Weekend Warrior Marketing Tip for Dentists: Fun Facebook Pictures

What are you doing this weekend? Where are you going? People want to know. Good advertising focuses on the benefit to the consumer, not how wonderful the company owner is. But Facebook turns the tables. On Facebook, it’s all about you.

Sure social networking in business should be more professional than personal, but the point of Facebook is to make you a real person. You’re interesting, right? I know you are.

If small businesses use Facebook only for commercials, promotions, and educating the public, fans will start to slip away. They’ll probably remain your fans, but they’ll block your boring content from their walls, and they’ll never visit your page. You work so hard to get Facebook fans, don’t lose them to boredom — you’re way to cool for that.

The patients who see you during the week know that you don’t wear a tie on Saturday. They know your kids get sick in the backseat of your SUV and your dog begs at the table. It’s life. Share the best of it with your patients, and they’ll love you even more. Hope is, they’ll share your post with friends (who could become your new patients).

This, dear dentist, is a fundamental truth: everyone loves pictures. So throw your camera in the car, or keep your camera phone nearby throughout the weekend. Here are some ideas and samples of  interesting pictures and comments to share on your Facebook fan page:

  • Nature: animals, flowers, local gardens, newly blooming spring trees, deep snow drifts, local lakes or mountains
    • Example: (picture of a squirrels in your backyard tree) “These little guys love to play in the trees outside my kitchen window. They remind me of Chip and Dale…but in squirrel form instead of chipmunk.” (you could link to a YouTube Chip and dale clip here)
  • Pets and kids: your own or those in your family, not strangers
    • Example: (picture of your child washing the dog) “And after this, yes, we are going to brush Fido’s teeth!”
  • Around town: restaurants, festivals,  shops, downtown view, uptown view, parks, schools, etc.
    • Example: (picture of last night’s dinner on the plate before you ate it) “Sal’s has the all-time best pizza in town. Trust me, I’m a connoisseur.”
  • Sports: your kid’s soccer game or ballet class, the local high school football game, your adult hockey team
    • Example: (picture from high school football game, cheerleaders with mascot) “What’s that smell? We skunked the Raiders last night 30-0. Go Bobcats!”
  • Funny stuff: anything non-crude and non-offensive that will spark a chuckle; can be videos you post on YouTube
    • Examples: (take a picture of this: the old Grapevine Opry in town was missing letters, so the sign read “ape in Opry”) “Now showing, King Kong in 3D!”

These things are NOT too personal. Today’s small business owners must be real people to their customers. (more…)

Get Popular: Hook Up Your Dental Practice with Google Places

Did you know that it takes a person 9 seconds to type in a Google search query? Google produces results in ~300 milliseconds. (Talk about a super highway!)  Then, the user – your potential patient – chooses the website he likes best in about 15 seconds.

These numbers are based on Google’s extensive research.

Google is the search engine of choice. It truly dominates, accounting for 65% of searches in America. Bing and Yahoo! were neck-in-neck until September of this year, when the two merged. Now Yahoo! gets its search results from Bing. Even with this, Google is the clear leader.

Obviously, your dental website must rank well on Google if Internet marketing is going to be profitable for you.

Google offers quite a few ways to help businesses succeed locally, and the more info you have on Google, the better your search engine rankings will be. The Grand Central Station for your business is Google Places. Your listing can feature an interactive map,blog or website link, business information, hours of operation, your photo gallery, your YouTube videos, and even chatty updates from you – kind of like Twitter updates.

Still don’t quite get it? Check out this commercial about Google Places.

So, how do you set up your dental practice on Google Places? Easy. You call Modern Dental Practice Marketing, and we do it for you.

Okay, if you want to do it yourself, here’s how… (more…)

MDPM Dental Blog Subscribers Contest: Win a Copy of Un Marketing

You like free stuff, we all do. So here’s the deal. Modern Dental Practice Marketing is giving away a copy of Un Marketing by Scott Stratten.

Jill has read this book and is giving it rave reviews. She says it sheds new light on the purpose and practicality of Twitter…and what modern business professional can’t use that? So Jill’s on the way to Barnes & Noble today to grab a copy (and a cup of coffee). She’s going to pick up a few extras… maybe for YOU!

If you want to win a copy of Un Marketing, sign up for the MDPM blog subscription in the right sidebar of this page. We’ll hold a drawing and contact you by email or phone if you win, then we’ll ship you the book toute suite.

