10 Top Ways Dentists Can Engage Dental Patients on Facebook

10 Top Ways Dentists Can Engage Dental Patients on FacebookMany dentists worry about the number of Facebook followers when they really should be worrying whether their followers are reading and enjoying what they are posting on Facebook.

The difference between Facebook and other dental marketing efforts is that a dental practice needs to invest a little bit of time on Facebook.

This small amount of extra time can go a long way and can even provide a rewarding experience as dental patients begin to provide feedback and communicate directly with you and your dental practice.

It really doesn’t require more than an hour a week, but you have to know exactly what works on Facebook so you aren’t wasting your valuable time and dental marketing efforts.

The Top 10 Ways Dentists Can Engage Dental Patients on Facebook

1. Ask questions.
Asking questions of your dental patients is a great way to engage them on your dental marketing Facebook Page. Ask them fun questions like what their favorite dental chair is in your office, or what they think of recent changes to Facebook (there are always changes to Facebook that you can ask them about). Facebook users love discussing Facebook.

2. Share personal stories with photos.
Share images of you and your office staff on Halloween when everyone is dressed in costume, or St. Patrick’s day when everyone is wearing green, but use these fun images as a way to engage your Facebook fans into sharing what it is about your dental practice they enjoy.

3. Hold a contest.
Create a contest strictly for your Facebook fans. Maybe host a Facebook trivia contest where your fans are asked to guess something about their favorite dentist… your favorite color, your favorite restaurant, your favorite hobby, etc., and offer a prize to the winner. Maybe, if they guess the right answer to your favorite restaurant, you can team up with that restaurant to offer the winner dinner for two as the prize.

4. Cross-promote neighborhood businesses.
Is there a local restaurant where you always enjoy lunch, or a place you like to take your children? Why not promote their Facebook Page? Do some of your patients have businesses you enjoy?  Think about talking about them and their business on your Facebook dental marketing page.

5. Post Facebook content when your dental patients are online.
Most dentists post their Facebook updates during the work day — not before 6:00am or after 6:00pm. Marketing research has discovered that content posted outside of 9:00am – 5:00pm timeframe had higher user engagement rates than posts made during the work day. Many working moms like to visit Facebook before their kids are up in the morning or after they have gone to bed.  Think about offering them something during these hours.

6. Share employee recognition.
Is there an employee whom your patients seem to love? Do you reward your employees on a regular basis? Think about sharing this recognition with your dental patient fans on Facebook.

7. Highlight your community service.
Does your dental practice sponsor a local baseball team or high school football team? Think about posting their game schedule or their losses and wins and ask your fans to attend their games in support. Ask patients to upload photos of the games they attend.

8. Use check-in deals on Facebook.
Facebook allows people to check-in to a business using the mobile Facebook app on their smart phone. To encourage your dental patients to use this app and make an appointment with your dental practice you can create a check-in deal for your page. Maybe you offer those patients who use this mobile marketing app something extra at your practice like a teeth whitening treatment they can use within the year.

9. Offer dental care tips.
Post dental care tips detailing ways in which your patients can take care of their teeth to avoid cavities, or gum disease. Think about all the ways you can help your dental patients protect their teeth, or offer signs of dental problems to watch out for — especially with their children.

10. Ask your followers for content.
Ask your Facebook fans for sugar-free recipes — or for ways they have convinced their small children to brush their teeth before bed. Ask your fans to offer up solutions to common issues with dental care. Highlight and talk about the best solutions from your fans.

Sit down and think about how you are utilizing Facebook for your dental practice and come up with a plan for interacting with your dental patients online.

I hope this inspires you to engage with your Facebook fans in new and compelling ways that add to your dental practice bottom line.

Dental Marketing with Facebook

Dental Marketing with FacebookDoes your dental practice have a Facebook Page?

If so, are you leveraging your dental practice Facebook Page to attract more new dental patients?

If not, maybe now is the time to consider it as a part of your overall dental marketing plan.

With the Facebook IPO launch last Friday, Experian Hitwise, the company that measures traffic and activity by people on the Internet, released their updated U.S. data showing the impact Facebook has online with its growth over the years.

Here are 15 stats from the May 18th IPO:

  1. Facebook.com received 9% of all U.S. Internet visits in April 2012.
  2. Facebook.com received more than 1.6 billion visits a week and averaged more than 229 million U.S. visits a day for the year-to-date.
  3. 1 in every 5 page views in the U.S. occurred on Facebook.com.
  4. Facebook.com has received more than 400 billion page views this year in the U.S.
  5. The average visit time on Facebook.com is 20 minutes.
  6. The Facebook.com audience skews more female (56%) than male.
  7. Facebook.com became the #1 ranked website in the U.S. on March 9, 2010.
  8. The term ‘Facebook’ is the most searched term in the U.S. and has been for the past three years, starting the week ending July 18, 2009.
  9. Facebook-related terms account for 6% of the top searched terms in the U.S. and Facebook-related terms made up 4 of the top 10 U.S. searches (among the top 100 search terms for the 4 weeks ending May 12, 2012).
  10. Facebook.com users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook.com were returning (defined as visited within past 30 days) visitors in April 2012.
  11. 10 states account for 52% of visits to Facebook.com – California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina based on year-to-date average.
  12. The top states where users are more likely to visit Facebook.com versus the online population are: West Virginia, Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama based on year-to-date average.
  13. The New York City DMA provides the largest volume of traffic to Facebook.com and the Charleston, WV DMA is the area where users are most likely to visit compared to the online population.
  14. Facebook.com is the top social networking site in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Brazil, France, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore markets.
  15. Facebook.com is the top overall site in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Facebook.com ranks 2nd in the U.K., Brazil, France, and Australia.

