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social media for dentists

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5 Online Marketing Hacks for Dentists

by Naomi Cooper September 7, 2016

You went to dental school, not business school. You specialize in exams and extractions, not marketing and social media. So how do you even begin to build a savvy online presence for your dental practice?

Online marketing hacks for dentistsHere are 5 tips to demystify online marketing for every dentist:

  1. Perform an online audit – Google your name and then your practice name. What comes up? Take note of where in the search results your website appears, as well as bookmark any sites with incomplete or inaccurate information to go back and fix sooner rather than later.
  2. Claim online profiles – Business listings may already exist for the practice on sites like Google and Yelp without your knowledge. Be sure every online profile has up-to-date practice and contact information.
  3. Update the practice website – If you haven’t touched your practice website within the past 18 months or more, schedule an appointment with your web designer to talk about updating the site for modern convenience (responsive design, SEO functionality, user-friendliness).
  4. Actively ask for patient testimonials – It NEVER hurts to ask! In fact, asking patients to post online reviews actually helps spark word of mouth for the office.
  5. Don’t forget about social media – Build your presence on sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…and encourage patients to check in and tag the office.

To dive deeper into these strategies, and discover 5 more simple yet effective methods of improving your online marketing, check out my recent article in Dental Products Report to ensure you stay in the driver’s seat of your online reputation.

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Dental Practice Marketing: 9 Content Ideas for Social Media

by Naomi Cooper September 24, 2014

Dental Practice Marketing: 9 Content Ideas for Social MediaAre you thinking about getting started on a social media plan for your practice? Or maybe you’ve been posting for a while now but feel like your updates are getting a bit stale? Whether you are a beginner or you’ve been participating for years, it can be difficult to keep coming up with ideas of what to post.

Here are 9 types of content that work well on social media:

  1. Links to Articles: Posts about the practice, the doctor, the team, the community, or oral health in general always work well.
  2. Photos: Pictures of the practice, of the doctor and/or team, patient “before and after” shots, team events, or continuing education opportunities. Note: photos require a signed release, so be sure you have written permission from everyone in the picture before posting.
  3. Videos: Shoot videos on a smartphone of an office tour, a welcome greeting from the doctor and staff, patient testimonials, or even the doctor answering patient FAQs. Similar to photos, videos also require a signed release, so again, be sure to have written permission before posting.
  4. Facts & Figures: Consider relevant quotes, statistics, news headlines that you think would be of interest to your community.
  5. Seasonal: The various holidays and seasons are perfect opportunities to share holiday wishes, fun factoids about the holiday/season, or give a piece of dental advice to fit a specific time of year.
  6. Contests and Polls: Great for increasing engagement with your social media audience, you can set up polls just for fun, or offer a prize.
  7. Giving Back: If you happen to be a part of a local group, you can post messages about the cause or link to the cause’s website. Or, if you know of a patient who is very involved, you could ask them about posting their story.
  8. Lifestyle: Social media posts don’t only have to be about dentistry. Varying your posts with healthy recipes, useful technology tips, dental jokes, or info about local community events can keep everyone interested.
  9. Promotional: Social media is a terrific way of spreading news updates about the practice, special offers, info on new procedures, and referral rewards promotions.

No matter what you post, the most important thing to consider is your patients’ perspective! Avoid using overly technical language or posting articles only of interest to fellow dentists. Find out what gets your patients excited about dentistry – personal updates about team members, photos and videos are always a hit. At the end of the day, a clear focus on engagement with your audience – your patients and prospective patients – is the way to go with social media.

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Facebook for Dentists: Boosting Engagement through Contests

by Naomi Cooper June 4, 2014

Facebook for Dentists: Boosting Engagement through ContestsIf you are looking to spice up your Facebook dental practice page, think about running a contest. Facebook promotions are a fun way to increase your engagement with your followers and keep your dental practice in the minds of your patients.

Running a Facebook promotion isn’t difficult, but it does require planning ahead. A recent article from the experts at MarketingProfs, 6 Newbie Tips for Running a Successful Facebook Timeline Promotion, outlines exactly what you need to do to set up contest for your dental practice Facebook page.

If you aren’t sure this DIY approach to Facebook promotions is the right option for you, Sesame Communications could be the solution. They offer a Sweepstakes package for dentists which is a full-service management of Facebook promotions including design and execution of a campaign, marketing the campaign both online and providing marketing emails, newsletters for patient outreach as well as ensuring the contest/promotion is compliant within all Facebook, state and local regulations.

Whether you do it yourself, or you take advantage of Sesame Sweepstakes, a Facebook promotion will increase your online engagement, yielding positive results for your dental practice, including increased patient loyalty, patient referrals and even treatment acceptance.

Have you run a Facebook promotion for your dental practice? What advice would you have for a beginner? Share your experiences below!

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5 Steps to a Modern Dental Marketing Plan

by Naomi Cooper April 16, 2014

5 Steps to a Modern Dental Marketing PlanRecent data suggests that Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on the Internet when making purchasing decisions, and that includes finding a dentist.