Next step is to click here to become a fan of The Business Book Club with Mod Mark on Facebook. There, you’ll find other professionals reviewing, commenting, and sharing ideas about Un Marketing and other business books. Be sure to look at the Discussion pages to comment on other books and concepts. The purpose of The Business Book Club with Mod Mark is to bring together small business owners, including dentists like you, who want to network and learn more about marketing for success.

What is Mod Mark? Mod Mark is the parent company of Modern Dental Practice Marketing. It launches formally in January and will provide custom websites, marketing consulting, copywriting, and social media management to small businesses in industries outside of dentistry, as well as to non-profit organizations.

Dental Website Design: 5 Tips for Conversion

If you feel like you’ve invested money and time in Internet marketing, and you’re still waiting for the return, consider this old adage…

You can lead a horse to water, but you just can’t make him (or her) drink.

Add a little sugar, however, and a horse has an incentive to rehydrate.

IT and Internet marketing professionals often focus on traffic statistics and search engine rankings, but that’s just part of the picture. All the web traffic in the world means nothing to your dental practice unless some of those visitors become patients. So how can you entice your site visitors to schedule an appointment? It’s going to take time… someone’s time. You can do these things yourself, or you can call me at Modern Dental Practice Marketing to do them for you.

  1. Make contact and scheduling more than easy, make it a pleasure. – In plain sight, (above the fold) your website should list your phone number and email address. When a potential patient takes the initiative to call your office, someone better be there to answer the phone enthusiastically and make scheduling easy. If a potential patient emails you, someone better respond to that email with a call and a return email the same day – within minutes, if possible. You must be responsive, friendly, and helpful.
  2. Keep the content fresh. – Much of your website content shouldn’t change, but it’s important that your site look fresh all the time. The brand and message should remain a constant. However, the intriguing information should be fluid, as well as relevant. A potential patient may visit your site many times before making contact. Your regularly updated content shows that you’re interested and involved in dentistry, and in people. A dental practice blog is a great way to show patients you’re on top of your game (and search engines love blogs, as well).
  3. Hook up on other levels. – The days of impersonal Yellow Pages advertising are over. People want to be served by professionals who are genuinely interested in life. Your dental website should include a link to your Facebook, Twitter, and blog pages. By becoming your fan or subscriber, a potential patient begins the process of learning about you and your philosophy for business, your attitude, and your approach to life. You become a real person rather than an advertisement. Take this to the next level by interacting with your social media fans, or by responding to comments on your blog. Keep it real! (more…)

The Dentist’s Weekend Warrior Marketing Tip

Don’t Let a Sleeping Dog Lie

Although we all agree it is important to attract new patients to your practice, how about waking up the sleeping database of patients you already have? You worked hard to get them in the door, and you’re already provided them some of your services. But you can also let them know you are there for all their dental needs.

These patients may be in the following situations:

  • Those who have had a consultation, but never started treatment.
  • Those that abandoned their treatment mid process.
  • Entire families that just seem to have disappeared.
  • And most importantly…your tried-and-true, loyal patients who may not realize all the services you offer. There is nothing more frustrating than finding out a patient went elsewhere because she did not want to “bother you” with her husband’s sleep apnea issues or did not think you did full mouth reconstructions.

For your existing patients you see regularly, consider asking about the rest of the family. They may not be bringing their children in because they did not know you handle pediatric dentistry. Seeing a lot of kids, but you do not treat their parents? Be sure your office staff asks if they would like to make an appointment for themselves. Keep track of all the family members in your computer system so you can spot who you are not treating.

Broadcast the niche areas you work in, such as sleep apnea or cosmetic dentistry. In addition to marketing pieces, email blasts, blogs and facebook posts, have some props in your office that will provoke patients to ask about your various services. I know I can’t help but play with the Invisalign displays when I visit my dentist’s office.

Depending on your staff availability and your schedule this fall, you can start a calling campaign, even if it’s just to leave a message. Some of your patients that have gone missing may be embarrassed to come back and just need a warm invitation to get them back in the door. Be sure to remind them that now is the time to take advantage of their unused insurance benefits before the year ends.

Make it your mission to touch base with all your existing patients between now and the end of the year. Keep track of your success rate so you can see the fruit of your labors. As with all marketing efforts, include your staff in the plan and reward them as a group with lunch or some other perk for all their hard work. I am convinced that a solid 90 day outreach program will give you such positive results that you will incorporate it into your 2011 marketing plan.

