How to be social on social as a dentist


of people think dentists should be active on social media.

Are you feeling timid about social media for your practice? Not sure if it’s worth maintaining your accounts? Maybe you’re just not sure where to begin or you’re curious to know if your patients even really care if you’re on it.

Are you feeling timid about social media for your practice? Not sure if it’s worth maintaining your accounts? Maybe you’re just not sure where to begin or you’re curious to know if your patients even really care if you’re on it.

No matter how you slice it, social media is here to stay, and building a solid presence for your dental brand should be an important piece of your marketing strategy. If your accounts have remained inactive for years or your posting schedule is wildly inconsistent, it sends the message that you might not care about attracting new patients. The same applies to attracting talent – if you’re seeking new hires, they will be looking you up on social media. What do you want their first impression of your practice to be?

First and foremost, social media is an effective, FREE tool you can use to better connect with your community. Your audience wants to get to know you and your team – the more you foster these connections, the more trust you’ll gain and the larger the connection will grow. Higher brand awareness on social leads to increased website traffic, more referrals, potential new patients, and increased patient loyalty. It’ll also help you stand out from local competitors because you’re offering an inside peek into your practice and what makes it so special!

Everyone starts with zero followers and we know taking the first step is often the hardest, but we’ve got your back. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about the big three social platforms for dentists: Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Not sure which platform is right for you? Let’s help you decide…

In this article


Ahh, Facebook. It’s hard to remember a time before it! It remains a giant in the social landscape, boasting an impressive 3.81 billion monthly active users worldwide – a notable 5% increase year-over-year. While the platform experiences a shift in user demographics, with a significant decrease in popularity among U.S. teens (dropping from 71% in 2014-2015 to 32% in 2022), it continues to be a pivotal component of many businesses’ social media strategies. Despite the rise of platforms like TikTok and Instagram, particularly among younger audiences, Facebook’s extensive reach and diverse user demographics maintain its status as a vital tool in the digital landscape.

Audience Demographics

  • The largest audience on Facebook in the US consists of those in the 25-34 age group, accounting for nearly 25% of the user base – however…
  • ...73% of Americans aged 35 to 54 use Facebook, and more than 50% of older adults (65+) in the US are on Facebook.
  • Over half of all American Facebook users are females at 54%, with males coming in
at 46%.


  • The average Page posts nearly twice a day and a lot of resources will recommend you do this, or at least post once a day, but…
  • …this is suggested for Pages that have at least 10,000 followers.

  • We suggest posting between 2 - 3 times per week, but do not overwhelm yourself. Stick to a schedule you can adhere to consistently – spoiler alert: this applies to all platforms!
  • Facebook’s algorithm does not favor accounts that post too frequently.
  • “Fresh” content is prioritized and Facebook doesn’t want to overwhelm users with just one company in their feed.
  • In fact, “posting too many updates,” is one of the most common reasons users ‘unlike’ a Page.
  • Always keep in mind that the quality and relevance of your posts are just as important as quantity.

Why Should i
Use it?

  • Facebook is the most popular social network in the US – nearly 3 out of 4 adults use it.

  • It’s the world’s third most-visited website.
  • Out of all social networks, none other than Facebook expose your practice to the broadest possible audience and offer the most comprehensive set of easy-to-use business tools.
  • It’s very useful for targeting older age groups
and parents.
  • Over 70% of all Facebook users check out a local business Page at least once a week.
  • Facebook accounts for 72% of all web traffic referral from social media – which pretty much means the vast majority of clicks through to websites are coming directly from Facebook.
  • If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website’s blog, Facebook is your best bet.

“How often can we promote our practice without getting…annoying?”


Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow – the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be informative, entertaining, or educational, and the remaining 20% can be promotional. Think of it like this: if you met a stranger at a party and they kept trying to hand you their business card over and over and over again, it’d probably leave you with a bad impression of them. Make sense? That’s how your followers might view you if you’re ONLY using Facebook (or any platform) strictly for promotional purposes.


“Is it okay to ask my audience to like and share my posts?”


