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Google Plus for Dentists

Does your dental practice have a Google Places listing (also known as Google Local Listing)? If so, you have probably noticed that your listing has changed to a Google Plus listing. Before you panic, understand the differences between these Google platforms and evaluate which profile is best for your practice.

1. Google Plus Local: http://plus.google.com/local

What formerly was called Google Places is now called Google Plus Local; this new listing simply functions as the updated version of Google Places. It is designed for small local businesses but does not have the full functionality of a Google Plus account. These listings are also still included in the Maps section of Google. As Google implements their new scoring and review system, all Google Places accounts will be upgraded to Google Plus Local listings. If you already have an existing Google Places account, you are still able to access your regular login page.

2. Google Plus for Business: http://www.google.com/+/business/

Google Plus for Business is an option for any business, large or small. While Google Plus Local focuses on local businesses in each area, Google Plus for Business is used for large corporations as well. It is a fully functional social page (similar to Facebook business profiles). Businesses that sign up for this will need to start the process as a business. Eventually, Google is planning to merge these first two categories into one listing. As for now, they currently operate as two separate entities and may stay this way for some time.

3. Google Plus: http://plus.google.com

Regular Google Plus accounts are designed for individuals and should not be used for businesses. At the launch of Google Plus, business pages were not available and many users opted to create regular Google Plus accounts to represent their business. As these pages will not function properly for a business long-term, these pages should not be promoted. Instead, a Google Plus Local or Google Plus for Business account should be created for your dental practice.

As Google changes constantly, Solution21 can help you adapt to keep your practice’s online listings active and competitive. Solution21 offers Local Listing options that include complete setup for Google Plus Local setup. We also offer social networking packages that include setup of Google Plus for Business, Facebook, Twitter, and a custom blog.

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Take Five with Marty interviewing Linda Miles

In Episode 7 of Take Five With Marty, Dr. Marty Jablow discusses today’s dental practice management challenges with legendary dental consultant, Linda Miles. Linda also provides some recommendations regarding how to get patients back into the office regularly and grow your dental practice as a whole.

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Blogging for Dentists

Does your dental practice have a blog? A blog is an online tool that can be used to share information, news, and events. Blogging is a free and highly effective way to advertise your dental practice and connect with patients.

A main benefit of blogging is that it provides an opportunity to show current and perspective patients what makes your practice unique. Blog posts can demonstrate the passion you have for your practice and for dentistry in general. When a patient views your blog, he or she will be able to see your dedication to staying up-to-date on the newest procedures and equipment, your commitment to patient satisfaction, or acting as a resource to inform your patients on preventative health practices.
There are endless topics to post about on a blog: dental procedures, office promotions, or new industry discoveries. Many patients appreciate when their dentist blogs regularly. It gives them a chance to learn more about the latest events and promotions happening at your office. Patients will find ease in noticing how knowledgeable you are on a procedure or new technological discovery.
Follow these tips from experienced bloggers to establish a successful dental blog of your own:

  1. Create. Websites such as Blogger.com offer free and simple blogging services. To start blogging, all you need to do is sign up for an account and start posting! For advanced users, you can embed the blog into your website as a live-feed, so the blog content will also show up on your website when you post it on the blog. To make your blog more entertaining, it is usually a smart idea to have an appealing design and add images to your blog posts.
  2. Update. As a dentist or doctor, it is not necessary to blog every day or even every week – once or twice a month would be ideal. Blogging can be time-consuming and you wouldn’t want to flood your followers’ blog feeds. It is also important to blog about relevant topics and issues that people would be interested to read about. Writing a blog about basic flossing habits or healthy eating tips would be very informative and interesting for a blog viewer to read.
  3. Respond. It is a good idea to view blog posts on a regular basis to check for activity and comments. Responding to blog comments shows that you are dedicated to patient satisfaction and it creates a conversation with your blog readers.
  4. Promote. Now that you spent time and energy creating and posting a blog, now it is time to promote it! The most efficient way to advertise your blog is to add a link on your dental website. You can also post a sign in your office or office brochure promoting your blog use. To promote new blog posts, it is always a good idea to post links to your office Facebook and/or Twitter accounts.

Solution21 has social networking packages that include blog design and setup for your practice, as well as unlimited updates by your personal Website Specialist. To find out more about our blogging options, call us at (888) 423-9235.

 

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282% More Dentistry

I have been a big fan of Care Credit for many years. It has always seemed obvious to me that if a patient had credit available he or she would select better dentistry. That “obvious” assumption has been validated with a study from the ADCPA (Academy of Dental CPAs).

The study demonstrated that patients with a Care Credit account not only get more dentistry done they get a lot more dentistry and they continue to have more and better care for years.

Here are the key findings; households with a Care Credit account were compared to similar households without Care Credit.

In the first year after an account is opened, households with an account:

Made 62% more dental appointments
And had 282% more dentistry done (By dollar value)
That is expected however the amount of the increase is a lot more than I would have guessed. Increases in the first year make sense but here is the finding I did not expect; five years after the account is opened households with Care Credit:

Made 25% more dental appointments
And accepted 44% more dentistry.

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Visualize Your Professional Network

LinkedIn’s Growing Importance for Dental Professionals

For me, at first it was difficult to see the value of accepting the barrage of LinkedIn invitations via email.  When considering the utility of social networks, the vast majority of dentists are taking advantage of Facebook to grow and market to local communities.  It’s of course become clear that LinkeIn is a fundamentally different tool, with different advantages, that needs a completely different strategy.  Most people tend to start with a very limited profile and slowly add more personal information once they see the value in growing their professional network.

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