Are you and your practice reaching as many millennials as you should? They aren’t in their teens and twenties anymore. They’ve grown up, matured, and are a force to be reckoned with – and they spend more time online than any other generation to date.
Gen M is Plugged In
According to direct-response marketing company Koeppel Direct, millennials spend a staggering eighteen hours per day consuming digital media. Their news, music, television, work contacts and social set are all online – and this generation is fully plugged in and engaged.
Unsurprisingly, they spend almost a third of their time on social media, with the average user clocking an average of 5.4 hours a day on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter. If your practice isn’t right there beside them, you could be missing out on the change to target what could be your next wave of “bread and butter” patients!
Why Social is Important for Reaching Millennials
While many dentists view social media with distrust and unease, these platforms could be your direct path into the inner circle of your most valuable demographic. The larger medical community has embraced social media – nearly 60% of physicians agree that it can be a positive and useful tool for helping the patient community – and it’s time for dentists to get on board. Millennials in particular are becoming more and more likely to use social platforms to become educated about their health:
- More than 40% of consumers overall say that information found via social media affects how they deal with their health, according to MediaBistro. As part of the health care world, dentists are starting to recognize their ethical responsibility to ensure that those who use the internet as a resource have access to accurate, understandable information.
- A whopping 90% of respondents between the age of 18 and 24 say that they would trust medical information shared by people on their social media networks, according to Search Engine Watch.
- Almost as good, 60% of social media users are more likely to trust posts by medical professionals over any other group, according to a report by Infographic Archives.
- Finally, nearly 20% of smartphone owners now have a health based app on their phones, according to Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group. (Amazingly, the number of health based apps for iPhones alone exploded from under 3,000 apps in 2010 to over 13,000 apps in 2013!)
Tips for Reaching the M- Genners
Social media can be a powerful tool – but only when used correctly, and in tune with your target demographic’s behavioral tactics. Being present, listening, and providing solutions all beat out “shouting into the void”, so make sure you have a plan that includes growing trust in the community and being prepared to interact when needed on a personal basis.
- Start conversations. Ask questions, request feedback and input, and let the millennials tell the story. Be there with input and answers of your own, when needed, but let users drive the content creation. That way other viewers see it as unbiased and trustworthy.
- Go mobile. Your website needs to be accessible and mobile friendly. You may consider creating an app that is specific to your practice and to your audience’s needs. According to the Pew Center, half of all millennials report using their cell phones as their primary form of internet access, so take this opportunity to be there for them!
- Use visuals. Millennials are more visual than almost any generation so far, according to Wideo, with Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest being interaction hotspots for image based content. 9 in 10 millennials use social media sites, 8 in 10 post their own photos to the web, and 1 in 3 Pinterest users is a millennial female.
Whether millennials are the parents of your pediatric patients, the target demographic for your general practice, or the future patient base of your cosmetic and implant based office, reaching out to them and building those trust filled relationships should start now. By showing that you are comfortable in their world, you can invite them into your own!