There are countless ways of updating your dental marketing plan with modern tactics, and it can understandably be overwhelming when trying to figure out where to start. Don’t worry – you don’t have to do everything all at once. Incremental steps can make it easier to implement while keeping your budget in check.

Here are 5 ways to an increasingly modern dental marketing plan:

  1. Updating your practice website – Your website = the foundation of your online strategy.
  2. Playing the SEO gameIncrease your online visibility by making sure your website appears at or near the top of search engine results.
  3. Building social media profiles – Connect with your patients online by engaging on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or YouTube.
  4. Gathering patient testimonials – Ensure that potential patients get a positive first impression when they are researching your practice online.
  5. Blogging – Share the latest practice news and address frequently asked questions in order to stay in touch with patients year-round.

Taking the initiative now to update your marketing will keep you ahead of your competition as well as saving you from playing catch up later on.

Don’t forget – you don’t have to do this all on your own. Dental industry experts like Sesame Communcations and My Social Practice can help guide you in the right direction. And especially when it comes to website design and SEO, outsourcing is often your best bet. Updates to the search engine algorithms are frequent and can be confusing. Leave it to the professionals and get back to focusing on your main responsibility – your patients!

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LinkedIn for Dentists

by Naomi Cooper March 11, 2014

LinkedIn for DentistsSo much of what is written about social media focuses on Facebook, with Twitter and YouTube following closely behind. A recent article published on DentistryIQ.com says that LinkedIn should not only be included in the mix but should actually be #1 on a dentist’s social media To-Do list.

The article asserts that LinkedIn users are more likely to fall into your target patient profile, with an average user age of 44 years and an average income of over $100,000. While those figures sound impressive, and I agree LinkedIn should be a part of a dentist’s marketing mix, I still encourage my clients to build solid profiles on Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube. When it comes to online marketing, LinkedIn is fundamentally different from these sites. Here’s why:

LinkedIn is an online networking site, focusing primarily on business-to-business relationships. Most dentists have a business-to-consumer strategy, which is not to say that LinkedIn does not have a very real place in dental marketing, but rather that it should not replace other social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter where users are more comfortable with interacting with brands.

Also, when it comes to most social media sites, I recommend my clients build their profiles under the name of the practice rather than in the individual dentist. This builds an overall consistent branding strategy for the practice, and consolidates for a group practice what could be several profiles into one powerful all-inclusive profile.

With that said, my recommendation for LinkedIn would be slightly different. You can build a LinkedIn business page for your practice but it is also important to have an individual profile for each dentist first. Again, as LinkedIn is primarily to be used for professional networking, it is all about relationship-building. LinkedIn users connect with other like-minded professionals, some of whom may be your patients. Others may be fellow dentists, specialists, doctors, business owners, community leaders, and referral sources…yes, they may turn to you for dental services, but they can also be great sources of information when it comes to running a successful business.

If you are reading this and thinking you don’t have time to squeeze another site into your social media plan, think about automating your updates through sites such as Hootsuite. But automating your posts doesn’t equate to a “set it and forget it” mentality. Social media is about engagement — so if someone directly contacts you, be sure to take a few minutes to acknowledge them.

LinkedIn definitely should be a part of your online strategy but remember its unique purpose: professional networking. When used in conjunction with other social media sites, LinkedIn can be yet another tool in your social media arsenal!

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Social Media 101: Utilizing Google+ in Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper February 5, 2013

Social Media 101: Utilizing Google+ in Your Dental PracticeWhile not as prevalent as Facebook, Google+ is another social media site that can work well for dental practices. The usage statistics do not compare to Facebook, but it is still a good idea for businesses to maintain profiles for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Google+ profiles are incredible drivers of SEO, so having your dental practice listed within Google+ helps patients easily find you and connect with your practice online.

There is often confusion between the 2 main components of Google+: Google+ pages for business, and Google+ Local pages. Here is a brief breakdown of each:

Google+ Page

A Google+ page is similar to having a Facebook business page. It is your dental practice’s profile within Google, and offers many opportunities to feature videos, share photos and images and create direct inbound links, all of which are very important in boosting your website’s SEO.

A Google+ page is set up in a very similar fashion to Facebook, with cover and profile photos, and an About section where you enter in your business address, phone, website, and other important information. Your Google+ page allows you to post content and share information with those who have followed you.

Google+ Local Page

A Google+ local page is your dental practice’s listing within Google. It is tied to the Google search results as well as to Google maps. Where as it has the same features as a Google+ page (phone number, hours, website, etc.), it also allows patients to write an online review of their experience at your practice. This is a great site to direct your patients to in order to increase your online patient reviews. Google creates a Google+ Local page for every business in the country, but it’s up to you to claim that profile and make sure it’s accurate.

These are the basic differences between the 2 types of business profile pages within the Google universe. You can log on to https://plus.google.com/pages/create to get started.

Do you use Google+ within your dental practice social media plan? Please share your comments and experiences below. And check back here for the next Social Media 101 installment – easy to implement strategies for your dental practice YouTube channel.