This is actually called “engagement bait,” and Pages using this tactic will lead to their posts being demoted by Facebook’s algorithms. The platform is now able to recognize when a publisher is intentionally prompting followers to engage with posts solely to boost organic reach. What you can do is ask a genuine question to your followers and ask for their opinions or feedback – talk to your audience like real people and they will talk back to you.


“Why aren’t my posts getting engagement?”


First off, don’t be too hard on yourself! The average engagement rate for a Facebook Page post is 0.07%. But, it could be for a variety of different reasons, but don’t feel discouraged. Maybe you’re not posting when your audience is most active? Do a little experimenting to see if posting earlier in the day, afternoon, or evening works better. Have you analyzed your posts that have performed well? Oftentimes, this is the key to cracking the engagement code. Take steps to recreate the magic without it being a carbon-copy of the original post. Are you relying on stock photos or using only graphics as visuals? Change it up and snap your own pictures! They absolutely don’t have to be professional-looking – in fact, people LOVE authentic content that feels genuine. Are you interacting with your audience? People respect a response back in 4 hours, just FYI. Prioritize responding to comments, messages, mentions, and tags. Trust us on this one. Are your posts super long, as in several paragraphs or more? Shorten ‘em up! Always, always, always keep in mind that your audience is likely just scrolling on their phone and no one is stopping to read an essay-long caption. Your captions don’t have to be complicated, keep them simple. Review these steps, recalibrate, and try again. Everyone faces engagement lulls but not everyone tries to identify what’s not working.


Welcome to Instagram! It may be the world’s second-favorite social platform, it also ranks as the top choice (beating Facebook and TikTok) for people looking to engage and connect with brands. We know the algorithm changes of this ever-evolving app are enough to make your head spin, but there’s no denying it’s become a maintainstay for publishing visual content – and it continues to be one of the most powerful, wide-reaching, and creative social platforms around. While it hasn’t dethroned Facebook in total usage just yet, its future is much brighter because roughly 99% of social content is being consumed on mobile – where Instagram has a massive advantage.

Audience Demographics

  • Instagram is the most-used social platform for those aged 12 - 34 in the US, accounting for 72% of users.

  • Nearly 50% of adults under aged 30 - 49 use Instagram.

  • 57% of American users are women, with men accounting for the remaining 43%.


  • While most resources recommend you post once daily, maintaining an average of 2 feed posts per week is fine for an account that has less than 10K followers…

  • …and accounts between 10K - 100K followers post an average of 3 feed posts per week.

  • Don’t post more than once a day, though! The more you publish to your Instagram feed, the less reach your individual posts will receive…

  • …with stories, however, you can post as often as you want without negatively affecting your reach! And they disappear after 24 hours.

  • If you’re starting a new account for your practice, publishing a few feed posts and stories a week is always a good rule of thumb.

Why Should i
Use it?

  • Instagram is the perfect avenue to build a more personal, stronger relationship with existing patients and serves as a useful tool for attracting more – in short, it’s the number 1 platform for people to connect with brands.

  • Instagram revolves around visual and authentic content, which means it allows you to show-off your team’s personality, and give followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your practice.

  • Whether your practice is new in town or you’d just like to gain more awareness in your community, you can leverage your location with local geotags and hashtags to reach a larger audience.

  • It’s useful for targeting younger, potential
cosmetic patients.

  • 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform, and 90% of users follow at least one business.

“I’m confused. Which type of post performs best: Static photos, carousels, or reels?”


Guess who wrote a whole article about this for S8E8’s website? …ME! 💁♀️ I break down which content performs best where and all that jazz right here: REELS AND STORIES AND CAROUSELS, OH MY!


“What about stories?”


Whenever you post a story, you essentially “skip the line” in your followers’ feeds and it’s the first thing they see when they open the app. It’s a quick, fun, and easy way to humanize your brand and document day-to-day life in the office! It’ll help you build a closer relationship with your audience and offers seemingly endless opportunities to engage with them. Also, stories are the ONLY place you can include clickable links! They expire after a day but can live forever in your Stories Highlights and are saved in your archive.


