Undeniably, the Internet is now part of our lifestyle. I feel it's becoming part of our DNA - from getting train tickets, doing your food shopping, purchasing what you fancy, and even getting directions to your destination – the Internet and social media play a great role in connecting us.
From personal to professional use, social media has tons of benefits but not all dental professionals and dental practices seem to be fully aware yet of the power of social media and the benefits it can bring to marketing a dental practice.
So why should you be on social media today?
This evidence from We Are Social, and Hootsuite will make you want to be more visible on social media.
95% Internet Penetration in the UK
Sixty-three out of 66 million in UK population has access to the Internet and everyone in their lifetime will need a dentist for oral care or toothache. This is such a huge figure and presents an opportunity for every location in the country. Ninety per cent of the whole UK internet population go to the internet every day.
Internet speed in the UK is also at average 52MBps, which is above the global standards. Interestingly, figures reveal that a big chunk of internet are aged between 25-64 years-old – many of whom will be working. These are the consumers who look for solutions and recommendations online.
The on-demand generation
The UK has recorded a 10 per cent increase in mobile phone usage with 51 per cent of the UK's Internet population accessing the web daily from a mobile phone. Eighty-four per cent of the population that has access to the internet search for a service or a product. This shows there is a great opportunity to share your expertise or the services your dental practice has to offer, online.
Six hours of Internet lurking
British consumers spend an enormous time on the Internet with an average of five hours, 51 minutes and two hours and one minute via a mobile device. Internet video viewing is also up by four hours a day. The country's top video sources are Facebook, YouTube and the BBC iPlayer. Videos usually get more engagement via social media, so consider putting up a video about your practice, to get more views.
UK is big on messaging apps
Interestingly, a big chunk of the UK population are on Facebook and WhatsApp users - which means that people talk more privately as well as posting more publicly on Facebook. Mobile phones and apps also make it possible these days to share anything from the internet.
Messaging apps may not be in the mainstream these days but it's a major communication channel and a way people are sharing information.
How can you take advantage of these figures?
I think these figures point to one thing: you need to be on social media today.
You don't have to immediately be on all the channels available. Start small: pick one to begin with. Open a Facebook page for yourself or your practice, as it's a top site where your customers are likely to be.
Make yourself searchable. Fill it out with the necessary information for people to easily find you online. This includes your business name, address and contact number.
Slowly share content on your page. Today, there are tons of free apps that you can use to record, edit, insert text on videos or photos. Videos and photos are highly prioritised by social networks so take advantage with this free boost - see the Singing Dentist as an example.
Share our content, we post top tips for patients on toothbrushing, sugar consumption and teeth whitening.
Self-promotion can be daunting online, but you can make it work for you whilst not being too onerous. Share your story and share photos from your practice. Keep it simple: think about what your unique selling points are for your practice and share it with the world.
Vic Madriaga, Social Media Officer
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