Since social media marketing became a thing, dentists have wrestled with how to make it work for them. Unfortunately, it can feel like an exercise in futility as their efforts leave them face down in the mud, again and again, going nowhere fast. It’s frustrating and wrong. These are amazing offices with amazing people and superb dentistry. Why isn’t social media working for them (you)?

Here are the top five reasons why your Facebook and Instagram marketing efforts are failing and what you can do about it.

1. No One Sees Your Posts

Many dentists see social media as an equalizing opportunity when improving their local rankings just isn’t feasible. They want to use it as a low-cost guerrilla marketing tactic. They start posting feverishly with great excitement at first…and then nothing happens. The only likes they get are from their own social media accounts or the same one or two other people who are either friends or colleagues—not patients or prospective patients. This quickly saps the energy from the effort and the posts to Facebook and Instagram get further and further apart.

Visibility—or “Reach” as Facebook calls it—is hard to come by these days. Zuckerberg has mounting costs stemming from legal battles. The days of organic visibility from Facebook and Instagram are pretty much history. That doesn’t mean that getting more new patients from Facebook and Instagram is impossible. It just means that getting more people to see your posts will require a combination of paid visibility and attention to how the Facebook and Instagram algorithms work. But, no amount of boosting or advertising will help if…

2. No One Is Creating Your Posts

This may be the most common problem for dentists. Whether it’s because a company falls off the face of the earth or because you gave the job to a staff member and they got too busy to keep up. If your posts on Facebook or Instagram slow to a stop, you might as well not have a profile on that platform. Old posts look back and only fresh posts have a possibility of really bringing more traffic to your website. You need a dedicated team to keep your profiles up-to-date and that starts with a strategy. You also need to have an agreement on what kind of posts. There’s nothing worse than realizing…

3. No One Cares About What You’re Posting

group of co-workers working on a project togetherIf you’re posting and getting zero engagement, it can be hard to tell if your content is invisible or simply uninteresting. This problem can compound because of the algorithms that Facebook and Instagram use to measure whether or not a post warrants more organic visibility. If the first several times these platforms perceive a lack of interest when they show content to people in their newsfeeds, they will factor that reception into their consideration for future visibility.

The opposite scenario is also possible if the initial signs point to a highly engaging post. You’ll never create content that is universally engaging. There’s no way to “win the internet with every post”. Still, you can use tactics such as storytelling and relationship-building to make your content more engaging across the board. Factor engagement into every post decision that you make and into how you evaluate your future efforts, knowing that the interest level of your audience plays a role in the overall success of your campaign. That success is possible unless…

4. Your Social Media Effort Doesn’t Match Your Practice’s Goals

You may unknowingly be dooming your social media effort to fail by having your practice’s goals and social media content in conflict. For example, if your goal is to simply put butts in chairs and get as many new patients as possible, but you insist on only posting very niche content in an exclusive style, you will likely find that the exposure you get from your posts doesn’t achieve your goals.

Facebook and Instagram are not dental platforms, nor are they search engines. Their targeting capabilities are limited, so you have to manage them in a way that is realistic. If your goal is butts in chairs, then you need to have content that is more broadly appealing and add an incentive of some sort that will prompt more people to act.

If you want to leverage social media to reinforce an exclusive brand just know that the outcome will be harder to measure and isn’t likely to generate an overwhelming response. Of course, you also need to be aware that an off-brand social media campaign can confuse your audience and have a similarly underwhelming response rate. People don’t convert due to confusion or seek out clarification just to see if they may be interested. However, there is one fool-proof way to sabotage your social media marketing success on Facebook and Instagram.

5. You Don’t Participate In Your Social Media

The reason you don’t participate in your social media marketing is almost irrelevant. When it comes to considering a new dentist, people want to get a preview. They want to know what they look like and to figure out whether or not they can trust them. Are you likeable? Do you look like you know what you’re doing? Do other people like you? The easiest way to get to that point of trust is for you to be highly visible on your social media in some capacity. You don’t have to be a dancing dentist or have any other special talents.

The best starting point is to just be there for photos and smile. If you’re more confident on camera and can be in some videos, a charismatic doctor can really make the phone ring, but that’s not necessary to be successful. Start with some team photos, then some candid photos of you explaining something to a patient. You’ll find that these posts get a lot more likes and comments than your previous posts.

If you keep the post topics patient-oriented, helping them to know you care and understand their problems, they are likely to come to the conclusion that you’re likable enough to reach out. But if you’re MIA on social media, your posts are going to miss out on a lot of engagement.

If you’re interested in getting some help with social media, become a member of Pro Impressions Marketing to get social media management for dentists today. Call (970) 672-1212 or schedule a consultation online here.