Have the Tables Turned for Millennial Dentists?
We hear a lot about Millennials these days. Many people know Millennials (also known as Gen Y) are the first generation to have never known life without technology. Pew Research said 83% of Millennials sleep with their smartphones and another study showed 40% of them are likely to use social media in the bathroom (Cisco 2012 Connected Report). Yes, we get it, Gen Y are uber-connected.
However, what you may not know is that some Millennials are just realizing they need different strategies to reach Baby Boomers on social media. You know, Baby Boomers, the attractive markets with the buying power, time, and need for dental implants, sleep dentistry, clear braces, smile makeovers, and other more complex, pricey procedures.
Not Cool to be on Facebook?
Millennials may be masters at managing their personal and professional Instagram and Snapchat accounts, however, some don’t have a Facebook profile (at least that they’ll admit). I’ve recently had several groups of dental students and Millennial dentists at my live presentations. By the way, unlike what some say about Millennials’ attention spans, the groups in my programs were attentive and engaged—I’m grateful for the time they took to see me present and participate in the discussion.
Among the comments I heard from some of the Millennial dentists were, “Gosh, I guess I need to pay more attention to my Facebook Page.” Some of the dental students and young dentists shared the fact that their parents were active on Facebook, but not them. I heard, “It’s not cool to say you are on Facebook.”
Millennial Dentists Seeking Baby Boomer Patients
That’s one reason why it was great to see light bulbs going off in the room as the young and future dentists began to understand that mature patient’s ages 35 and older are active on Facebook. And while some mature patients are active on Instagram, the larger audience is active on Facebook.
- 79% of online adults (68% of all Americans) use Facebook, as of 2016.
- 61% of US adults ages 50-64 use Facebook.
- 62% of online adults ages 65 and older use Facebook, a double digit increase from previous year.
I really need to keep up with my Facebook page so the mature patients I want to attract can find and like me.
So, for dentists wanting to market to the 35+ patient, using Facebook as a marketing tool is essential. Have the tables turned here? It used to be that mature dentists were the only ones saying, “I know I need to learn this social media stuff.” Mature dentists have shared over the years that they felt “out of touch”… However, now we have young dentists and dental students saying, “I really need to keep up with my Facebook page so the mature patients I want to attract can find and like me.” Interesting.
Will Millennials Find Facebook Useful Over Time?
Time will tell which direction Facebook will move in the years ahead. Will Millennials find Facebook useful over time? Facebook is continuing to work towards holding as much of users’ attention spans as possible within the walled garden of Facebook. With many Baby Boomers enjoying Facebook, what is the likelihood they will stop using this platform?
For those Boomers who choose to stay on Facebook, they will remain an attractive audience for advertising and for practices courting mature patients. Millennial dentists who want to engage a mature patient should embrace Facebook, at least until the tides turn … We shall see what the future of social media and user preferences hold.
Know that for many people, Facebook groups and Facebook for professional use has become more important than a newsfeed filled with friends. A 2017 HubSpot survey showed that 74% of respondents rated Facebook as useful for professional purposes; almost as high as LinkedIn (78%), which is a platform specifically built for professional use. Facebook is still a powerful tool. For those who favor Instagram over Facebook, rest assured that your Facebook ads are able to populate Instagram so you also have that added benefit.
Dentists of All Ages Take Note
It’s interesting – after years of trying to convince mature dentists of social media’s value, there are now young dentists and dental students questioning whether they too need to stretch their social media comfort zone in order to reach a variety of patients. I’ve learned to never say never! 🙂
Where is your practice on the social media spectrum? If you are in need of help, we offer a variety of services from monthly custom management to one-on-one virtual hourly consults. I look forward to hearing from you!