“How can I boost my profile’s visibility for Instagram searches?”


Instagram is becoming a search engine similar to Google so nailing this step is super important! Names and usernames are included in its search queries so it’s crucial to use keywords that will match terms users might search for. For example, Studio 8E8’s name is, “Studio 8E8: Dental Marketing Agency Columbus, Ohio”. So changing your name to, “Dr. So-and-so: Cosmetic Columbus Dentist,” and sprinkling in other keyword-search friendly terms in the rest of your bio will increase your likelihood of visibility. Keep it short and informative – and always add a link to your site with a clear call to action.


“Are hashtags really that important? Do I need to use them on every single post?”


Welp, what if we told you a post with just one hashtag sees an engagement spike of 12.6% compared to posts with none. Using the right hashtags can put you in front of your target audience, even if they’ve never connected with you before! It’s absolutely in your best interest to include them in every post and they can help boost your reach to whoever you want to get your content in front of. Avoid using viral hashtags and stick to the ones that are most relevant to your content.
Try using an average of 5 - 10.


Welcome to the most-downloaded social app in the world (dethroning Instagram this year)…TikTok! Though it may have originally been created as a lip-synching/dancing app, its function has much more depth than meets the eye – now it’s an entertainment hub, educational tool, and a place where users research anything you can think of. Yes, it largely consists of addictive short-form video and “trending” tunes but the content has become so vast and varied, it now more closely resembles YouTube than its first iteration,! TikTok has also swept the floor when it comes to average time spent on the app – clocking in at 1.5 hours. To put that in perspective, Facebook AND Instagram both average around 30 minutes.

If that stat leaves you scratching your head, I dare you to download it right now (if you haven’t already) and I promise you’ll be surprised at just how addictive it is.

Audience Demographics

  • TikTok is officially Gen Z’s number one social platform!
  • Over 76% of users aged 18 - 29 years old use TikTok…

  • …however, those between the ages of 20 - 39 make up the majority of users in the US.

  • 60% of users are females, with males coming in at 40%.


  • While TikTok has actually recommended posting 1-4 times a day, that’s simply unrealistic unless you’ve got a large content team behind you.

  • It’s generally recommended businesses post 4 - 6 per week, which can be a huge challenge for your practice – but don’t fret. Yes, it’s important to post frequently on TikTok but how frequently you’re able to will vary.

  • Find a schedule that works for your team and stick with it. For Studio 8E8’s own TikTok, we’re committed to posting once a week (and we’ve seen great growth with that!)

  • Unlike Facebook and Instagram, which will essentially punish your account for posting multiple times a day, you can post more than once per day without lessening your reach. TikTok actually recommends it, as cited above.

Why Should i
Use it?

  • TikTok has seen the fastest growth of any social platform in history. Like, ever. The app also has more traffic than Google and is increasingly being used as a search engine.

  • It’s full of other businesses, brands, companies, and yes, DENTISTS, churning out creative and compelling content – not to mention racking up follower counts in the millions. But don’t let that scare you off, because…

  • …its algorithm is quite unique in that it’s based on content engagement rather than social connections, which means your follower count matters MUCH less here. Even if you’re starting at zero, your organic reach is being seen by more users than other platforms.

  • Bottom line: communities find each other here. Don’t believe me? Check out #DentalTok!

  • It’s also the most engaging social platform, which can help you more easily connect with potential patients.

  • Useful for targeting younger, potential ortho patients.

  • A great tool for targeting patients of all ages in your local area, and while they may not be looking for a dentist in particular, you can start building notoriety within your community.

  • 55% of users say they discover new products and services on the app, and they also use it with the intention of discovering new brands, products,
or trends.

“What type of content works best on the platform?”


