Month: March 2012

Social Media: A Powerful Marketing Tool for Dentists

Sure, you’ve heard of Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. You may think that social media is just for keeping in touch with friends and family. While this is true, social media is also a powerful marketing tool for all types of businesses. In fact, the largest corporations in the United States use Facebook business pages and Twitter accounts to connect with consumers, market their goods, and determine customer satisfaction. Although a dental practice may not be a Fortune 500 corporation, dentists around the country benefit from utilizing social media, too.

Gaining Exposure with Social Media Users

By setting up a Facebook business page or Twitter account, you familiarize social media users with your name and services. For example, commenting from your business account on community pages and local groups will expose more people in your area to your name and your practice. As more people become familiar with your name and practice, you increase the likelihood of attracting new patients.

Managing Your Reputation

More than likely, you have read reviews on websites such as as Google Places or Yelp before you took your vehicle to a mechanic or visited an unfamiliar restaurant. Online reviews from actual customers and patients are extremely useful for consumers. However, reviews may also hurt a dentist’s reputation. One disgruntled patient can anonymously leave an unfavorable or untruthful review of your dental practice. Using social media helps combat anonymous smear campaigns and effectively manage your web reputation. A Facebook wall filled with glowing reviews of your expertise and concern for your patients will offset negative reviews on other sites. In addition, dentists have complete control of the content posted social media platforms. Read More

How To “Respond Publicly as Owner” to a Bad Google Places Review

I’m the first person to tell a dentist, if you’re going to use a consumer review service, use Google Places. Sure, you could use Yelp! or Merchant Circle, and I certainly don’t discount the SEO benefits of using multiple services. However, only Google Places allows a dentist to “respond publicly as the owner” to a negative review.

Let’s say you get a Google Alert that your name came up in a new Google Places review. Much to your surprise, the review was bad… really bad. In fact, you were called a quack! You may not even remember seeing the offended party. Perhaps the review is a fake. Regardless, you’re lucky the review was on Google Places and not Yelp! Why? Because you can respond. You have the opportunity to share your side of the story.

Warning: DO NOT GET EMOTIONAL. Instead, use facts, empathy, and kindness in your response.

Here’s a pretend review from a disgruntled individual…

“Dr. Xavier placed a crown on my tooth, but I still have a toothache, and I feel like I was greatly overcharged! When I called to ask about my bill, they wanted me to come in for another appointment! I think Dr. Xavier and his team are money hungry quacks! – In Pain from Dallas, Tx” Read More

How Dentists Can Engage Facebook

In addition to your dental website and your dental blog site, Modern Dental Practice Marketing encourages dentists to use social media —especially Facebook–for marketing. Did you know that there are over 800 million Facebook accounts? Now that a huge percentage of the population in the US has a smart phone, people are on Facebook all the time. Fortune 500 companies are using Facebook business pages to generate consumer feedback and market their products. More than likely, your local newspaper and coffee shop have a Facebook business page, too. If using Facebook for your dental practice seems like uncharted territory, the tips below are sure to help you navigate the murky waters of social media marketing.

Engage Your Fans

You want your patients to communicate on your page. The more communication and activity on your business page, the more likely it is to appear in your patients’ news feeds. Remember to post concise statuses that engage the reader. Posts that contain questions or updates that are less than 40 characters illicit a higher response from Facebook users than long, complex posts.

Avoid Posting Too Often

Posting too often on Facebook can cost you. If you post too frequently, your patients may see it as spam and “unlike” your business page. You should aim for four or five posts a week. Wednesday and Sunday posts tend to encourage more user interaction than posts on other days of the week.  If you decide to post to Facebook daily, avoid posting more than twice. Peak hours for user interaction are after eight o’clock in the evening. Posting at night tends to increase the likelihood for patient comments.

Use Facebook for Promotions and Discounts

Need patients in the dental chair? Keywords that include the word “coupons” or the dollar sign symbol attract users’ attention. For example, promote a special offer on teeth whitening or a free cosmetic consultation. If you don’t want to offer discounts or coupons because it would attract a clientele outside of your target market, offer a complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultation or a donation to Operation Smile for every teeth whitening kit you sell. Read More