Marketing Solutions for Dentists and Teams

Archive for May 2009

So Why Aren’t More Dentists On Facebook?

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Hint, hint… Once the Yellow Pages® is on board with Facebook®, that’s another good sign it’s safe for dental practices to sign up too.

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This does make me rethink my previous posts in which I said the internet is drowning phone book advertising… perhaps Yellow Pages® will live on, except on Facebook® instead of big tangible books.  Note this clipping is from the Canadian Yellow Pages®.

What are your thoughts?

Dental Marketing Tip Of The Day

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What does your online marketing say about you? Does it say, “I’ve got URLs all over the web- but none of them has any content worth reading,”  or does it say, “You may need to skip over a few links above us on Google’s search page, however once you reach us, you’ll find we are a better fit for you”.RitaZPhotoImage2

Recently, I ran across a “pioneer marketing” dental practice who hopped on the social media and online marketing bandwagon.  They joined Facebook (a few months ago, and hadn’t visited their page again since).  The practice had many website and blog articles and postings, most of which were filled with blatant key-word text.  The majority of their content was obviously duplicated and re-engineered data plastered all over dozens of sites.  The goal was likely to be found, however at what consequence?

Patients looking for “just any dentist” may not care if you are out to win maximum online exposure.  However, discerning, knowledgeable consumers looking for a more genuine dentist will likely look for online material representative of their ideal dentist.

So, the tip of the day is ensure your marketing matches your brand.  If you are a relationship-focused practice, be sure your marketing (articles, content, website, postings, Facebook account, etc…) looks like you pay attention to it.  Consider the cost of sloppy, rushed marketing before you allow someone to talk you into quantity over quality.

Social Media Marketing in Dentistry – An Extension of Referral Marketing

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It’s all about relationships.  The most successful dentists and teams know that patient relations are paramount when it comes to referrals and good case acceptance.  For years, I’ve touted the fact that referral marketing is the best way to market a practice.  Today, despite all the improvements in technology and all the wonderful social media outlets, referral marketing is still king…RitaZPhotoImage2

So why then would I even recommend social media marketing for dentists, when I know how great word-of-mouth and referral marketing performs?  Social media could simply be seen as an extension of referral marketing.  In other words, if a practice is already exercising excellent patient care, communication and follow up, they are more than likely receiving a great number of referrals. It is just this type of practice that could find social media community a successful extension of their existing relationship-focused marketing philosophy.

To clarify, social media is not a good tool for every practice.  For a practice that is focused on “quantity”, has less than ideal chair-side skills and finds relationship-building an unnecessary toil, social media would not likely be beneficial.  Some things never change… referral and word-of-mouth marketing are still the most important foundation of any successful practice.  Likewise, good relationship skills are a must-have in order for social media tools to be beneficial for a practice.

Good people skills are beneficial in person and online.  Practices who struggle with patient relations in person, may find more problems than they bargain for in online communities… Today, it is more important than ever for teams and practices to assess their patient relation skills- before any type of marketing strategies or tools are implemented.

Again, to clarify, social media is not an end-all marketing solution for everyone.  Begin internally first, assess your client care, communication and case acceptance.  Then determine if it is a natural and authentic extension of yourself, and your practice, to participate in social media.  If you genuinely care, love what you do and it shows, patients will trust and believe in you- whether in person or online.

What are your thoughts?

Social Media Marketing for Dentistry – Don’t Knock It Until You Try It

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While most of us are aware of the value of being found on the internet, many marketers and dental practices are still struggling with the thought of social media.  To join and participate-or not-that is the question.  It is baffling to hear the number of consultants and dentists bashing social media entirely.  This could be a risky prospect… imagine a world with no yellow pages, with no unsolicited (junk) mail and no newspaper advertisements.  What if the only option in the future was online marketing? If that were the case, wouldn’t you want as much positive content about yourself online as possible? RitaZPhotoImage2

In the future, if “he with the most current, relevant and interesting online content” wins in search, don’t you want to be found?  If yes, then it is necessary to start now.  It is important to begin building a name for yourself online, including participating in social media.  For example, if you have a stagnant brochure-ware website, and your competitor is an active blogger and participates in numerous social media outlets- guess what… they will likely be found time and again before you.

Be open and try social media.  Treat your participation in online groups with the same common sense as you would any other social situation.  In other words, don’t post anything in writing that you don’t want to come back and haunt you.  Don’t treat others like they are numbers- be kind and sociable.  People want to be treated well online, just as they do in person. Be willing to converse, be friendly and get to know about others- hence the name “social” media.  If you think it is all a complete waste of time, then it probably will be for you.

The old saying “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it” applies to social media as well.  Those who participate with others online, expand their networks and spend time interacting with people they enjoy will get a completely different perspective on the direction marketing is moving toward.  So, before deciding against social media entirely, reconsider what you really have to lose or gain from it.

What’s your opinion?