Is social media working for your practice? I know it can be extremely confusing to know what to post and when to post it. We can get more into that as we discuss branding later, but for now, let’s just get you in the habit of posting regularly and at the best times. Let me preface this blog with a disclaimer, this data may not be exactly accurate for your particular dental practice. Every practice is different. Every patient base is different. This blog is meant to provide some initial best practices so that you can monitor and adjust your social media plan for your specific audience as it performs. Social media is not set it and forget it.
Think of each social media platform as a different television channel. You may watch ABC, ESPN, HGTV, MTV, etc. and all for very different reasons. You get different content on different channels and in different formats. That’s social media. You will not want to engage your Facebook followers the same way you engage your Instagram audience, Twitter followers, etc. Spend some time with your team and decide on a strategy for each channel. Less is more here. Focus on becoming really good at one or two platforms versus trying to do everything. For example, you don’t need a Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Just pick a couple and do them really, really well.
Based on my experience working with dental practices across the country, these are the trends I have seen in various social media strategies. I like to encourage offices to focus on Facebook and Instagram first. If you can blog too that’s great!
Facebook is still the top dog when it comes to DAU or daily active users. The best day of the week to post is usually Thursday. Weekdays from 10am to 6pm tend to perform strongly as well. Typically, when people are on their breaks or lunch break, engagement will go up. Weekends aren’t super strong for patient engagement, but it can be a great time to work on your blog! PS: Join my Free Facebook Group here!
Instagram is a platform that a lot of dentists still don’t take advantage of. In my experience, it’s the hesitation to learn another social media platform and to find the time to hassle with the technology, but it is so worth it! Instagram is a great place to share before/after photos, photos of the office and the team, patient engagement and having fun, etc. Buy props and make a photo booth in a private corner of the office. Have a caption contest! Bottom line is to have fun and show your patients that your office has some character. This is great for your brand!
I have not really jumped on the “dental practice marketing on Pinterest” train, but don’t let that dissuade you. Some of my clients have and they enjoy it very much. As far as I am concerned, any place that you can engage with more people is good! So go for it! Saturday night is the night for Pinterest activity. Be sure to put some thought into your board layout and use smart names for your boards so they are searchable and relevant to the audience (use great keywords here). Try to save pins consistently. Pinterest is different in that as your content starts to build, more people will find you (it’s a lot like blogging). Be patient and be persistent.
In my opinion, Twitter is the most overwhelming social media platform out there. You feel like a literal needle in a haystack. Multiple haystacks at that. An ocean full of haystacks. Even so, your brand can benefit from an active Twitter handle. Twitter is great for sharing articles of curated content, photos, infographics, and links to other local businesses. Typically, Twitter activity stays pretty strong in the later hours of the day, but don’t force yourself out of family time by constantly trying to gain followers. I set three instances in my calendar every day for Twitter. Each session is 15 minutes. For that time period, I focus 100% on tweeting, re-tweeting, responding, reacting, creating and scheduling. That’s all it takes for me.
Connect with GPG by clicking on the links in the headings above. You can also get a high res copy of the Best Times to Post on Social Media infographic at the link below. Hang it up in the office and use it as a guide! I hope you find these tips helpful and that you start to use social media to document and tell your story. Build and invest in your brand and connect with people. Focus on building your tribe and watch the shift in your practice profitability. Referrals will always be your strongest new patient source. Cultivate them by engaging with your audience on social media. The juice is definitely worth the squeeze!
Video is a crucial part of any successful digital marketing plan. The plan for your dental practice needs to include a blog full of rich, original content and a video library. This influential form of media has the ability to deliver your message in a way that other types of marketing simply cannot. With the advancement of smart phones, tablets and social media, your business stands to lose valuable market share to your competitors if you fail to add a video component to your marketing mix. Here are five reasons why your dental digital marketing plan absolutely must include video:
Video Packs a Punch
Studies show that one minute of video can be just as powerful as 1.8 million written words. Because video content engages the viewer both visually and audibly, it builds a faster connection with the viewer and elicits a stronger response.
Video Can Increase Search Engine Rankings
Kissmetrics reports that video appears in 70 percent of the top 100 search results listings. By optimizing your video for search engine traffic, you stand to boost your rankings and achieve a higher SERP (search engine results page).
Video Helps Build Your Brand
Video can be a very effective way to express your practice’s values and build brand awareness. Videos are versatile and can be easily shared on social media sites, blogs and other online channels. As your videos circulate around the web, awareness of your brand will only grow stronger.
Video Creates Familiarity
Being a dentist, you’re a specialty service provider. A service provider that many people are scared of. Let’s be frank, going to the dentist is a scary and anxiety riddled situation for a huge chunk of the population. If you use video content to create familiarity with patients before ever meeting face to face, you can help to eliminate the fear. People generally trust someone they know more than a complete stranger, so it helps to become a familiar, trustworthy face to your future clients through video marketing. Also, by allowing a new patient the ability to see your office, the staff they’re going to meet when they arrive, etc., you can make even the most anxious of patients feel a bit more at ease in your chair.
Video Drives Sales
Consumers are 85 percent more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video about it, according to Invodo. Do you want better case acceptance for Invisalign, CEREC, etc.? Make videos about these solutions! Tell patients you have them and why they need them! Eventually, you’ll have patients calling your office requesting these products and solutions simply because they know what they are, how they work… and that YOU have them!
The message is clear: Video content needs to be a primary component of your dental practice’s digital marketing mix if you hope to stay relevant and competitive with today’s online consumers. Are you not happy with your new patient numbers? Interested in getting real practice growth through effective use of your marketing budget? Contact us today for a FREE Practice Marketing Audit with a dental marketing expert from GrowPracticeGrow!
SEO draws out of many areas, from keyword saturation earning backlinks to internal linking, all the way to basing an entire page around ranking your site for a single keyword. There are tons of methods for deploying effective SEO and getting ranked on those all important search engine results pages.
Here are simple, yet often not attended, techniques you should start implementing to see definitive results in your dental practice marketing.
Make It Organic, Not Processed
If you’re riddling your pages with tons of different keywords, it starts to look like it was slammed together haphazardly. To reach organic form, you want to lay down rules and be smart about each individual case. The following are good rules to follow when writing articles for anything and everything:
- Each page focuses on one (preferably long-tail) keyword. This is the focus and what you base your rules on. Other keywords should pop up naturally, and should only be leveraged if it reads completely organically.
- Mention your keyword one time in the introductory paragraph.
- Mention your keyword at least once, no more than twice, in each body paragraph.
- Mention you keyword one time in the closing statement.
This ensures readability, but still gets that page optimized.
Title Your Territory
Your targeted keywords should be in your permalinks as well as any H1 titles. If you can’t get it in one or both of these, mention it at least a couple of times in your H2 section headers. But don’t title just for the sake of titling—make sure your titles fit. If your keyword can’t sensibly fit into your titles or permalinks for any reason, you need to restructure your page so they can.
Newer Is Better
If your website offers any kind of content, you want to schedule regular content releases. It doesn’t matter in what frequency but instead that you stick with that schedule. If you can only do one content update per week, go with that. If you can manage once per day, that’s awesome.
You could even post on weekends, or on three set days in the week, or anything at all. Just don’t overwhelm yourself and get burned out—that’ll make sticking to the schedule very hard.
Remember that if you can easily implement a simple technique into your SEO, that’s worth more than you might think. Every bit counts, and despite the simple nature of these tips, you’ll be surprised how much they help.