Consult our Simple, Straightforward Guide to Building the Perfect Facebook Group
As a follow-up to our October article about using Facebook to promote your dental practice, here is a new article that will show you how to harness the power of Facebook groups to better engage and connect directly with your patients.
At ABELDent, we know how to connect dental practitioners to the right dental practice management software and the tools they need to increase productivity, but we also know how to connect to people – which is why we’re confident the insights presented in this guide will help you build a better practice.
What to Know Before You Start
Understanding patient needs is the most important pillar of any healthcare practice, and being able to connect directly with those patients is the first step toward building a lasting relationship.
You probably already know that owning the customer experience is the key to marketing any brand on social media. But if you really want your dental practice to stand out from the competition, you need to understand how these platforms actually handle user experience, and where your individual brand fits into the equation.
These days, companies compete first and foremost on the basis of customer experience (according to Forbes, 89% of companies list it as their primary metric for success). Like any other type of customer, dental patients use how they feel about the service you’re offering to decide whether or not they will keep doing business with your brand – or engage with that brand in the first place.
This is why companies in the know have begun to use the community-building nature of Facebook groups as a backdoor into deeper connections with potential and returning customers. The experience of being connected to a community paves the way to brand interaction, and Facebook privileges and promotes this kind of organic interaction.
Think about it. At the start of 2018, Facebook needed to change the way its News Feed functioned, and so they tweaked the algorithm – the code that decides what information to present to users and what information to deprioritize – to promote more posts from family and friends, while demoting content posted by brands, businesses, and media outlets.
While the new algorithm actively pushes followers away from traditional ad campaigns, it simultaneously rewards businesses that connect to users by building vibrant group communities.
Tip #1 – Find your Niche
Facebook groups are great at bringing together people who share a common interest. Creating a group dedicated to spreading dental health awareness, for example, might attract Facebook users who have similar oral health questions, or who want to learn more about local dentistry options in their city.
This gives you ample opportunities to improve awareness of yourself and your dental care brand simply by being helpful and informative.
Tip #2 – Engage with your Members
Posting and engaging with your group members goes a long way to building your numbers (just ask social media marketing expert Neil Patel, whose own Facebook group has over 11,000 members)!
More than just a controllable asset, a Facebook group is a hub – a space for people to gather, share, and discuss – which influences users in a far bigger way than a Facebook page alone.
People need answers to their questions, and if you are able to offer consistent solutions, you will see patient communication within your group soar, especially as people start to share the experience with friends and family on the platform, driving more attention to your brand. You can start by offering simple dental hygiene tips related to proper brushing and flossing techniques, the benefits of teeth whitening, and the importance of routine visits to the dentist. Once you’ve solidified your brand’s status, you can then begin to suggest specific services, such as those offered by your practice.
If you’ve been consistently providing answers to oral health questions, you can slowly begin to recommend that people stop by your clinic to learn more, turning Facebook engagement into potential business.
Tip #3 – Commit Yourself
If you’re thinking about starting a Facebook group for your dental clinic, or you want to improve the group you’ve already started, you need to put some time and energy into the endeavour. Remember the following:
- Be informative. Let the world know what your group is about. Write a great intro blurb in the About section to get people interested. This is your elevator pitch, so make those characters count.
- Be welcoming. Create a pinned post anytime a new person joins your group, welcoming them aboard and inviting them to introduce themselves. People who feel like they belong are more likely to participate and engage with your content.
- Be encouraging. Talk to existing customers in your group routinely, and encourage them to post positive reviews or testimonials. This will allow you to highlight patient experiences for others to see and share.
- Be present. Make sure you commit to giving your group members a piece of your time every day. It might not be the most ‘scalable’ use of your half-hour, but you need to be present in the group to get members to believe in you and your brand.
There you have it! Hopefully you can use this guide to create the perfect Facebook group that will allow you to position yourself and your brand in a more visible space, find new customers, and bring more attention to your dental practice.
At ABELDent, we routinely publish informative pieces on all things related to dentistry software and dentistry itself, so be sure to check in on the blog regularly!