–          Jill Nastasia

What Does “Customer No Service” Mean to You?

In our society today, we often hear the words “customer service” used to signify that an organization’s primary focus is on its customers.  We also have heard another term used, “customer no service.”  This term was derived to designate those organizations where customer satisfaction is not the primary focal point.  Unfortunately, success either never comes, or is very fleeting for those who find themselves in the latter group.

Why is this?  The answer is quite simple.  Without customers, no business can survive, let alone prosper.  Dentistry is no different!  Patients have many choices for dental care today.  In most metropolitan areas in the U.S., there is a dental office on every corner, so competition is fierce, and patient retention is more challenging than ever before.

So, what can we do in our practice to insure we not only attract new patients, but hang on to the ones we have?  You guessed it!  Excellent customer service!  What exactly does this mean, you might ask?  It means putting the needs of the customer (patient) first.  When that patient calls on the phone, or walks through the door of our office, they have to feel that they are number one!  No matter what else might be going on around us, our number one responsibility, regardless of what our role in the office, is to make each and every patient feel important, listened to, cared for, and appreciated.

It is not okay to get this right some of the time.  We have to get it right 100% of the time.  This starts from the way we answer our phone, and carries all the way through our clinical care and the way we handle our patients’ financial concerns.  Every patient is an individual, with unique circumstances and needs.  It is absolutely critical that we recognize this and behave accordingly at all times. (more…)

Facebook Birthday Wishes and Marketing Your Dental Practice

Facebook, ah the mysterious Facebook. It’s pretty cut and dry for personal use, but when it comes to using Facebook for business, some folks stumble…then give up.

I have a whole bag of tricks for marketing on Facebook, and I’ll throw you a freebie. This one works on personal pages, not fan pages…so it’s relevant if you have a professional/personal page with friends who are your patients.

All people LOVE to be recognized on their birthday. On your Facebook wall page, in the right column, you’ll see that all of your friends whose birthday is today are listed. Simply click on the names, and you’ll be redirected to the friends’ walls. There, you can wish them happiness on their special day and give them a one-day gift offer…

Happy Birthday! Call my office today at 888-888-8888 to claim your gift, a free teeth whitening pen. It’s my way of saying, thank you for being a friend!

Hope you’re having a fantastic birthday, because you deserve it. To celebrate, if you call my office today at 888-888-8888, we will mark your account with a $25 gift certificate toward any service. Have a great one!

Birthday wishes are wonderful, but gifts are better! Call my office today at 888-888-8888 to claim the birthday present I’ve set aside just for you. Say you received a birthday message from me on Facebook. Make some memories today!

Give it a try. And if you want more great Facebook ideas, or you need someone who knows the ropes to manage your Facebook page for you, call us at Modern Dental Practice Marketing. We’re in the business to make dentists smile!

A Sweet Event for Dentists: Halloween Candy Buy Back

It’s scary when Halloween is the dentist’s favorite holiday!

But not if said dentist is hosting a Halloween Candy Buy Back program. If you’ve not heard about this sweet deal, you’re in for a treat. The Halloween Candy Buy Back is a trick that gets kids to donate their candy to US troops overseas. For you, the dentist, it’s a delicious opportunity for free press.

Halloween Candy Buy Back works because everyone gets what they want.

You give kids what they really want…cash. Pay $1 a pound, and the kids will line up, all the way down the street and around the corner.

Parents love the event because: A) their kids don’t eat all that sugar, B) their kids get cash that they don’t have to dole out, and C) they like the thought of sending treats to the troops.

And the media goes nuts because they get a grassroots, warm and fuzzy story about people helping people.

The dental team loves the event because they get to dress up in costumes and make people happy. It’s a social thing.

And what about you? Why should you love Halloween Candy Buy Back? Cheap publicity; an opportunity to make American troops smile. It’s that simple.

It really is pretty simple. Dr. Chris Kammer, the inventor of Halloween Candy Buy Back, established a website where participating dentists can register for hosting the event. You’ll get free instructions, free ideas, and free teleseminars with how-to info.

Does it work? Yes. Visit http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/photo-gallery.html.

Is it too late to get started? No! Publicity should begin the week before Halloween, so you can start planning now!

If you like the idea of hosting community events, but you don’t know how to get involved, or you and your team don’t have time to do all the planning that will make an event successful, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing. We offer consulting and event planning services for our clients. Why? Because we’re in the business to make dentists smile!

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