Sedation dentists help patients other dentists cannot. Those people who swore they'd never set foot in a dentist's office? Sedation can change their mind. Having a unique skill set is one way to gain a leg-up in the world of dentistry. But it's not the only way. What else can you do to help you stay ahead of the game?
Social media is one of the most dramatic and innovative recent changes in advertising. We live in an exponentially more technological world, and having an in-demand, unique skill set is only part of the battle. A practice can be utterly outstanding with brilliant, charismatic staff – but this may go unnoticed if they don't stay current with their advertising techniques. It is vital for a practice to be able to distinguish itself amidst the thick cloud of internet babble.
For better or worse, people want their questions answered instantaneously. And thanks to Google, it usually happens. Phonebooks are dwindling. Newspapers are shrinking. Sad? Possibly. However, that does not mean your practice cannot benefit from this cultural shift.
So how do you make social media work for you? Want to replace your confusion, indifference or even distaste towards social media with thorough, effective understanding? Read on and we will tell you exactly how.
A tweet in the hand is worth two in the bush
For starters, here's a question: Did ravens really deliver messages? Or is that just a myth? While sitting in a restaurant, two friends pondered this question. As though second nature, one friend pulled out the smart phone in her pocket. Between sandwich bites she Googled their question. (The answer? They did not. Just pigeons.)
Many people will use Google for directions, reviews, shopping and research. Dental care is certainly not exempt. How good is that restaurant across town? How do I get to the library? Give me a list of dentists in my area. If your practice doesn’t pop up in their list of results, chances are they probably won't call you.
Google and other search engines use algorithms to rank businesses in their search results. No one knows exactly how these algorithms work, but we do know social media presence will affect a business' ranking. This means if you’re not on social media, a practice that IS on social media will be ranked higher on Google.
You don't have to continue losing patients this way. Just go for it. Tweet away. Send out fun dental facts and practice news. Follow other dentistry Twitters and re-tweet interesting tidbits they find.
If you do this consistently enough, your practice will be more likely to show up in a potential patient’s results. Create a practice Facebook. Post staff photos and bios. Post your practice’s history, descriptions and statements. Post dentistry news. Post tooth cartoons.
Riding on virtual coattails – a big NO.
As for what not to do? Have you ever heard the term “internet famous”? When a Facebook page has a vast number of likes or followers, other businesses often leave advertisement-like posts on these popular pages, rather than legitimate questions or comments. This is not a good idea.
Instead, study the common traits of successful Twitters and business Facebook pages. Pay attention to the types of posts they make and how their followers respond. How do they engage their followers? Do they post interesting content and provide a vivid, informative representation of their practice? Try to implement the same techniques into your own business page.
Two birds with one stone.
The rapidly expanding world of social media can be daunting. However, being affected by current technology, whether positively or negatively, is inevitable. It may lack the charm or nostalgia of the good old newspaper, but love it or hate it, you can leverage social media and make it work for YOU. You can both amp up your visibility and provide yourself a corner of the internet to vividly represent your practice, making it more likely potential patients will book an appointment.