Social-Media Tag Archive

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Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

More wisdom from Seth Godin:

Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

  1. Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do.
  2. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change.
  3. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you’re proud of. Gaming goes only so far.

Source: Seth’s Blog: Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

In dentistry reputation is everything. Read the linked post, it is short and worth the effort.

New technology, especially the Internet and social media have accelerated the age old word of mouth process. Your reputation can be tarnished in the click of an eye. Because our reputations are so valuable dentists are especially concerned about online reviews and other social media.

Godin reminds us (as stated in #2 above) first impressions are still very powerful. If a patient comes away from a first visit with a positive first impression it is unlikely he/she will be persuaded you are a jerk based on an online review. However if the first impression the potential new patient gets of you comes from a negative online review it will be harder for you to overcome the impression and win them over. In fact it is probable that the potential new patient will simply go elsewhere and you will never get a chance to win them over.

The second big take away is that a good reputation comes from doing good things.

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Does Yelp work?

Does Yelp work?

In today’s competitive environment all dental offices must have a good understanding of how social media can work for their practices.  It is very important to gain the social media business intelligence that will drive new patient flow in the most effective manner – and that is not always easy. Net32’s annual surveys of Social Media Habits for Dentists show a strong and growing interest in dentists trying to leverage social media sites for new patient acquisition. In fact, in 2014 almost 34% of dentists were seeking to use social media sites for new patient acquisition as opposed to only 18% in 2010.  So, what is working for you?  Let’s take Yelp as a real life example. Is Yelp driving new patients for your dental practice? Here’s my story.

Like any well managed office my team asks all new patients “Whom may we thank for referring you to our practice?”  Although we have tremendous new patient acquisition, despite trying for the last 4 years or so, next to no one refers to Yelp as the referral source. Make no mistake, we have been quite successful in acquiring terrific reviews by means of internal marketing, links on post-appointment surveys and monthly specials emails, QR codes on appointment cards, website links, slides in the lobby, laptops, and iPads, etc. etc. Currently we have ten 5 star reviews showing and 59 reviews (the vast majority being 5 star) that yelp’s algorithm declines to display. Relative to other sources Yelp is yielding a big fat goose egg. How are you determining if Yelp is of any value to your practice, and what do you consider best practices?

Perhaps patients’ use of Yelp is different in other parts of the country. Perhaps my experience is not the norm. However, it appears that Yelp in North Carolina is not working for me.

Maybe further education is in order to expand our Yelp business intelligence? So far our study of best practices has not disclosed any new gems nor led to any new tactics to try.

5 Stars is the best rating possible on Yelp and that is not driving patients to my door. What’s your story?

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Facebook Check-Ins

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The importance of Facebook Check-Ins

Facebook Check-Ins

Get more out of Facebook: The importance of Facebook Check-Ins

Every dentist knows the importance of social media marketing and having a business Facebook page. You and your staff are busy keeping your page fresh and fun by publishing captivating posts, running contests, and encouraging patient interaction and likes. The goal of all this activity is to be visible – to be on top of your patients’ News Feeds – so you can reach as many patients and potential new patients as possible. Here’s a new and simpler way to help keep your patients engaged on Facebook:  Check-Ins.

In fact, Facebook likes and check-ins are becoming more important than your own posts as Facebook’s Graph Search enables people to search this type of interaction. By definition, likes and check-ins engage your patients, but check-ins carry far more credibility as they are authentic, demonstrating true personal commitment.

When a Facebook user wants to share information about their current location, they can “check in” to a dental practice, local business, restaurant, or practically any public place. When patients do this, their update and location appears in their News Feed for all their friends to see.

When your patients arrive at your practice, you can encourage them to check-in much like you encourage them to like your page.  There are just a couple quick steps to do first in order to allow check-ins. All you need to do is set your Facebook page’s category to Local Business and add your Business Address to your page.  Click here for Facebook’s detailed instructions on updating these settings.

The marketing power of the check-in is even greater if your patients post a photo and tag themselves when they check-in.  So while you may not want your patients talking on their cell phone when they arrive at your practice, you do want to encourage them to use their phone to take a “selfie” and check-in on Facebook!

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How can your practice use Facebook and Twitter to get referrals?

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Even if you don’t use Facebook or Twitter, I’m sure you are aware of what they are. If you happened to live under a rock for the last few years, Facebook and Twitter are websites people and businesses use to share what’s happening on a day to day, hour to hour, and yes, even on a minute to minute basis.

So what are the chances your patients or potential patients use these top social media services? I’d say pretty good considering Facebook has 1.06 BILLION monthly active users and Twitter has reached over 500 MILLION total users! Don’t kid yourself, this isn’t a fad. These numbers will continue to grow.

Here are some ways to increase your effectiveness on social media websites:

1.) Brand it. Having the same color scheme, name, and messaging across all platforms ensure that your entire online presence is using one cohesive marketing strategy. Social media is an extension of your business, it should represent that.

2.) Link it. Make sure the icons are up on your website and visible for all to see. It only takes 3 seconds for someone to hit a button and you’ve gained a new outlet for referrals and engagement.

3.) Use it. Content is King. If you have a page sitting there for weeks between updates, what’s the point? Demonstrate your expertise, what services you offer, and interact with your patients. Finding the time to answer a question or interact is important to build strong relationships. Interesting articles, funny pictures, news about your office, and special offers all go a long way to keeping your patients engaged.

