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Quality, Not Quantity, Is the Key To Success in Social Media

by Naomi Cooper May 27, 2013

Quality, Not Quantity, Is the Key To Success in Social MediaThere are endless ways to participate in social media: various sites, videos, comments, sharing, blogging…the list goes on and on. For dentists, and business owners in general, who are looking to get started in social media, the sheer volume of the opportunities to engage can be overwhelming.

There is no need to get frustrated before even starting. Participating in social media is all about connecting with your patients, friends and colleagues. For example, it is better to regularly engage on Facebook (for instance) a few times every week, than to sporadically post random information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Find one or two sites that are most comfortable for you, and that you know your patients are also engaged in, and start there. As your comfort level increases, you can start to branch out to more sites.

Varying your content will also help to increase the quality of your activity. This will help to keep your content fresh and engaging. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sharing links to trade-related articles
  • Posting a thoughtful comment on others’ posts
  • Uploading a video to YouTube the brief video could offer a tour around your office, or an update on the latest technology in the office
  • Commenting every blog that you read
  • Posting photos
  • Responding to patients’ feedback when shared online

And one more aspect of Quality as it relates to social media would be Consistency. Posting one article every few weeks is not going to build your audience. Create a social media calendar for your office, and continually engage on a regular basis. Your audience will start to know when to expect to see your information, and you will be building credibility along the way.

Getting started in social media can seem daunting at first. By putting a little thought into your strategy, and creating a plan of action, you will be on your way in no time at all.

Have you integrated a social media marketing plan for your practice? What were some of your initial successes? Do you have any advice for those looking to get started? Please share your ideas below.

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Facebook for Dentists: Why Check-ins Matter to Your Practice

by Naomi Cooper April 3, 2013

Facebook for Dentists: Why Check-ins Matter to Your PracticeMaybe you have heard of Facebook’s new Graph Search. Even if you haven’t, the latest Facebook update is worth learning about to make your dental practice Facebook page most effective.

Graph Search is a new search engine within Facebook. When it is officially rolled out, users will be able to search for information, such as “Restaurants in Manhattan”, just as they would on Google or Bing. The results that appear within Facebook however will be based on the user’s friends’ interactions, Likes and check-ins, with the idea being that you will be more likely to try something that your friends have also tried.

What are check-ins?

When a Facebook user wants to share their location, they “check-in” to the restaurant, shop, or almost anywhere they might be, making it appear in their News Feed for their friends to see.

Check-ins are growing increasingly important for businesses with Facebook Pages in terms of increasing visibility. Whereas if a user Likes something on Facebook, it will be seen by the user’s friends in their news feed.

If a user checks-in to a location, that activity is not only broadcast to their friends, but also to their friends’ friends – exponentially increasing the number of people potentially seeing the business.

And why are check-ins important for a dental practice?

Getting your patients to check in when they come into your office for an appointment will increase your dental practice visibility on Facebook and online since Facebook activity plays a role in SEO. The more easily people find your practice online, the more likely they are to make their first appointment.

How can dentists utilize Facebook check-ins?

–       Signage around the office: Have tented cards or small signs visible in the waiting room and at the front desk to remind patients to check-in when they arrive.

–       Arming your team: Make sure that everyone on the team knows what check-ins are, why they are important, and how to instruct patients to check in if they themselves do not know.

–       Check-in contests: Set up a small raffle or contest for patients where anytime they check-in, they get entered to win a small prize. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but adding an element of fun to the check-in can help increase the activity. Just be sure to adhere to the Facebook contest guidelines.

Facebook is still testing and finishing the Graph Search feature, so the true impact of check-ins remains to be seen. What we already know is that check-ins and Likes are only getting more important, and are proving to be strong drivers not only for Facebook visibility but for SEO purposes as well.

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Social Media 101: Best Practice Tips for Your Facebook Dental Practice Page

by Naomi Cooper January 28, 2013

Social Media 101: Best Practice Tips for Your Facebook Dental Practice PageIn our previous post, we talked about the reach of Facebook, and how to set up a page for your dental practice. Social media is all about engagement, so simply having a page is not enough. Updating your page with consistent posts and a variety of relevant information is what will help you get the most out of your social media experience.

Here are 3 Best Practice Tips for your Facebook page:

  1. Importing your business contacts to Facebook will help to spread the word to your associates of your new page, and will encourage everyone to “Like” your page. Once a user “Likes” your page, your posts should appear in their News Feed, prompting more interactions.
  2. Take the time to “Like” your friends’, family’s and colleagues’ pages as well. This will foster goodwill among your business contacts, and will help to expand the reach of your own page.
  3. Keep the information on your page fresh and current. Ideally, aim to post content a maximum of 3 times per week to your page. Each day, try to log on for just 15 minutes and interact with your “Friends” by liking, sharing and/or commenting on their posts. The more interactive you are, the better!

For more information on how to maximize the reach of your dental practice Facebook page, click here to read a brief post on Facebook Insights.

If you feel like updating your Facebook page is too time consuming, check out my previous post on creating a social media calendar for your dental practice. It is a great tool to use to keep your Facebook, and all social media profiles, updated without taking up too much of your valuable time.

In our next post, we will dive into Google+ and how this social media site impacts your dental practice website’s SEO.

