Tag Archives: Facebook

Blog posts tagged with Facebook

Why you should never be post dental staff on social media

Why you should NEVER only post dental ‘stuff’ on social media

I see many dental practice social media accounts which only focus on dentistry. On the face of it this seems a quite normal and logical thing to do, you are a dental practice, you are there to help the local people with their dental health and therefore wish to only talk about dentistry on your social media streams.

However, you are wrong in this assumption!

Social media is a communication tool, it’s a mechanism to communicate with PEOPLE.

People with emotions.

People with feelings.

People who want to interact with a person.

Remember,

“We buy from people we like and we like people that we are like!”

Just imagine you get into a conversation with someone over a relaxing drink in the pub one evening, you just go straight in and start talking about dentistry. No small talk, no humanity to what you are saying, no interaction or engagement with them.

You ware just talking AT them, not WITH them.

It would seem quite unnatural to do this wouldn’t it? You may be even labelled as a bore (oh, heaven forbid!)

Social media is the same, in fact the clue is in the title, it’s SOCIAL media.

So we’ve looked at the human side of things, now let’s look at the empirical and evidence based marketing side of things.

Business relationships grow through three distinct stages [1].

  1. Actor bonds. These are bonds between the actors in any communication, the bonds develop as the communication moves along its natural path.
  2. Activity links. Once the actors in the relationship have connected and trust has been developed then the potential customer will engage in some form of activity. This could often be reading a blog post, reading an article, liking a Facebook page or perhaps visiting your website to read your dental health blog, it could even be an activity which involves the potential patient looking at another resource which you have shared.
  3. Resource ties. This is the final stage in the relationship building process. These are where a potential customer commits a definite resource to you, this will often be money and will almost always include time.

You cannot, I repeat CAN NOT bypass this process.

Think about it from a social point of view, let’s say I was single and saw a girl in a bar that I fancied, I may move over to her and we’d begin chatting. The actor bonds would develop. As the conversation went on she may engage in an activity with me like allowing me to buy her a drink (Activity link). Once this was done she may then decide to come out for dinner with me and commit a resource of money and time (resource ties).

slapTrying to skip this process and go from the first glance to going out for dinner with someone may result in a slap in the face!

Trying to skip this process in your marketing may also result in a virtual slap in the face with your potential patients leaving your social media stream.

Dentistry is about trust and relationships, it’s about helping people in the long-term, not short transactional relationships with someone buys something and then disappears out of the shop never to be seen again. You want to have long-term relationships where you can help look after your patients and so this relationship marketing approach is the ONLY approach you should be using.

This relationship marketing approach becomes impossible if you only talk about dentistry.

It becomes impossible to talk with someone on a human level.

It becomes impossible to engage with people at a human level, it therefore becomes impossible to use social media effectively!

Examples of non-dental posts in the actor bonds category which are really great for beginning this relationship building process are things like:

  • Celebrations of birthdays at the practice
  • Team members getting married.
  • Patients sending in testimonials and reviews.
  • Sharing using images and content from other places on Facebook to create engagement.
  • Talking about films and books that you like.
  • Talking about things you like to do at the weekend.
  • Sharing general images which people like such as motivational images or scenes of beautiful landscapes, these are great ways to invite comments and get people to engage.

So the simple rule is this…

Stop selling and start engaging!

And lastly, don’t be a dental bore, you may just get a ‘virtual’ slap in the face…

[1] Hakansson, H. & I. Snehota, Eds. (1995) “Developing Relationships in Business Networks” International Thomson Business Press.

Why are reviews so important

Why are reviews so important?

I’ve seen a bit of talk recently on various forums about reviews, especially on Facebook and Google. Typical criticism of reviews comes in the form of:

  • Why should I care about reviews? I know that I am good and I don’t need other people to tell me.
  • Seeking out multiple reviews is narcissistic in the extreme.
  • I’m not bothered about reviews, I have a real life which doesn’t exist on social media.

I absolutely understand these criticisms looking for reviews, we should absolutely be confident in our own abilities without needing other people to tell us… However that is missing the point of reviews altogether, especially as they often appear in the search results!

In order to understand this we need to understand a little about the theory of professional relationships.

Dentistry falls into the category of high credence professions. These are professions that provide a product or service with:

“…qualities that cannot be observed by the consumer after purchase, making it difficult to assess its utility.”

The ultimate high credence profession is a surgeon, not only is it often difficult to tell whether a surgical procedure was good or not, as a consumer of that service one is also usually asleep… This brings about certain issues with trust!

Dentistry has similar issues, for example a typical patient would not know if a root treatment had been done well or not, similarly, even if a patient did assess that the dental treatment wasn’t quite good enough the dentist always has the ability to justify what they do by quoting clinical knowledge which the consumer (patient) will almost certainly be unable to counteract.

This puts the provider of high credence services in a very strong position, conversely consumers of these services can feel as though they are in a weak position.

So what does this mean for a dentist?

