Cosmetic dentist Dr Richard Marques BDS tells The Harley Street Journal why utilising social media can improve your private practice. 

I decided to start promoting my practice on social media platforms about 3 years ago. At the time, like most dentists, I was quite skeptical about how effective it would be.

The reason behind my decision was the success of my celebrity patients on social media. I was impressed at how successfully they had built up their careers and personality ‘brands’ using these platforms.

Two of my patients, Joey Essex, had over 2 million followers on Twitter, and Rita Ora, over 9.8 million followers on Instagram.

My social media marketing objectives over the first year were not about expecting an increase in bookings, either directly or indirectly. Of course, I hoped further down the line, that my social media marketing efforts would lead to an increase in business.

My first 12 month objectives were to:

  • Build my profile as a celebrity dentist
  • Promote the quality of my dentistry work
  • Convey my practice as modern and up-to date

APSARAS3Of course, for me to achieve these objectives, I needed to make sure my social media advertising was reaching the right people. Locality was also important as most of my patients are from the Greater London area.

As a private practice near Harley Street, with an emphasis on cosmetic dentistry, my aim was to target young to middle aged, upmarket professionals, 25-40yrs, in the London area. I also focused on reaching celebrities and people working in the media and related industries.

I first started promoting on Facebook and LinkedIn. In the beginning, with some advice from my patients, I did all the work myself as I was fairly familiar with both platforms.

However, after the first six months, I did start noticing an increase in patient bookings. At this stage I decided it was worth investing in a professional online marketing team.

With their help I was able to develop a more coherent social media marketing strategy, and they also recommended testing different campaigns, headlines and images. I found testing very enlightening and was surprised at the huge difference a change of image or headline can make to response.

I currently promote my practice on all the main social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Instagram was the last platform I started advertising on, and as you can see from the stats below, is now, by far, the most effective. I attribute this to the fact that it’s much more image driven than the other platforms. My only criticism of Instagram is the lack of a zoom feature.

Feb 24th – July 24th 2016 stats: Past 6 months

– Instagram 221 web enquiries

– Facebook 28 web enquiries

– Twitter 26 web enquiries

So has promoting my practice on social media been a success? Well, clearly the answer is a resounding yes, and I highly recommend it as a marketing tool for dental practices.

However, don’t expect it to grow your business over night. Only at the end of my second year could I directly attribute a 20% increase in business to my promotional activity on social media.

*Dr Richard Marques BDS, is the owner of Wimpole Street Dental