Have you set up a Facebook page for your practice? Please feel free to share any comments, questions or experiences below.

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Social Media 101: 7 Tips for Setting Up a Facebook Page for Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper January 22, 2013

Social Media 101: 7 Tips for Setting Up a Facebook Page for Your Dental PracticeUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware of Facebook and the effect this social network has had on our culture. According to Mashable.com, as of October 2012, Facebook has approximately 1 billion active users who access the site each month!

While you may already be comfortable using Facebook on a personal level, it’s important from a business owner’s perspective to know that having a Facebook business page for your dental practice is a great way to increase the reach of your online profile – and to connect with patients and your community. If you do not yet have a Facebook page for your practice, now is as good a time as any to start.

Here are 7 simple ways to build a page for your dental practice:

  1. Go to www.Facebook.com and set up a personal profile (if you do not already have one). Establishing a personal profile is essential before building your business page.
  2. Set up a business page (in the name of the practice): https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
  3. Add a cover photo by clicking “Upload Cover Photo” where prompted. This image should be representative of the practice: the logo, photo of the exterior/interior of the office, staff photo.
    **Per Facebook policy, the cover photo cannot be used to promote discounts or include a call-to-action.**
  4. Upload a profile photo by clicking “Upload Profile Photo” where prompted. Again this would be a great spot for a photo of the dentist or possibly the logo.
    **Be aware that the cover (aka background) photo and the profile (aka thumbnail) photo should not be the same.**
  5. In the “About” section, include a brief description of the practice and pertinent information, such as address, website, phone number, etc. This would also be a great place to include the practice philosophy and/or practice mission statement.
  6. If you have pictures available, uploading photos of the practice (interior and exterior) and pictures of the dentist(s), hygienist(s) and staff members are great ways to personalize your fan page.
    **Be sure to hold off from uploading any photos of patients until you have received in writing from each patient a Photo Release Form (link to form with disclaimer to check with an attorney to ensure it’s sufficient).**
  7. Preview the page several times to be sure that all typos and errors are corrected. Once it looks exactly like you want it, hit “Publish” to make the Page public.

Now that you have set up your dental practice business page, it’s up to you to keep it updated. Posting often and consistently will help to build your Facebook following. For more ideas, be sure to check back here for our next Social Media 101 posting on the 3 Best Practice Tips for Your Facebook Business Page.

Do you use Facebook for your dental practice? Why or why not? Start a conversation below.

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Facebook Update: Stay on Top of Your Privacy Settings

by Naomi Cooper December 19, 2012

Facebook Update: Stay on Top of Your Privacy SettingsFacebook announced last week they will be changing the settings to your privacy settings. In an attempt to quell the growing discontent with their existing privacy settings, these changes are designed to make it easier to control what appears with your individual profile, and what does not.

In order to keep our readers updated on the latest additions to Facebook’s privacy policies, here is a brief explanation of a few of the major changes you can expect to see:

Simpler Navigation

Currently, if you want to access your privacy settings, you must navigate away from your home screen or news feed. When the new changes take hold, users can update their privacy settings more easily by accessing a new icon to be located in the toolbar without having to leave the home screen.

Better Control

As of now, if you sign up with sites such as Instagram or Spotify, you choose whether or not to allow these sites to access your Facebook profile. This helps with sharing features, and makes apps like these more sociable. Up until now, there has not been any separation between the ability to share your activity and whether it appears in your news feed. Now users will have the ability to choose one or the other – effectively giving users control over how much of their usage information is made public.

Improved Navigation of the Activity Log

The Activity Log is a way of seeing all of your activity

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on Facebook, sorted chronologically. The newest updates have enhanced this feature by making it easier to navigate, and giving users a clearer picture of exactly what on Facebook is associated with their profile (such as photos that others have taken, tagged but not necessarily appear on your timeline).

These are just a few of the major changes. For more information, read PCMag.com’s article here as well as an informative Gizmodo article here. Facebook says these changes will be rolled out in waves over the next few weeks.

What thoughts do you have about these new updates? How well do you feel these updates address the mounting concerns of privacy matters on Facebook?

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Utilize Your Audience and Enhance Your Online Presence

by Naomi Cooper November 30, 2012

Utilize Your Audience and Enhance Your Online PresenceSocial media and online marketing are big topics here on our blog. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or promoting your dental practice blog, we often talk about getting your message out there in the online world. Social media is about engaging, and let’s face it, being SOCIAL!

For dental practices (and other businesses), there is a fine line between engaging online and being too pushy. The goal is to interact with your patients and colleagues, to be authentic and honest, while keeping your dental practice on the tops of their minds. It’s important to remember that it is sometimes okay to leverage your contacts and friends and ask for their support. Here are just a few situations where it’s a good idea to ask for help:

  • Launching a new website: spread the word to your contacts through an email encouraging them to check out the new site
  • Asking patients, friends, and colleagues to like your Facebook business page, follow you on Twitter, or subscribe to your YouTube Channel
  • Implementing a practice e-newsletter and requesting your patients opt-in to automatically receive it

Recently, Facebook announced a new feature where they’re allowing users to sign up to automatically receive all updates from the users favorite business pages. For more information on this new development, and how you can make it work for your dental practice business page, check out this great blog on the topic from My Social Practice.