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.

Internet Dental Marketing With Google Plus (Video)

Dental practice marketing with Google PlusSocial media is here to stay. But it’s not entirely clear yet whether Google Plus is useful for internet dental marketing.

“I signed up but haven’t done anything further with it,” said a Michigan dental office worker.

“What is Google Plus?” asked a Georgia dentist.

We conducted a survey asking dentists if they use Google Plus.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss what dentist are saying about using Google Plus for their online dental marketing:

In our survey, 36% of dentists said they have Google Plus profiles, but 48% do not. The remaining 16% are planning on using Google Plus at some point in the near future.

A previous Wealthy Dentist survey found that nine out of ten dentists are on Facebook.

Google might be the world’s biggest search engine, but their social media domination is not yet complete — at least not when compared with Facebook.

I like Google Plus myself, but I’m a tech guy who’s fascinated by search engine optimization. I can understand why some dentists might be hesitant” said Jim Du Molin, a former dental marketing consultant and Chief Editor of TheWealthyDentist.com.

“I haven’t done a thing with Google Plus since I got on,” said a Connecticut orthodontist.

“I am on Google Plus. It doesn’t seem to have any impact as of yet, though. Not as many people are using it as Facebook,” said an Oregon dentist.

I don’t trust Google! Their products are useful. However, I think the computer geeks are disabling security systems, as well as collecting and selling way more personal information than they want us to know,” said a New Mexico dentist.

Could Google Plus interfere with your ability to monitor your own website results?” asked a general dentist.

Google offers so many services that it can get confusing. Google Plus is for social networking, while Google Webmaster Tools let you monitor your website traffic.

Using one set of Google tools won’t interfere with using another set. In fact, Google has so many useful web tools, that you just might find yourself using more of them!

Who Does the Social Media Marketing for Your Dental Practice?

Dental-office-front-desk-teamSocial media is now an established part of our culture. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and blogging have proven to be effective dental marketing channels.

But it takes time to manage the accounts and interact on a regular basis.

Dentists need to spend their time treating patients. They didn’t invest years into earning dental credentials just to post updates on Facebook every day!

We wondered how dentists who are using social media marketing are getting it done, so we asked a few questions about how dentists delegate social media marketing for their practice.

As it turns out, half of our dentists (50%) involve front desk staff in their social media marketing.

Facebook is delegated the most, followed by Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.

None of our respondents involve their front desk staff in blogging for their practice.

One-quarter of our respondents consider social media skills important enough to make them a requirement for a front desk position.

Another 25% of dentists think it would be nice for front desk personnel to have social media skills, but they don’t ask about them in interviews, and they’re not job requirements.

Dental marketing with social media

One Ohio prosthodontist thinks social media marketing is important enough to go beyond delegating it to the front desk: “Hiring an in-office Marketing Coordinator for medium and large offices is a must these days! We hired one 3 months ago and it has been GREAT! The front desk and other employees are now able to completely focus on their jobs and the marketing coordinator develops and maintains our office’s social media marketing and most of our other forms of marketing.”

The lesson here is that social media can be a valuable dental marketing tool. However, it requires planning and resources to be successful.

For small practices with front desk staff that already handles multiple tasks, this can be a challenge. But the payoffs in terms of new patients can be worth the effort.

How can small dental practices manage social media marketing?

Current and potential patients are already gathering on these social media platforms, and sharing ideas, opinions, photos and videos.

Dental practices that successfully tap into this public interchange can raise their visibility, attract new patients and find out about new trends.

Rather than think of social media as another advertising channel, use it for visibility — involve your practice in local community conversations.

Choose a few local organizations, restaurants or small businesses you like, then post comments or questions about their upcoming events. Congratulate neighbors on their successes, contribute an inspiring quote, or share an adorable picture — with permission, of course!

Contrary to what many social media ‘experts’ preach, you don’t have to update your accounts every day – or even every week.

If you can only manage a monthly update, that’s okay. People will understand that you’re busy taking care of your patients’ teeth!

Facebook Dental Marketing: What Dentists Think (video)

Facebook dental marketing dentist survey videoFacebook dental marketing may be picking up steam, but many dentists still don’t know how to use social media for internet dental marketing.

In this survey, two out of three of dentists report having a Facebook business page, while only one-third do not.

“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.”

Check out Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discussing the topic of social media marketing in this short video…

What are your thoughts on using Facebook for dental practice marketing?

Dental Marketing: Pinterest Seeing More Health-Related Searches

Dental Marketing: Pinterest Seeing More Health-Related Searches: The Wealthy Dentist on PinterestSocial media site Pinterest is seeing more health-related searches than it has since it launched in March 2010, according to Lisa Israel, a spokeswoman for Pinterest.

Depending on your dental patient demographic, Pinterest is becoming a social media site that shouldn’t be ignored in your 2013 dental marketing plan.

Pinterest has quickly become the 3rd most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter.

Women ages 25 – 34 use Pinterest with most averaging 1 hour and 17 minutes per visit and shoppers referred by Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase than visitors arriving at a website by other sources. Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. A call-to-action pin sees an 80% increase in engagement. (Source: Mashable)

Pinterest generates over 4 times as much revenue per click as Twitter and 27% more revenue per click than Facebook. (Source: Converto)

Dental photographs have always been indispensable in maximum case acceptance. Teeth whitening and braces are the most popular dental “pins” on Pinterest following the trend for users to save (or pin) their self-improvement plans with before and after photographs.

Think about Pinterest as more of an online “to-do” or “want” list in images that link to the websites where the images are found. This is the traffic power behind using Pinterest. Pinterest users “scrapbook” their ideas, hobbies, passions, wants, needs, and inspiration with the world when they “pin” images to their virtual boards.

Members are able to follow each other and comment, just like other social media platforms. They also share their boards with each other.

Here are 7 ways a dental practice can use Pinterest for dental marketing –

1. Share images of your dental practice, both inside and out.

2. Share your before and after photos from those dental patients who have given permission to share their images online.  Use ideas from your case acceptance presentations.

3. Encourage your dental patients to share their images on your boards. Consider ideas like “My dental patients graduating this year” and invite them to post their graduation photos with their beautiful smiles.

4. Share new dental equipment.

5. Even share the things you enjoy and you may find many patients who share your passions for trout fishing, race cars, or golf.

6. If you have dental patients who are getting married, ask them to share a couple of their wedding photographs.

7. Women are even planning their weddings on Pinterest. Think of the services you can offer a prospective bride that she may want to include on her wedding planning boards for things she wants to get done before the big day.

Dentists must be present in more places online, and recognize that dental patients increasingly want to engage in social media, regardless of the platform.

Broadening your dental marketing to include image boards on Pinterest is a simple new way to showcase your dental practice in a positive light. To see The Wealthy Dentist dental marketing ideas on Pinterest, visit The Wealthy Dentist’s Pinterest Page for more details.

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