas to succeed with social media marketing? Check out The ultimate guide to medical practice social media in 2023 for more detailed advice and recommendations.

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75% of people look online to find a doctor. Patients take a critical look at web presence, online business profiles, and reviews when they decide to pick a health provider. Learn where your practice should be online in the 2023 Patient Perspectives report.

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Catherine Tansey, business writer and reporter

Catherine Tansey is a business and healthcare writer and reporter. She has close to a decade of experience writing and reporting on small business best practices, emerging technology, market trends, and more. Catherine has several family members who own private practices in mental health services, dentistry, and chiropractics, and she’s seen firsthand the pride and privilege practice owners feel to be able to support their communities.

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