4.) Put it to work, even when you aren’t on it. The way the Facebook news feed and Twitter retweets work, people out of your “network” will still see their friend’s activity on your pages. If Sally likes your status, writes a positive review on her wall, or shares your post, all her friends see it. Social media is responsible for 70% of patient referrals because recommendations from family and friends carries more weight than any other information source.

These are just a few basics to get you on the right path. Some practices decide to spend the time themselves while others opt to use an outside source to help engage their patients. Whichever you choose, keep in mind the upside of having a cohesive, active, online presence, and have fun with it!

VivioSites is a premier provider of dental websites, advanced search engine optimization, and social media management packages. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help your practice get new patients anyway we can. Call us at 800-227-2513 or visit www.viviosites.com.

 

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10 Tips To Grow Your Dental Practice

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Most dentists I talk to have a strong desire to grow their dental practice. Many have even hired so-called SEO guru’s, website designers, local ranking experts, and consultants, but with very little success.

With the competitive landscape for most business niches, dental is no different. You can’t have a piece meal marketing approach. You must have a strategy (plan) that is all-encompassing, covering all facets of both online and offline marketing, that work cohesively together, to get more new patients.

Below are what I consider the top 10 critical marketing elements you must have in place and work on consistently to grow your practice and be the leader in your locale.

1. Lead Generating Website

Notice how I didn’t just say website, I said “lead-generating” website. There’s a big difference. Of the hundreds of dental websites I’ve reviewed, I can only count a handful that are truly designed to attract new dental patients.
Unfortunately, web designers are not marketing experts. They are building their portfolio to attract more design or creative customers, not businesses that truly need leads. Unless they have a internet marketing background, it’s not wise to spend the $3,000-$10,000 on a website that does not convert.

2. Dental Blog

This could be part of number 1 above, but I am making it a separate category, as it is a crucial piece of your marketing pie. You see…a blog allows you to produce and publish valuable content that both your visitors, and the search engines love.

This will result in higher search engine rankings, and a perceived leader (authority) in your special niche of dentistry, whether it be veneers, invisalign, braces, implants or any other high transaction value cosmetic procedure.

3. Video Marketing

Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world, and more people are choosing to search and watch videos as opposed to reading text. This, as a dentist, gives you a huge opportunity to implement a video marketing strategy that will position you as the expert, making the decision to hire your much easier.

The only problem I see is many dentists who have a youtube channel, but have not optimized it, or any of the videos to get more eyeballs. This ends up being a waste of time and money. Allotting a budget to have a video marketing company or consultant come in and do this for you is a wise business decision.

4. Reputation Marketing

This is an area that is exploding online. More and more people are making their buying decisions on social reviews. You’ve seen these before. You do a search, and google shows local business listings.

Right in the listing, you’ll see a link to reviews. This is where people go immediately to read about the business. Are there any reviews at all? Are they positive or negative.

There is an entirely separate service for cleaning up bad reviews, and gaining new ones. As time goes on, businesses are going to be investing large amounts of money into their online reputation.

5. Local Listings And SEO

More and more people are searching for local services. If you don’t have a google+ local page that is optimized with images, videos and offers, your competitors are going to easily outrank you and get all the phone calls.
Focusing on local seo and business listings is a wise decision of both your time and money. If you’re not found when your potential patient is looking for you, you lose!

6. Mobile Marketing

Take a look around you. Everyone is buried in their mobile phone. Texting, talking, skyping, you name it! Mobile marketing is exploding! Did you know that over 60% of local searches are done on the cell phone. Next year that number is expected to grow to 80%; and the following year (2014) it is said, mobile search is going to exceed desktop search.

With those types of numbers, you better “get mobile”.

Again, there is a specific marketing approach that you must take if you want your mobile marketing investment to pay off.

7. Email Marketing

They say “the money is in the list”, and I tend to agree.

It’s standard now to get patient email addresses, but what most dentists are missing is getting the email addresses of their website visitors. This is a massive lost opportunity that I would say 90% or more of the online dental websites are missing out on.

There is a specific strategy to maximize this approach. It can be a time consuming, time-sucking method, and one that I would recommend most dental practices hire out to the professionals who have experience in this.

8. SMS Text Marketing

Above we already mentioned mobile marketing, and text messaging is a close second. In fact, many marketing professionals would say text messaging goes in the same category as mobile marketing, but I beg to differ.
There are companies now that only offer SMS marketing. You may or may not need a separate company to achieve the results you’re looking for, but just imagine the ability to send appointment reminders for example. Very powerful stuff!

9. Facebook

We all know how big facebook is. Over 1 billion active users! If you do not have a Facebook marketing strategy, you are losing out on a huge potential goldmine of prospective patients.

This is another area I’ve seen with hundreds of dental practices who are doing it all wrong. There are so many strategies you can implement just with Facebook, that it would take 5-10 hours per week just for this.

10. Social Media

Social media is evolving all the time! With Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram your demographic (teens) are there. They are tweeting to their friends. They are uploading to Instagram. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network in the world, and it is a fantastic opportunity for you to pin your before and after pics, as well as any other event you have going on in your practice.

But…the key to all this is to optimize what you’re doing for the best SEO results. If you don’t, you’re wasting time (and money) doing it, as you won’t see results.

These 10 tips (strategies) I’ve listed would take easily 40 hours or more a week if implemented completely. That is why you should consider a marketing firm, or consultant to do it, as we are the professionals, and can get you a better ROI than if you had a staff member “try it”.

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