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online marketing

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1 Can’t Miss Tip for Managing Your Facebook Feed

by Naomi Cooper November 4, 2015

1 Can't Miss Tip for Managing Your Facebook FeedIt’s no secret that Facebook helps you stay connected to your patients, colleagues and community. It is an invaluable marketing tool for your dental practice, providing a universal platform to connect to anyone, anywhere, anytime. You can use Facebook to share so much about who you are and what your practice is all about, and communicate unique insights and content that your website and other online profiles can’t in a more quick and efficient manner.

 

But what if someone in your Facebook community is sharing too much? Do you have a Facebook friend that posts things you just don’t care about or want to see? Are you tired of seeing the irrelevant, the ridiculous and the completely inappropriate? Everyone knows at least one person who continually posts articles, videos and comments that make you squeamish, leaving you to wonder if there’s a way to keep this person as a “friend” but free yourself of the constant barrage of inappropriate and irritating posts.

While some are content to just scroll on, there is a way to remain friends on Facebook without having to see their posts. Mashable has a fantastic blog post that details how to curate your Facebook feed.

The blog details how to easily unfollow someone on Facebook, thereby keeping him/her in your friend network, but keeping their annoying posts out of your feed.   It also provides four additional tips for improving the quality of the time you spend on Facebook. Check it out!

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6 Steps to Dental Marketing Success

by Naomi Cooper May 15, 2015

dental marketing strategyAs the old adage goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” and no truer words have ever been spoken…at least when it comes to dental marketing. Marketing can be fun (patient appreciation activities). It’s trendy (social media engagement). And it’s certainly enticing (“Don’t miss out!”). But it can also be frustrating, time consuming and costly, especially if you don’t have a plan in place. 

Instead of having a scattershot approach to dental marketing, it can pay off big time to take the time to put a plan in place. Here are 5 steps to get you headed towards marketing success:

  1. Plan for the long term: When developing a strategy, keep in mind that it should be regularly monitored and needs to have the ability to change depending on factors like time of year, the economy, and your budget.
  2. Brand yourself: Work with a professional logo designer to develop a branding strategy that will be used throughout out all marketing materials, online and in print. 
  3. Build/update your website: A great website serves as the foundation for the marketing plan, so it’s an incredibly important component. Hire a skilled web designer with experience in the dental field to create a site that attracts new patients and meets the needs of your existing base. 
  4. Train the front desk: The team answering the phones plays a crucial role in the marketing plan. They need to have the communication skills to not only convert new patient calls into appointments, but to also extract the important information from every caller in order to track the results of the marketing efforts.
  5. Create buzz online and off: Social media is a hot buzzword today, and it’s not just for fun. The reason it’s so popular is because it’s grounded in something we all know – good old-fashioned word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth remains a powerful driver of new patient flow. Encourage your existing patients to become brand ambassadors for your practice and ask them to share their positive experiences online at social networking sites like Facebook and consumer review sites such as Yelp, Google My Business and Healthgrades.
  6. Just say no!: It’s easy to overspend on marketing when there isn’t a plan in place. Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for a dental practice to receive 20-30 sales calls a week from people selling various marketing packages. Stop the kneejerk reactions and wasteful spending. With a proper marketing plan in place, you can regain control of your practice promotions and feel confident that your hard-earned marketing dollars are being well spent.
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Mobile-Geddon: Did Your Practice Survive?

by Naomi Cooper April 28, 2015

Mobile-Geddon: Did Your Practice Survive?The online world braced for impact last week as Google changed its algorithm in a major way. With a big nod towards the rising influence of mobile, as of last Tuesday, websites that are mobile-friendly will now begin appearing higher in search rankings.

With growing numbers of users accessing the Internet from smartphones and tablets, the need for a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever. 62% of smartphone owners have used their device to look up health information within the past year, so if you haven’t updated your dental practice website recently, you might begin to notice a drop in your website traffic.

