More and more, I’m seeing mixed reviews about social media in the business world. Just this morning on LinkedIn, two of the top articles are: “18 Minutes a Day to Social Media Time Management” and “Stop Wasting Time on Social Media.” As a dentist, you run a business (which is a full-time job within itself), you administer dental care to patients (another full-time job), you’re constantly learning and exploring innovations in all areas of dentistry, and you still have your personal life to maintain. The bottom line is, what will social networking give you? What’s the benefit to YOU, not to your friends, fans, and followers.
Give it away, give it away, give it away now…
In the book Free by Chris Anderson, I learned how giving things away can be profitable in our digital age. Then I started Modern Dental Practice Marketing, and at least a few times a week, I post fairly lengthy articles with free information on Internet marketing for dentists. The effort has paid off tenfold. There is something to be said for this philosophy of “free” being profitable. However, the concept can obviously be taken too far. Social media allows you to invest your time, at no cost, with the hope of getting some new or returning business. But your time is a cost; it’s a valuable asset you’re investing!
The only way Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn will benefit you is if you first invest time in them. Even then, you may see no ROI (return on investment). But, being a dentist, the hours you spend treating patients and running your business are far more profitable than the time you invest in personally marketing your practice.
I want to recommend that you go with your gut in answering these questions:
- Would hiring a person at $10 an hour to manage your social media accounts 10 hours a week bring you new patients?
- Would spending your own time 10 hours a week on social media bring you a profit that outweighs the profit you’re currently making by performing dentistry?
Now, I want to make a recommendation. Stop thinking about social networking. Start thinking about what’s best for your marketing dollars; what will bring you new patients.
At MDPM, we know dentists. We know the problems and hurdles you face in your daily business, we know what attracts dental patients, and we understand your marketing struggles. You probably know that our main products are websites and blogs, and our main services are dental copywriting and search engine optimization. But do you know that our website and blog packages include setting up and maintaining Facebook and Google Places accounts?
What dentists need…
My philosophy is, all businesses need a Facebook business page, a complete Google Places page, and a blog that features weekly, well optimized blog posts. The blogs should feed to the Facebook page so that, even when you don’t have time to post on Facebook, some activity is happening there. A potential patient won’t find that your last blog post was April 2010 and your last Facebook post was February 2010. Instead, you can run your dental practice and care for your patients while we make sure your Internet presence is maintained.
Now, that said, you should understand, we do not put a lot of emphasis on Facebook or social media. These avenues have not proven profitable for dentists yet. They may be trendy, popular, and cool, but our goal has changed since high school. We’re into making money now, and that means we need our client dentists to make money. Why invest in social media if there is small chance of any return? That’s just not smart business. Instead, we focus on content management, which is important to Google. (Translation, will get you found online and win you new patients. In short, content management equals dollars in your pocket.)
Content is king…
It amazes me that some Internet marketing companies and techies still tell their clients, unique content is not necessary. It’s a lie! It’s blasphemy against Google. These quotes are FROM GOOGLE:
- “Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do.”
- “Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find ‘high-quality’ sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content…”
- “One other specific piece of guidance we’ve offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.”
In short, these few points (and many others Google offers) mean that your website needs text that is not found on any other website. Your blog needs text that is not found on any other blog. Your website and blog should be void of any content found anywhere else online. Is that clear? There is no compromise here.
So that’s why, at MDPM, we focus on composing high-quality, original content for our client dentists. We do it because Google said so.
While Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites are popular, they can also become huge time wasters. Have you ever just made an appearance at an event so that people know you were there? That is precisely what I recommend you do on Facebook. Just make an appearance.
For more information on dental marketing, dentist websites, dentist blogs, and dental content management, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing today at 972-781-8861 or 972-781-8861. We offer a free Internet presence analysis that includes reviewing your website, blog, microsites, Google rankings, social media profiles, and other important aspects of your overall Internet marketing strategy.