We know TikTok is a lot to take in, especially if you’re scrolling through it for the first time. If we narrow our scope to the dental space, you’ll find dental influencers who’ve found their niche creating interesting educational content, dueting other dentists, or they’re just plain being silly. So what’s the key to their success? Authenticity. If you’d like to position your brand as an educational resource, go with that angle. If you’re not shy being in front of the camera or have an outgoing team, use a trending sound to show off your humor and playfulness. Or maybe you’ll do both! Just stick to what’s authentic for your brand. Currently, TikTok is on a journey of self-discovery so follow their lead and don’t be afraid to experiment. This is the platform to test out content and see what works best for your audience!


“How do I stay on top of trends?”


Here’s the thing – trends are supposed to be fun! If you’ve scrolled past something that’s made you laugh or have a creative idea on how to apply it to your office, go for it. But don’t let it stress you out. TikTok has also introduced longer-form videos and it seems as though original audio will gain you the most traction, so trends won’t make or break your account.


“My videos aren’t getting any views, how can I increase my reach?”


Here are a few things to consider:

Are you using any hashtags?
You can apply pretty much the same rules as Instagram here, use those that are relevant and steer clear of “#FYP”. Trending hashtags are too saturated and it’s highly unlikely yours will be seen.

Are you creating content your ideal audience is searching for?
TikTok’s search bar is similar to Google in that if you type the words, “dental cleaning,” you’ll see a ton of other suggestions below like, “dental cleaning plaque removal,” “dental cleaning before and after,” “dental cleaning process.” You can use ALL of these topics for future content.

Are you saying those commonly searched phrases in your video, not just including them in your title?
It’s so important to not only speak out those phrases in your videos that you know people are searching for, but to also add text to the screen, so that TikTok can recognize it and include it in those searches.


“Can I re-post my TikToks as Instagram Reels?”


This is a big no-no. Instagram is directly competing with TikTok right now and if you do upload a watermarked TikTok video to Reels, your reach will be limited and your video won’t end up on the explore page. Instagram incentivizes and boosts accounts that use their platform. Neither TikTok nor Instagram want you to share native content between the two platforms.

Social Media Holidays

Yes, we know your calendar’s already marked for Halloween and Christmas – but what about National Flossing Day? Dental Hygienists Appreciation Week? TMJ Awareness Month? It’s all good, we’ve got you covered and rounded up a year’s worth of other important dates and dental-centric holidays to know!

Planning ahead is the most tried and true way to maintain a consistent social media schedule, so mark your content calendars and celebrate accordingly!


  • January 4 I National Trivia Day
  • January 6 | National Technology Day
  • January 25 I Fluoride Day


  • February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month
  • February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
  • February 1 - 7 | Patient Recognition Week
  • February 9 I National Toothache Day
  • February 28 I National Tooth Fairy Day (1)


  • March is Sleep Apnea Awareness Month
  • March 1 I Share a Smile Day
  • March 1 I Employee Appreciation Day
  • March 6 I National Dentist’s Day
  • March 4 - 8 I Dental Assistants Recognition Week
  • March 20 I World Oral Health Day
  • March 30 I National Doctor’s Day


  • April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
  • April 8 - April 12 I Dental Hygienists Week
  • April 24 | Administrative Professionals Day


  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month
  • May 8 I National Receptionists Day
  • May 31 I National Smile Day


  • June 23 I National Hydration Day
  • June 28 I National Insurance Awareness Day
  • June 30 I Social Media Day


  • July 15 I National Give Something Away Day
  • July 21 I National Junk Food Day


  • August 6 I Fresh Breath Day
  • August 11 I National Align Your Teeth Day
  • August 22 I National Tooth Fairy Day (2)


  • September is Office Manager Appreciation Month
  • September is National Dental Implant Awareness Month
  • September 20 I National Care for Kids Day


  • October is National Dental Hygiene Month
  • October 4 I World Smile Day
  • October 16 I Boss’s Day


  • November is TMJ Awareness Month
  • November 1 I National Brush Day
  • November 20 I National Botox® Day
  • November 29 I National Flossing Day


  • December is National Giving Month
  • December 5 - 11 | Handwashing Awareness Week

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6650 E. Walnut St. Suite 88
New Albany, Ohio 43054
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