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social media marketing

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Outsourcing: 3 Tips for Hiring the Right Vendors

by Naomi Cooper November 25, 2013

Outsourcing: 3 Tips for Hiring the Right VendorsAs dental practice owners, you not only fill the role of “Dentist”, but several other roles (Accounting, HR, IT, Marketing) that you may not have planned on when you graduated from dental school. And in today’s digital culture, jobs such as SEO Specialist or Social Media Manager may have not even existed just a few short years ago. Not that these roles are any less important, in fact they have to be done, and be done well, for the good of the practice. But when there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to successfully accomplish everything on the To-Do list, perhaps it is time to consider outsourcing.

Red Adair, the late American businessman, once said, “If you think it’s expensive hiring a professional, wait till you hire an amateur.”

There are countless, self-proclaimed “experts” ready to assist dentists with their SEO, website design, social media marketing…all with varying degrees of costs and experience.

So what should dentists look for in a vendor when choosing to outsource?

  1. Be sure the company has a history of proven success within the dental industry. Be specific—not the medical industry as a whole, or professional services at large, but a company with a specific background of working with dentists that understands the unique aspects of dental practice management and the nuances of the dentist-patient relationship.
  2. The right vendor should offer different levels of service and pricing. And be wary of companies that require payment in full up front before any work has been completed.
  3. Look for vendors who offer a range of expertise. Whether a dentist is looking for e-communication solutions, social media marketing, SEO or website design, he/she will be best served by hiring one company capable of doing it all. This leads to a long-term business relationship as the vendor’s successes enhance the growth of the practice.

Hiring one vendor to manage a variety of the online marketing tactics, for example, ensures the practice has a single point of contact rather than multiple partners to manage.

Plus, in this scenario, all online marketing efforts are coordinated and working cohesively, while increasing the vendor’s accountability and investment in the practice’s success—all of which ends up saving the dentist time and money in the long run.

Outsourcing is a smart and practical option for many dentists. You don’t have to go it alone – taking the time

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to properly research the vendors and asking the right questions will ensure a successful partnership for years to come. For more tips on hiring the right professionals, check out my recent article in Dental Products Report on How to Master the Power of Outsourcing.

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Enhancing Your Dental Practice Facebook Page

by Naomi Cooper November 12, 2013

Enhancing Your Dental Practice Facebook PageEvery dentist knows the importance of getting more likes on Facebook. And because of Facebook’s Graph Search, which enables people to search Facebook’s database for information that lives there only, your patients’ interactions, such as likes and check-ins, have actually become more important than the posts published by your practice.

Check-ins are exceedingly important in terms of increasing the visibility of the practice’s Facebook page. Here’s why: when a user likes something on Facebook, while it may be shared with the user’s friends in their news feed, it does not project the same level of personal commitment that a check-in indicates. When someone actually interacts with your business via social media while they are physically in the practice, it demonstrates how connected they feel to your practice.

For more insight into the power of Check-Ins, as well as 4 fresh strategies for enhancing your dental practice Facebook page, check out my recent blog at Sesame Communications Insider Insights.

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Google+ Shared Endorsements: The Latest Update and What You Need to Know

by Naomi Cooper October 28, 2013

Google+ Shared Endorsements: The Latest Update and What You Need to KnowEarlier this month, Google announced they are rolling out what are called “Shared Endorsements” on the Google+ site. If you haven’t yet read about this new feature, or if you don’t understand how this will impact your dental practice Google+ page, keep reading.

Anytime a user +1’s a page, this activity is stored within Google which they, in turn, will be using in advertising. For example say you +1, or endorse, a new local restaurant on Google+, your name and photo can now be used in an online ad for that restaurant whether or not you are aware.

The new Shared Endorsements feature (slated to start November 11th) allows users to control whether or not their activity is used in Google’s advertising. If you are not comfortable with your name and photo being used to endorse another business, you can easily “opt-out”.

For more information on Shared Endorsements, and what this latest Google update means for your dental practice profile, check out this informative Hubspot blog.

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Minoa Marketing Founder Featured on DentistryIQ

by Naomi Cooper October 20, 2013

Minoa Marketing Founder Featured on DentistryIQEver wonder if there was a meaningful difference between Likes and Check-ins on Facebook? There is a BIG difference, and understanding these differences are what can make your dental practice Facebook Page an even more effective online marketing tool.

DentistryIQ recently reposted my Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute about the Power of Facebook Check-ins.

Do you actively encourage your patients to check-in at your practice? What impact have you noticed Facebook Check-ins have on your overall social media strategy?

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The Role of Marketing in the Sale of Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper July 9, 2013

BLOG THE ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE SALE OF YOUR DENTAL PRACTICEMany questions – and emotions – arise when the topics of retirement and the potential sale of a dental practice come up. While it may not be obvious at first glance, marketing and branding will play major roles in facilitating the sale and transition.

The importance of branding should not be minimized. Branding distinguishes a practice from its competitors. Some dentists may mistakenly believe that branding is just for group practices or large corporations. But in reality, it serves to enhance the practice’s local affinity, small business sensibility, and professional feel.

Any dentist within 10 years of retirement needs to consider whether having his or her own name on the shingle makes for the best exit strategy. It’s key to be able to maximize the practice’s value when it’s time to sell, and having all of its brand equity wrapped up in the primary dentist’s name means that one of the practice’s major assets isn’t transferrable.

Additionally, branding strategy is not something that can be created overnight. It takes time and effort to build and sustain a strong brand that inspires recognition and loyalty in patients and the community. So, there is no time like the present to begin building your dental practice brand! Even dentists who are just starting to think about retirement will benefit from honing their branding strategy now.

Every dental practice owner desires to find a suitable buyer of their practice – one who will maintain the quality of care, someone the dentist feels comfortable handing off their patients of record to. Having a solid branding strategy already in place will attract more qualified and desirable buyers to the practice, thereby easing the transition.

Just as you coach your patients on the benefits of preventative care, put your recommendations to work for your dental practice. Don’t wait until retirement is just a few years away to develop a marketing strategy. Having a plan in place ahead of time is one way of ensuring a smooth transition for you and your patients.

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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.