Dental Marketing on Facebook for UK Dental Practice

Facebook dental marketingA dental practice in the UK (and NHS practice) is trying to recruit new patients via Facebook.

And what’s most remarkable about this story isn’t the truly innovate form of internet dental marketing using online social networking… it’s the fact that there’s an NHS practice with space for new dental patients!

Historically, it’s been challenging for many UK citizens to get dental care through the NHS. In many areas, it’s next impossible to find a dentist who’ll take on a new NHS patient.

So the NHS invested £65,000 to create places for 10,000 new patients, but the VI Dental Centre in Bridlington still has 2,000 spaces available. And marketing-minded staff have turned to the internet, using sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Read more: Facebook campaign to fill Bridlington dental places

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative Review

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative ReviewThe most costly dental marketing mistake could be threatening to sue your dental patients.  And once again, a dentist is making front-page news with her challenge against a negative dental review on Yelp.

ABC News is reporting that Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, threatened to sue dental patient Robert Allen Lee for posting critical comments about Dr. Makhnevich on Yelp and DoctorBase.

According to ABC News the problem began in 2010, when Robert Lee went into Dr. Makhnevich’s office for a scheduled dentist’s appointment. Lee claims he was in excruciating pain when he was told he had to sign a Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy form, before being treated. The privacy form required that Lee agree not to publish any commentary or write anything disparaging about his experience online.

Lee further states that although he was hesitant to sign this form, he was desperate to receive treatment and gave in to agreeing to sign the form.

Lee became unhappy when there was a mishap with billing his insurance company and he couldn’t get Dr. Makhnevich’s office to rectify the situation to his satisfaction, Lee wrote negative reviews about Dr. Makhnevich and her practice on Yelp and DoctorBase.

Both ABC News and Public Citizen are reporting that Makhnevich sent a letter to Lee demanding that he delete the negative posts, warning him that he violated the agreement he signed and threatened to sue him for breach of contract. Dr. Makhnevich also contacted the review sites and asked for Lee’s negative comments to be removed.

Both Yelp.com and DoctorBase refused to take down the negative reviews, but Makhneich reportedly claimed that a copyright clause gave her ownership of the negative comments. She then went on to send Lee an invoice for $100 for each day the negative remarks remained online.

Lee has now taken legal action against the doctor by filing a lawsuit in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, accusing Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, of violating his rights as a patient by threatening him with a lawsuit for posting negative comments online.

As we have reported here on The Wealthy Dentist in the past, dentists have not been successful in court when suing patients directly for their negative online reviews. Recently in California a dentist who sued a patient now has to pay $80,000 in legal fees, not just to the patient who posted the review, but also to Yelp itself.

In the article, Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews, The Wealthy Dentist has offered dentists advice on how to handle a negative online review — and threatening to sue the patient was not listed as a viable dental marketing option.

What are your thoughts on negative online reviews and the sites that allow them?

For more on this story see: Dentist Threatens to Sue Patient for Negative Yelp Review and Doc Sued Over Attempts to Prohibit Patients From Writing Online Reviews.

Why Dental Marketing Requires Long-term Thinking

Dental Marketing Requires Long-term Thinking Sometimes it’s frustrating to hear that dental marketing results will take time. When dentists spend thousands of dollars on something, it’s only natural to want a return as soon as possible.

But marketing is really more of a marathon than a sprint.

The best results come over time.

It’s not unheard of for an advertising campaign to produce an immediate return, but that’s usually the exception to the rule. We hope for short-term response, but we plan for long-term results. Keep this in mind when you choose among your dental marketing options.

Once you pick your method, give the media enough time to produce. In most cases, the approach of “I’ll do this for a couple months and see how it goes” is a mistake and a waste of money.

Why are dental marketing results better over the long run?

One of the main reasons is because patients are likely to need multiple exposures to a message before they respond. Radio advertising provides a good example. Radio is a frequency medium, which means it works best when your ad makes repeated impressions on the same listener.

It can be expensive to make multiple impressions on a listener, especially in the larger markets, so it’s important to buy a station that you can afford. If you can’t afford to commit for at least six months, then you need to pick a less expensive station or put off radio until such a commitment is realistic.