Facebook Pages have proved to be more successful for many brands over Facebook advertising.  For this reason, just before the Facebook  IPO offering GM pulled out of their Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook Pages appear to be more successful at engaging dental patients than paying for a Facebook ad. This is most likely because Facebook Pages feel more personal to the general public than Facebook ads.Facebook Dental Marketing

The Internet Dental Alliance  has been helping dentists maximize their Facebook presence for years. IDA dental websites are more than just Facebook compatible – they’re designed to look great and attract patients within your Facebook profile.

Stop by the Facebook Marketing for Your Dental Practice Page on the IDA website today.

To view the Hitwise stats see: 15 Stats About Facebook

Facebook Dental Marketing (Video)

Dental marketing with FacebookFacebook dental marketing is picking up steam.

But a lot of dentists still don’t know how to use social media for internet dental marketing.

“It’s educational for new and current patients,” said a Minnesota dentist. “Facebook is a necessity in today’s social media driven society.”

“Not a huge hit yet, but lots of potential for referrals from our patients that not only ‘Like’ us, but love us: our raving fans,” said an Illinois dentist.

We conducted a survey asking dentists if they have a Facebook Business Page. About two thirds of the respondents have one.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss how dentists are using Facebook in their dental practice marketing:

Most dentists use Facebook for dental practice marketing in the following ways:

  • to share basic information about their business
  • to share content like videos and images
  • to connect with current dental patients
  • to offer specials and discounts

About one third of our surveyed dentists use it for connecting with peers in dentistry.

Half of the dentists who aren’t on Facebook said they’re just not sure what to do.

“I don’t use it very well or very much,” said a California dentist. “I also don’t really know what to do. I’m sure it’s something I SHOULD be doing. I wish I could learn and arrange time to do everything I SHOULD be doing.”

“I’m not sure how the best, most cost-effective way to use it in a way that fits our practice,” wondered an Alabama dentist.

The best thing to do is to use Facebook as just one part of your overall internet dental marketing strategy — link your dental website and your practice’s Facebook profile to attract more new patients.

“We are able to connect not only with our own patients, but also with their Facebook friends when they like or share one of our posts or videos,” said a Missouri dentist. “It helps us to get the word out.”

Does your practice have a Facebook page?

How Do Dentists Use Social Networking? (Video)

Dental practice marketing with internet video

Do social media sites play a significant role in doctors’ dental marketing efforts?

Social networking has become part of the dental marketing landscape.

But not all dentists are tech-savvy or interested in social media.

“We have absolutely used social media to bring in new patients to our practice,” declared a Missouri dental office worker.

“I’ve decided to start asking patients for feedback and testimonials, and we’ve started to publish these testimonials,” said a California orthodontist.

Jim and Julie discuss what sort of social networking dentists do online.

Nine out of 10 dentists responding to this survey use Facebook for online networking, both personally and professionally.

One in three is on LinkedIn, one in four is on Twitter, one in five is on YouTube. Only one in eight is on Google Plus.

Only 13% of dentists in this survey have a professional blog.

There are a lot of ways dentists can use the internet to connect with potential new patients.

“We have 128 likes on our Facebook page. It provides easy interaction with patients who are active users,” offered a Minnesota dentist.

“We are at the beginning stages of our Facebook marketing,” said a West Virginia dentist. “We are using it as an informational, personable and promotional platform. We are giving our patients useful information, keeping them updated on what is new in our office, and giving away prizes for liking our page. We also give patients $5 off their services when they check in.”

“I really do not have the time or inclination to follow through with these media,” said a Massachusetts dentist.

We have a business Facebook page which does well for us,” said an Ohio prosthodontist. “I update it regularly and have a couple staff members who like to write updates on the wall, too.”

If Facebook is something you’re doing anyway, it only takes a little extra effort to use that platform to promote your practice.

Internet dental marketing doesn’t just include dental websites. You need to consider find-a-dentist directories, business listings, and social media.

Dentist Online Social Media: The New Dental Marketing?

Dentists and online social mediaDentists are embracing social media websites for business networking and internet dental marketing. Over half of dentists (57%) report using Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn for professional purposes.

Facebook is the clear leader; half of dentists use it professionally, and 4 out of 5 are on Facebook for personal purposes. One in three dentists uses Twitter professionally, and one in three is on Linked In.

“I believe they will and have had a great impact on dental marketing,” predicted one dentist. “It remains to be seen exactly how this will impact patients actually using these sites to select their dentists.”

“Social Networking is FREE,” raved a website designer. “It gives your dental websites visibility that they would not otherwise have. Most everyone under 50 use the internet for everything. Print is gone, and the internet social media is free right now, so why not take advantage of this?”

Here are some more comments from dentists:

  • “It seems a little non-professional, but I don’t knock those who do. I’m personally annoyed with my chiropractor’s posts, so skip over them. I imagine my patients would do the same.” (Texas dentist)
  • “Too new…not sure of impact.” (Pennsylvania orthodontist)
  • “I think all of these sites are a huge time killer!” (Alabama dentist)
  • “No online social networking personally or professionally anymore. Most of it is a waste of time. I’d rather spend the valuable time with my wife and kids.” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • “I have begun to use LinkedIn for contacts across the nation for my orofacial myology business.” (Nebraska dental hygienist)

Read more: Dentists & Social Media for Online Dental Marketing

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