Dental Gets Social
ComScore recently released its 2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus report, which analyzes behavior of digital audiences across platforms such as desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. According to the report, engagement on desktop computers is seeing a slow decline. Use is down 12 points in the last two years, from 47 percent to 35 percent. Mobile now represents a staggering 2 out of every 3 digital media minutes, and engagement on smartphone apps is increasing as well.
In regards to content, the majority of time spent in health-information related categories is greater on mobile than desktop, at 54 percent compared to 46 percent respectively. Furthermore, since the audience reach from December 2013 to December 2015 on health-information has increased from 52 percent to 62 percent for mobile, we can expect to see the desktop numbers continue to fall.
Unsurprisingly, Google remains the No. 1 web property with 248 million monthly unique visitors. Facebook has recently made the jump to the No. 2 spot with 219 million monthly unique visitors. In fact, 1 out of every 5 minutes spent online is dedicated to social networking.
While social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn have now surpassed the 100 million monthly unique visitor threshold, we now see that there is space for traditional publishers in the digital sphere. Time Inc., a print publisher that dominated well before the digital age, passed that mark in March of 2015. Major publishers including the New York Times Digital, The Guardian, and WashingtonPost.com have seen over 20 percent increase in their visitor growth, which shows that the move to digital is not a death sentence for print after all.
Two major factors to look out for are in ComScore’s "Top Trends for 2016," which predict the increased usage of both the smartphone app, and video content within social media. 2015 showed a 47 percent share of total digital media engagement on smartphone apps, and it seems to only trend upward in 2016. According to ComScore, the app Snapchat has increased video significance in capturing user attention and, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are already putting mechanisms in place to compete with this growing demand.
So what does this mean for your dental practice?
Google has ranked as the No. 1 digital media property every month of 2015, and it doesn’t seem to be losing steam. On average reaching 95 percent of internet users in the United States each month, Google is on track to be the first digital media property to surpass 250 million monthly unique visitors. This means that more visitors are using the search engine than ever before, reinforcing the importance of having a positive online presence. Even further, with the move to mobile and apps in particular, participating heavily across social media platforms only increases visibility. Without going too far down the rabbit hole that is SEO—Search Engine Optimization—websites, blog posts, press releases and, yes, social media, work in tandem to boost your online presence when they are all linked together.
At this point, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Google Reviews and video are extremely important when building trust within your community. Peer reviews are becoming the largest influence when it comes to purchasing decisions. With Google reaching 95 percent of U.S. internet users monthly, a negative or low review could dictate whether or not a patient chooses your practice. Furthermore, having cultural videos, video blogs, or patient testimonials not only increases web presence, once again, but also helps in easing dental anxiety, increasing brand awareness, and establishing trust.