Gone are the days where a simple billboard or newspaper ad would funnel a steady stream of patients to your practice. Competition is fierce and stakes are high, so dentist who effectively leverage the Digital Age are going to stand out among their peers. Fortunately, there are many successful strategies that can be easily taken without requiring any expert knowledge, only a small investment of time.
1. Community follows
The easiest way to get your practice’s name out there is to create a Facebook Business page, and then visit the business pages of other figures in the community, and click “like” to connect with their page. Engaging with other businesses gives you visibility with their followers, who often will “like” your page back as part of networking in the community. Most of all, it’s important to post fun content (i.e. pictures, videos and text posts) that people enjoy and want to see. These do not necessarily need to be related to dentistry in order to draw attention to your practice.
2. Optimizing tools
Ready to move beyond just a Facebook page? Social media tools like Marketo and HootSuite can help you schedule posts across multiple social websites, (e.g. Twitter, Instagram) and track the results. This allows you to cue up content for the next few weeks or even months, and then “fire and forget,” knowing your items will post automatically when you schedule them.
3. Paid ads with targeting
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have easy-to-use, small-business advertising services built into them. You have the option to “promote” a normal post you’ve made so that more people see it at the top of their news feed, or run advertisements on the side of the page. All of these services give you the opportunity to filter your advertisements by age, location, and demographic. This is a very powerful tool, especially when combined with insights from your optimizing tools about what kind of people are liking and sharing your content. Finally, all you have to do is set a budget, and the website will only charge up to that amount as people see the ads and engage with them.
Using these simple ideas and a portion of your weekend time, you can use these next-generation community portals to raise the profile of your practice and engage with potential patients.