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Every practice owner knows that while social media marketing is a cost-saving benefit of the digital age, it isn't always easy. Dr. Annissa Holmes has a few Facebook strategies that have continued success in her own practice. Continue below to find out more about what you can do to win patients via social media.
Before posting videos or photos of your patients on social media, make sure you're in compliance with HIPAA.
Between treating patients, supervising team members, and handling the business side of your practice, building and running a dental practice is a lot of work.
When I started building my current practice, I did everything I could think of to find a simple and effective way to promote it. I tried everything I knew of, from the Yellow Pages to coupons and more. Although my practice grew, those marketing methods were expensive, time-consuming and inefficient. I kept searching for a better way until I found myself sitting in a lecture about how local businesses could use Facebook to grow.
Although the presentation wasn’t specific to dentists, I began implementing the tactics in my practice. Over the next two years, my practice attracted so many patients through Facebook, we tripled revenue, had to hire another doctor and hygienist and outgrew our office. Our profits even allowed my husband and I to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming debt free.
I’ve since helped hundreds of other dentists build their practices using Facebook and have yet to find a dental practice that can’t grow their practice through the social-media platform. Here are three of my favorite ways to use Facebook to promote a dental practice.
1. Hold contests and promotions
One way to encourage people to increase your visibility and get people excited about your practice is to hold a contest for a free service.
You can structure your contest or promotion in many ways. For example, you give a free service to someone chosen at random who likes your page and then likes, comments on and shares your promotion post before a certain time. You could also ask people to nominate someone they believe deserves to receive a free service.
Contests and promotions offer a great opportunity to interact with people and show people why your practice is unique. In the post, let people know what your practice is about and why it’s unique. Then announce the contest or promotion. Every time someone shares your post, your story will be shown to hundreds or thousands of new people. You can even announce the contest with a video post if you want to walk people around your office or let people connect with you on a more personal level.
2. Post testimonials
It’s one thing for you to tell people how great your practice is. It’s even more effective to post testimonials from patients glowing about the incredible experience they just had in your practice. One of the best ways to do this is to ask your most outgoing and happy patients to record a short video for you to post on your social-media accounts. But first, be sure you’re within HIPAA guidelines for patient privacy.
With the video rolling, ask them how their experience was and the best part of visiting you. They’ll give you a great review and rave about how they can’t wait until their next dental appointment with you. Everyone who sees the video will then want to be that happy after their next dental appointment and will see your practice as the place to go for that feeling.
Don’t worry about professional video production. In fact, a smartphone video testimonial can be even better because it will show people it was real and taken after a real appointment. You can even do it as a live video from your phone if you prefer, which Facebook loves.
3. Communicate with Patients and Potential Patients by automating Facebook Messenger
In the past, the most effective way to communicate with patients or potential patients was through email. Whether someone signed up for a newsletter or provided their email address as a current patient, email communication allowed dentists to send one message to multiple people to offer promotions, fill last-minute cancellations, inform people of new services and more.
With email inboxes getting more and more crowded and email spam filters filtering many newsletters away from inboxes, approximately 70 to 75 percent of emails are never read, with some studies reporting up to 80 percent of marketing emails are never opened. That means only 20 to 30 percent of people who gave you their email address to communicate with them will see your message.
Today, one of the best ways to communicate with current and potential patients is through Facebook Messenger.
In addition to boasting an 80 to 85 percent open rate, Facebook Messenger allows you to engage in a wide range of activities that email doesn’t permit. For example, you can schedule appointments, allow patients to take advantage of promotional offers, and even set up guided conversations to FAQs so you can answer questions through several simple automation apps while you and your team serve patients.
Have you used Facebook to promote your practice?
Holding contests and promotions, posting testimonials, and utilizing Facebook Messenger are three of my favorite ways to use Facebook to regularly attract new patients.
What’s been your experience with using Facebook to promote your practice? What has worked best for you? What hasn’t worked?
Dr. Anissa Holmes helps dentists learn how to create profitable dental practices with inspired team members and patients who are raving fans so the dentists can have true financial and time freedom. To connect with Dr. Holmes and learn more information about these and other techniques to grow your practice, you can sign up for a 14-day trial membership to her online community, Delivering WOW U or her Facebook-specific masterclass, Facebook for Dentists.