No business, including dental practices, can afford not to use social media as part of their marketing activities.
Social media and the technologies that drive all social media channels are changing at a lightning-fast speed. And it should be no surprise that social media users’ likings and interactions with social media have also evolved.
Do you remember when it all started?
Let me jog your memory. Does Myspace ring a bell? You may even have used the AOL chat now and again in those early days that marked the beginning of social media. The AOL messenger was one or maybe the earliest messenger system that allowed us to chat. Yes, we have come a long way.
What began in 2003 with Myspace, where people now and again posted a photo to keep in touch with friends, has turned into an avalanche.
Today social media is woven into the fabric of our society. Everyone is using social media, and your patients are no exception. People don’t just use social media once or twice per day. People post, Like, or comment on content dozens of times during the day, and 61% do it using their mobile phones. ( Statistic from 2019) Americans, on average, check their phones every four minutes. Source: Franklin County, KS – Official Website | Official Website. https://franklincoks.org/
Look at these statistics.
- 74% of Americans feel uneasy leaving their phone at home.
- 71% of Americans check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up.
- 53% have never gone longer than 24 hours without their cell phone.
- 47% consider themselves “addicted” to their phones
- 35% use or look at their phone while driving.
- 70% check their phones within five min. of receiving a notification.
- 64% use their phone on the toilet.
- 61% have texted someone in the same room as them before.
- 48% of people panic when their cell phone battery is below 20%.
- 45% say that their phone is their most valuable possession.
- 43% use or look at their phone while on a date.
Nobody can keep up with the volume
I am sure all of us have tried to find a post again we saw on our feed but had no time to read. It’s impossible to locate it again. The post drowned in the sheer volume of content published every second. It is impossible to catch up on what you have missed over the cause of the day. The inability to keep up with the volume of content racing through your feed has contributed to a change in user behavior.
Users now direct their attention to what is going on right now instead of trying to look through the sea of past content.
How does your dental practice get noticed? What are the chances that people will see your post? It is a big task to get noticed even if you post ten times daily. 90% of dental practices post once per day. What are their chances?
Businesses use social media to reach their customers or, in the case of dentists’ patients, future and present. How can you get patients to interact with you, get them to like your page or post, or leave a comment when your posts have to compete against a massive volume of content? A few daily posts are a drop in the social media ocean. Even if you boost the posts or create a paid ad, it will not change the dynamics.
What is Facebook’s definition of what counts as a post view on Facebook? “If a post was delivered in the news feed, it counts as a view, even if the user didn’t scroll down to see the post.”
Yes, you understood that correctly. Now you might look at your statistics in a different light. No matter how many views your posts get, whether hundreds or thousands, it does not mean your FB strategy or your entire FB marketing is working. You have no idea how many people have seen the post you have spent so much time creating. “Views” is not a metric you can use to judge the success of your social media. The only evidence of success at the end of the day is how many new patients you get from social media.
Users now want to see what is happening now, not what happened yesterday or the week before.
That desire became the catalyst for the emergence of “Ephemeral Content” This content and how it is displayed owes its existence toFOLB(The fear of left behind)
Users engage instantly with this content because it just takes seconds to engage with it. Why is it called ephemeral? Because it disappears after 24 hours, to be precise. Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Facebook stories, or Snapchat snaps are platforms that offer that type of content.
I can hear you say, “but that is crazy.” “why would I spend money, time, and effort to create social media posts for my dental business, which disappear after a day? I want my content to be visible for a long time.”
To answer that question, you need to understand one essential part of the primary underlying forces that motivate all social media users, especially those in younger demographics, who could become your next generation of new patients.
Fear of being left behind (FOLB)
FOLB, is one of the biggest reasons people stay connected to their phones. Because of the monumental amount of content running through their feeds, they fear missing something. They want to remain in the loop. It’s a powerful reason, and they stay tuned.
I know this might all be a bit strange for you. Suppose you want to get noticed by this difficult-to-find, reach younger demographics with dental content, and build relationships that connect them with your practice. In that case, you have no choice but to develop an online presence they like and feel comfortable with because it fits how they use social media. Once you understand the particular dental marketing purpose of using ephemeral content, you have powerful social marketing that will help you increase your reach and draw in new patients.
The first hurdle you must negotiate is to embrace and fully accept that every post you add will vanish into thin air after 24 hours. In exchange for your willingness to create Ephemeral content, you benefit from the freedom to experiment with new ideas. You can create your new content in just a few minutes. You can offer your existing and future potential patients something new in ways you could not do before. That is an excellent opportunity for your dental practice.
On all the platforms I mention below, Stories are automatically placed at the top of followers’ feeds. It’s like getting a page 1 Google ranking. Why is this? Users prefer Story content. That makes them fantastic tools for increasing your online visibility and footprint.
- Instagram Stories
- TikTok Stories
- Facebook Stories
- Youtube Stories
Where traditional Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube video content may be more formal and timeless, ephemeral content can be more spontaneous, fun, and “outside the box.” It’s a chance to try different ideas and share a view behind the curtains with your patients. You now give patients a good reason to keep returning to your pages and engage with your dental practice. That will help build relationships and help you strengthen your brand.
I want to help you get the best out of your marketing. If you need a little assistance, email me, and it will be a pleasure to help you.
Thank you for your time.