What is a mobile website? It is a site that loads properly and is user-friendly across all devices: computers, smartphones and tablets. This is best accomplished through responsive web design, which also happens to be Google’s preferred method.  If you’ve ever tried to access a website from your phone only to have the text appear too small to read or experience the frustration of the website taking forever to load, chances are good that you were trying to view a website that had not yet made the switch to mobile.

If you are not sure if your website is mobile-friendly, check out this handy tool from Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. Simply type in the URL of your website and in seconds Google will tell you whether your site meets their mobile criteria.

What can you do if your website is not mobile-friendly? Contact your trusted web designer to find out what needs to be done in order to update the website according to Google’s rules.

Mobile-geddon doesn’t have to mean the end of the world for your dental practice website. Make sure your site is up to date with the current design technology in order to keep your practice information at your patients’ fingertips!

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Dental Marketing: The Era of Social Proof and Social Search

by Naomi Cooper April 1, 2015

Dental Marketing: The Era of Social Proof and Social SearchDid you know that 61% of patients turn to online review sites before they select a doctor? This stunning statistic reinforces the need for dentists to stay on top of the practice’s online reputation today.

Accumulating positive information about the practice not only on the practice website but also on a variety of third-party websites across the Internet helps create an encouraging first impression when patients look to vet the practice online. This can include favorable online reviews and positive comments on social media profiles.

Social Proof

While having patient testimonials directly on the dental practice website is a good first step, collecting positive reviews on external sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades and AngiesList that come up in a Google search of the practice’s name can offer another layer of credibility and authenticity in the minds of prospective patients. This is why positive online reviews and commendts on third-party websites are sometimes referred to as “social proof”.

Social Search

In 2014 we saw a rise in the influence of social search. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest refined the search functionality within their sites, making it easy for users to search these sites as they would Google or Bing. The big difference between these social searches and the general online searches is that a patient can now see (for example) which dentist each of their friends go to or if there are any dentists their circle of friends specifically recommend – making social searches all the more valuable.

So how can dentists use social proof and social search to their marketing advantage? Encourage patients to share their positive experiences on consumer review sites. Remind patients to check in to the practice on Facebook whenever they come in for an appointment.

To learn more about online marketing strategies, click here to read my recent Inside Dentistry article – Social Media Strategies: What Dentists Need to Know

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Facebook for Dentists – What’s the Point? 

by Naomi Cooper March 18, 2015

Facebook for Dentists – What’s the Point? Likes. Shares. Blogs. Have these terms become more familiar around your dental practice? Social media is a great tool for patient outreach, but it’s even better for ongoing communication with your existing patient base.

To really see the full benefits of social media, we need to go beyond just posting content to our own pages. The true purpose of social media is engagement. Sites like Facebook allow us to create our own online communities and help us to stay connected more easily with patients and colleagues.

Here are some tips for increasing your Facebook engagement:

  • Encourage patients to check in to your practice on Facebook and/or share your posts
  • Post videos and photos to your practice’s business page on Facebook
  • Hold contests asking for input from your audience
  • Last but certainly not least – reciprocate! Like patients’ posts, share their content, and reply to their comments.

The point is to talk with your community, not at them. Social media should be a two-way conversation. With a focus on engagement, you can feel confident that social media can help you strengthen your patient relationships – both online and offline.

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How to Create the Best Social Media Post for Your Dental Practice Profile

by Naomi Cooper March 4, 2015

How to Create the Best Social Media Post for Your Dental Practice ProfileJust 10 years ago, no one had ever heard of Facebook. Now it’s the leading social media site in the world, and a host of other sites compete for users’ attention. From Twitter to LinkedIn to Instagram and beyond, there is certainly a social networking site to suit every personality.

When using social media as a marketing tool for your dental practice, it can be hard to determine what sites to engage on, and even harder to figure out what exactly to post on your practice’s profile each day. Not to mention the fact that a post that might be really engaging to Facebook users may not resonate on Twitter.

What to do? Check out this helpful infographic to learn what types of posts work best across various social media platforms.

Ultimately, your audience is the most important factor to consider when creating social media posts. Know what your patients like, their interests and even what social networking sites they use most often. Having a firm grasp on the types of content your patients like to see will help to make the best of your social media campaign.