How to use Facebook to grow your practice


One marketing expert shares what she’s learned about using this powerful social media tool.

Most dentists know they need to use social media, but some clinicians might not be sure how to best leverage this powerful tool. In this first in a series of interviews, Adam Smith, an expert in dental data analysis, spoke with Dr. Anissa Holmes, who uses Facebook to tremendous results in her practice. She told him about how to start a Facebook strategy, tips for success and how much good practices can help your business.

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to interview an inspirational person in the dental industry. Her reputation precedes her, so she probably doesn't need a whole lot by way of introduction, but for anyone who has not had the opportunity to follow or interact with Dr. Anissa Holmes, she is a Facebook marketing genius. You can find out more about her Delivering WOW programs here. If you want some awesome information, check out her Facebook group Dental Marketing and Profits for some great free information.

Anissa, how did you become the leading expert of dental Facebook marketing?

My husband and I moved to Jamaica after practicing in the United States for several years. He is an oral surgeon and I am a general dentist. He grew up in Jamaica and assured me that the quality of life was great.

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I decided to do a startup here in Jamaica after living here for a few years. Facebook was starting to get popular, so I started sharing my startup story on Facebook. Anytime we would have something involving the community I would share it on Facebook.

We started getting a lot of patients coming from our social media efforts. I had dentists reaching out to me to train them in social media marketing, so I decided to invest in myself and become an expert in this area.

I have had the chance to train under some of the most influential social media marketers in the world. Now, I train dentists on how to apply those things in their personal practices.

If I were just starting a practice, or just starting on social media, what advice would you give me?

Start by doing things that will get people interacting with your page. Share your story. Be personable. Show things that are interesting to people.

Use Facebook Live to teach people about your practice and why they should trust you as a dentist. Once you have content, you need to get people watching and interacting with your video.

Boost your videos to a group of people who are a good fit for your practice. After people have watched, you can retarget those people with an ad that gives them an offer to come to your practice. These are warm leads because they have already seen your practice in the video they watched.

When you do something in the community, show that on your page and go through the same process. If you do a really awesome case, or help someone out who needs dentistry, put that on your page. Again, get people to watch that and retarget them with your offers. This is what makes Facebook so powerful!

Can you give me an example of how this has worked for a startup that you have worked with?

I had Dr. Nunez in Texas go through one of my courses as a strategy to help grow his startup. Now, he is focusing primarily on Facebook marketing as his growth strategy. This is his first year in business and he is on track to do more than $1 million in production and is averaging more than 50 new patients per month coming from Facebook. Those are some of the amazing results that the right Facebook marketing strategy can accomplish. These types of success stories happen on a regular basis when someone is willing to apply the things that we teach about.

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What about dentists who are not comfortable with Facebook?

We love when the dentist gets involved in the Facebook marketing strategy, but we know that is not always going to be the case. Some dentists don't use Facebook, and others just want to produce as much as possible.

For people in this situation, I teach a Facebook boot camp that the staff members can attend. Rather than the doctor needing to be on Facebook, this is something that the staff can run completely independent of the doctor. They learn the strategies and do the live videos themselves. I have one doctor who is getting ready to retire who is implementing this in order to grow his practice before he sells it. It is working extremely well for him.

Editor’s note: Adam Smith got his start in the dental industry working for a company called Dental Intel. He was their first data analyst and worked with hundreds of dentists in his time there. He loved analyzing and problem solving with the dentists he was able to interact with. He bought into Oxford Dental Care and parted ways with Dental Intel, although Oxford Dental Care still uses them.

Recently, Smith had the idea to interview a number of dentists to gather insights into growing a dental practice. How does a dental practice really grow? What’s the difference between a successful practice and an unsuccessful one? What can every practice owner learn from the trailblazers who have gone before them? These are the questions Smith hoped his interviews would help answer.

As it turns out, he gleaned these answers-and more-from his interviews with successful dentists. Dental Practice Management is publishing a series of these interviews, along with some detailed actionable marketing information, over the coming months. We hope you find them instructive and helpful as you seek to make your practice more successful than ever.

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