One good media buyer I know tells his clients, “In the first month, you’re going to lose a (heck) of a lot of money. In the second month you’ll lose a little less. By the fourth or fifth month, you’ll start breaking even. And after six months, you’ll start making a lot of money.”

Now that first part might sound a little bleak, but if you’re planning long term, your investment won’t be evaluated by early results. At the end of the year the aggregated profit over the months should more than make up for a slow start.

I’ve seen dentists get multiple new patients the first day they ran a radio ad. That’s great for morale, but it’s not necessary for a successful campaign. Some of the best campaigns I’ve seen have started slow and built up over time.

Make sure you choose dental marketing methods that reflect this reality, and that your decisions are made for the long-term.

Ed Ridgway has executed dental marketing campaigns for hundreds of businesses in the U.S. and Canada. He is nationally recognized for his ongoing campaigns with many of the top dental practices across the country.

Discover What Dentists Are Saying About Dental Lasers (video)

Discover What Dentists Are Saying About Dental Lasers  (video)Dental lasers are quite literally cutting-edge technology.

Some dentists find them an amazing tool for fighting gum disease. Others find them highly over-priced and not particularly useful, while others want to buy them, but can’t afford them yet.

Speaking of a dental laser, one dentist said, “It is the best thing to come along in dentistry in the past 20 years!” While another complained, “The laser I paid so much for isn’t a comfortable part of any treatment I do. It’s not paying its own bills!

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they use lasers on soft tissue for the treatment of gum disease. Watch the video to hear how the dentists responded —
 

 
Are you using dental lasers in your dental practiceWhat do you think?

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing Tool

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing ToolEffective dental marketing requires that dentists keep up a regular presence with dental patients in order to ensure success.

Having a dental website, blog, newsletter, Google+ page and Facebook page are all important factors in keeping your dental practice in front of your dental patients.

Some dentists are still not convinced that Facebook is an effective Internet dental marketing tool.

Last week, Facebook started the process for its highly-publicized IPO. In anticipation, the online competitive intelligence service Hitwise just released their 10 Key Statistics about Facebook, comparing the Facebook audience with that of other social networks.

Here is what Hitwise found —

1. Facebook captures 1 in every 11 Internet visits in the United States.
2. 1 in every 5 page views occurs on Facebook.
3. The average visit time on Facebook is 20 minutes.
4. Facebook’s audience skews slightly more female than the online population as a whole.(Female is 57%, male is 43%).
5. The ages of Facebook visitors are indicative of the website’s strength in the marketplace, with relative parity in distribution of its visit share by age vs. the online population (Ages 18-24 is 18%, 25-34 is 23%, 34-44 is 21%, 45-54 is 19%, and 55+ is 20%).
6. Facebook wins 499,949,430 visits from the most affluent income group versus YouTube’s 223,732,591 visits and Twitter’s 15,166,795 visits.
7. Facebook became the #1 ranked website in the US on March 9, 2010.
8. “Facebook” is the most searched term in the US and Facebook-related terms account for 14% of the top search clicks.
9. Facebook users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook were returning visitors in January 2012.
10. Internationally, Facebook ranks in the top 2 websites in every market except China, where Sina Weibo, Baidu Zhidao and Renren are the dominant social networks.

Hitwise further states that “Facebook is the largest website in the US and a top performer in numerous international markets. The fan base of the site is loyal and spends a significant portion of their time online on the social network. Facebook’s influence is seen in the presidential elections, digital shopping habits and beyond.”

Last June Hitwise concluded in their Facebook Fan Acquisition and Analysis that 1 Facebook fan is equal to 20 additional visits to a business website over the course of a year. If you have 500 Facebook fans, this means an extra 10,000 visits to your dental website a year.

Hitwise wrote, “The figure of 1 fan = 20 extra visits to a website uses a unique methodology that combines Hitwise data with data from social media experts Techlightenment. We took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and bench-marked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on their Facebook page. We then also looked at the propensity for people to search for those retail brands after a visit to Facebook using our Search Sequence tool.”

Here at The Wealthy Dentist we firmly believe that your dental marketing plan should include a Facebook page. With dental patients spending more time online, dentists should increasingly be looking to use Facebook as a part of their dental marketing.

Facebook fans can play a role in dental patient retention and procurement by helping to drive dental website traffic, boosting dental practice awareness, demonstrating dental treatments or acting as a customer testimonial billboard.

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