If your goal is to grow your social media audience eventually gain new patients from your marketing efforts, then engagement should be one of your top priorities behind content creation. So what exactly does engagement mean on social media? It’s basically any interaction someone has with your social media content. It’s also how you interact with your audience’s own content. With a proper social media engagement strategy, you can grow your followers, gain loyal patients, and ultimately succeed at social media marketing.

man's hand holding a cell phone, checking Instagram

Why Engagement is Important For Social Media Marketing

One of the goals of social media marketing is to get your audience to engage with your content. This can be in the form of a like, comment, or share. When they engage with your content, it tells social media algorithms that your post is important and therefore shows it to more of your audience as they scroll through their feed. The more people that interact with it, the more people will see it. Since your ultimate goal is to gain more followers and thus more patients, the more engaging your content is, the more likely it will help you attain this goal. Engagement isn’t just limited to interactions on your own content. It also includes your effort to engage with your audience’s content.

If you’re not doing anything on your end to get people to engage with your content, you’re not going to get new patients. It’s a lot like hosting a party but forgetting to send out an invite. Nobody is going to show up if you don’t make a way for them to learn about the party.

Respond to Comments and Messages

One of the easiest ways to engage with your audience on social media is to simply respond to their comments and messages. Even if they comment a simple emoji on your post, respond to it anyway by thanking them for leaving a comment. It won’t just look good on your end for caring about your followers by responding to them, but algorithms will recognize it and showcase your content to more of your followers. Just like with online reviews, don’t leave a comment or message unresponded.

Like and Comment On Your Follower’s Posts

This is one of the most important aspects to include in your engagement strategy – engaging with your follower’s posts. Whenever you like or comment on one of their posts, it shows that you care about them as a follower which means they will probably care about you in return.

Engage With New People

You shouldn’t limit yourself to only liking and commenting on posts of your own followers. You should also like and comment on the posts of your desired audience. To find people in your audience, search the geolocation of your city and start going through and liking and commenting on random people’s posts. You can even click on their profiles and like and comment on several of their posts. You should also start to follow these random profiles you’re engaging with.

When they see all of these notifications coming in from your dental practice, they will immediately click on your profile to see what you’re all about. If they’re in the market for a new dentist, they might give you a call for an appointment! At the very least, you will probably gain a new follower.

Cross-Promote Local Businesses

If you’re not already partnering up with other local businesses, you should be. Next time you grab take-out from your favorite restaurant or visit the local shop next door during your lunch break, ask the manager if they would like to work together to cross-promote each other’s businesses.

You can create a social media post raving about how much you love their business and tagging them in the process and they can do the same. That way, their followers will learn about your dental office and your followers will learn about a new restaurant to try. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. It’s also a great way to show your followers how much you care about other local businesses.

Don’t Forget to Add a Geolocation and Hashtags To Your Post

An easy way to ensure people see your posts is by always including hashtags and geolocation. The geolocation should be the city of your dental office’s location and the hashtags should also be locally related. For instance, if you’re a dental office in Seattle, you might use hashtags like #seattledentist #seattle #seattlegram. It’s also important to use hashtags that pertain to your local neighborhood. Your office might be in Seattle, but technically it’s located near Capitol Hill so you should also include Capitol Hill related hashtags. Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post so make sure you get some dentistry-related hashtags included in addition to your local hashtags. A little bit of hashtag research can go a long way.

Create Heartwarming Posts

People love heartwarming content on social media – it’s a given that it will perform well. Perhaps a patient came in and gave you a present, or your hubby sent flowers to the office. If there’s a heartwarming story for you to share, definitely share it! These types of posts always receive tons of likes.

Use Calls to Actions in Posts

If you don’t encourage your followers to engage with your posts, they probably won’t. One easy way to gain more likes, comments, shares, or saves is to simply ask for them! It can be as simple as “Like this post if you want a new smile like this” or “Comment a cosmetic dentistry procedure you want” or “save this post.” You would be surprised how simply adding these into your captions can completely change your engagement.

Showcase Happy Patients (With Their Permission)

If your patients give you permission to use their before and after photos or video testimonials in your marketing, definitely take them up on their offer. It’s even better if it’s not just a picture of their teeth and you get to see their entire face. These types of posts tug on emotions and help your followers see what their own results could potentially look like.

Host Contests On Your Social Media

A great way to drive engagement and increase your followers is by hosting contests. Come up with your prize and then create a post for the contest. For your people to submit an entry, request that they follow you, like the post, and tag someone in the comments. For every tag, they get an entry. You can even give them bonus points for sharing your post in their stories. This won’t just drive engagement like crazy, but it will help new people see your post when they get tagged.

Post Stories Every Day

Stories are a great way to keep your audience engaged on a less formal level. There are tons of fun widgets to use in stories like quizzes, questions, polls, and more. Use these to your advantage to get your followers more engaged. Create dental fact quizzes or polls about dental hygiene best practices. The more you post, the more likely a new patient will come along.

Use Paid Social Ads

The last way to engage with your audience is with social media ads. You can use social media ads to increase engagement on an existing post you’ve created, to specifically increase followers, or to create a marketing campaign. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s an easy way to expose your content to new faces!

Social Media Management For Dentists

We understand how busy most dental offices are and how little time they have for social media. Let us help you take away some of the work with our social media management for dentists. Every week, we will create and schedule out three posts on your behalf in addition to answering any messages that come in. We can even help you create specific posts if you already have an idea in mind.

If you don’t need social media management services but could benefit from a social media scheduler that posts to every platform you can think of, we can also help with our Online Practice Center package. Online Practice Center is an online hub of marketing tools including social media scheduling you can use to take charge of your marketing and never miss a social media post again.

Contact Pro Impressions Marketing at (970) 672-1212 to schedule a consultation to learn more about our social media management services or Online Practice Center today.