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Social media and the exploitation of this rather new marketing medium is a "hot topic" in dentistry these days. So much so, there are new service providers popping up all over the place. There are even whole seminar events being promoted, just on the topic of social media marketing.
Social media (and the exploitation of it for the purposes of promoting a dental practice) is a viable new marketing vehicle. But please, don't let it all confuse you. Let's explore the most common possibilities.
This is the very first, quickest benefit to a dental office. Imagine for a moment that you already have a great website with great optimization. Your website link comes up on the first page of almost any Google search for almost any key word or phrase related to dentistry in your area. Now imagine your blog, your Facebook account, your Twitter account, and your YouTube channel are all active and populated say once a month with new content. BOOM! Now, instead of having just your website link show up once in a Google search, your practice may have three or four of the top ten positions! Clearly, the biggest short-term advantage of building and managing your social media presence is going to come from more dominant search engine positions.
To put it into perspective, NPI charges our SEO clients a $100/month premium to set up and manage their social media on an ongoing basis. Exploiting social media for this benefit does not require a class, a course, a book, or a seminar. If you are like most dentists, you just want the benefit without the overhead of learning everything yourself. That's why the vast majority of our SEO clients have us build and manage their social media presence.
If you haven't heard already, you can build ads for Facebook and promote dental services to the other Facebook users in and around your dental practice. These are very simple to set up on your own. You do not need a marketing firm or computer expert to set up a Facebook ad. If you are already a Facebook user, just go to your account and click the "create ad" link. The Facebook tutorial is robust and easy to follow. We can give you tips on what to promote there, but this is one of those "do it yourself" projects that really requires very little outside assistance. It works identical to a pay per click campaign. You set your price, set your daily budget, place your ad, and hope people click the ad and go to your website to learn more. Very simple.
Imagine it is noon on a workday and your 2:30 patient cancels their one-hour appointment. If you have Facebook & Twitter followers, you can give them a quick note to call if they would like to take that 2:30 opening! That would be an incredibly efficient way to reach out, not only to those who are connected directly to your social media account – but you would be reaching out to everyone connected to them as well!
Key point: With this last benefit, you need followers. The easiest way to gain volumes of people who "like" your practice or who follow your "tweets" is to simply put an iPad at the front desk or in each operatory and ask your patients to "friend you" or "follow" your tweets as they exit your practice. Some of your patients will, and some of your patients won't. That is ok. Ultimately, in a year or so, you'll have 500 people who like you or follow you. Those 500 people will be connected to 50 people each. Your reach at that point is 25,000 people, most of whom are geographically desirable as marketing targets! Does it take time? Sure. Is it worth it? Eventually, yes, it will be.
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New Patients, Inc. is a full service marketing company that works exclusively with dentists to market their dental practices. Our dental marketing services include: print media marketing, direct mail marketing, dental website design, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), internet marketing, responsive website design, Internet marketing, online marketing, Social Media Marketing (Google+, Facebook, Blog, YouTube & Twitter), radio advertising, TV marketing, dental web video marketing, dental marketing plans for dentists and radio advertising. Our online services have expanded to include LocalMed Online Scheduling (LocalMed Connect) and Dental Practice Online Review Generator & Manager (NPI Crusader).