For years, people have been talking about their experiences at local businesses at birthday parties, at the grocery store, even at sporting events. These conversations were usually kept within a small circle of friends or family. A positive or negative experience typically only influenced a small set of potential customers.
The same was true about dental practices. If someone had a great experience in your office, they probably only told a few people. Those few people may have become new patients of yours. However, if a patient had a bad experience in your office, those same people were also likely never to become patients of yours. Recommendations through word of mouth from friends or family can be very impactful. In fact, about 90% of your patients will trust a peer recommendation for your dental practice (Erik Qualman, Socialnomics).
Today, word of mouth still exists. People still talk about their experiences with businesses (and dental practices). Instead of just discussing them in a private setting such as over dinner, they now have a new platform to hold those same conversations … publicly. Social media is simply another medium for individuals to communicate. Those peer recommendations have the potential to influence much larger circles of potential patients and can be a huge benefit (or huge obstacle) for your dental practice.