It means that your primary source of marketing should be about building trust with patients. After that the next focus should be about reducing risk… As a sidenote, this is why I dislike the concept of sales within dentistry, this goes against the basic principle of high credence relationship marketing!

Building trust and reducing risk helps to overcome the inevitably weak position that new patients will feel in when they visit a new dentist for the first time.

So if a patient cannot assess your services directly, how do they?

Because a patient cannot identify good quality dentistry from bad quality dentistry (on the whole) they will look for extrinsic clues, such as:

  • Your surgery decor. Is it clean, is it well presented, is it modern, is a professional, is it up-to-date?
  • How you present yourself. Are you professional, do you explain yourself well, do you take time?
  • Your team. Are they knowledgeable or do they transfer to other people all the time, are they responsive, are they well presented, do they give good customer service?
  • Your communication. Is it easy to read, is it relevant to the patient, is it helpful?
  • What other people say. Do other people like you, are other people happy with your services? These will often be seen by Google my business or on online review sites. This is digital word-of-mouth marketing and social proof!

And the final point is where reviews fit in, as business owners they form a vital part of your strategy to reduce risk and increase trust for new patients… Without reviews other people have no way of knowing what other people think of you, and therefore have limited ways to assess your clinical dentistry. Without this information it also limits their buying decisions and the power to decide that they want to come and see you, all deep psychological stuff!

These extrinsic clues are what the patient will use to determine your dentistry! Perhaps it shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Get over it!

Here are a few ways that you can maximise your use of reviews.

Google and the search engines are becomingly increasingly good at local search results and showing customer reviews. Your dental practice will almost certainly be a local business on Google, even if you do not put it there yourself patients may be giving you good reviews… Or they may be giving you bad reviews!

Sites like yelp even allow patients to create an account for you and leave a review without you knowing anything about it unless you monitor the Internet.

Dealing with negative reviews

If you are unfortunate to get a couple of negative reviews, here is how I recommend you deal with them.

dealing with dental practice negative reviews

How to deal with dental practice negative reviews

More more dental practices are now seeking reviews on social media, in itself this is a great thing to do as it builds trust by demonstrating social proof. However, we all know that not every single customer is always going to be perfectly happy every single time, it’s inevitable that we are going to have a negative review at some point…

But how do we deal with that? Being in the medical profession present certain problems for a dentist and dental practice when dealing with negative reviews on Facebook or Google, in this short video I will give you a simple tip on how to answer these reviews which should keep you legally safe and still answer that review.

If you would like me to send you the text of how to respond to review then please enter your e-mail address in this little form and send it to.

How to Add Facebook Live Chat to Your Website

I’ve spoken before about the importance of using a live chat on your website, as with anything that works well Facebook is usually not long to adopt something!

Facebook Live chat is now available (beta), here’s how to install it.

Step 1: Go to the settings of your Facebook page

Step 2: click on Messenger platform

Step 3: Scroll down until you see the customer chat plug-in

Step 4: Click on the plug-in setup button

Step 5: Customise your greeting

Step 6: Customise the colours and how you want the response time to display

I’ve changed the colours here to match my website.

Step 7: Add in the domains where you are going to display your chat plug in and then copy the code

Step 8: Place the code directly after the opening <body> tag on each page where you want the plug-in to appear

And voilà, you now have a live chat facility on your website which links directly into your Facebook page.

I fully accept the you may not have access to your website to do this, but setting up the widget beforehand, then copying and sending the code to your designer should be quite a simple process.

Further customisation of the Customer chat facility can be made, further details are in the developers section of Facebook.

Let me know how you get on

[VIDEO] Attracting traffic to your dental practice website – Part 2

I’ve just completed the monthly dental marketing club live stream on Facebook, this month we looked at the 2nd part of search optimisation and getting your dental practice website found.

The video is just under an hour long  and goes through how to optimise a website to be found on Google.

This video looks at Website Traffic Optimisation (part 2), and includes using:

Social media to attract more traffic to your site.
Email to attract more traffic to your site.
Paid advertising on Facebook and Google (PPC) to attract more traffic to your site.

Optimising for traffic is an important part of your online marketing strategy, next month we will be looking at conversion optimisation, and equally important aspect to take into account.

The dental marketing club is free to join on Facebook, the live streams happen on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 1 PM UK local time. The next live stream, looking at conversion optimisation is on Thursday 8th of February 2018.

Tracking Your Paid Advertising (PPC)

It’s one thing to spend lots of money on paid advertising on either Google or Facebook, it’s another thing to know if these things are working or not.

Tracking is extremely important, here’s an example.

A client wanted to run an advert campaign on Facebook and Google but didn’t know which one would be more successful, they wanted to run campaigns for dental implants and orthodontics.

We set up both Google and Facebook ad campaign and directed visitors to the relevant pages on the client’s website.

Running paid advertising (PPC) in itself is just ‘presence optimisation‘, in other words getting more people to the website. What’s also important is ‘conversion optimisation’, in other words getting more people to convert… And it is this that we monitored.

The campaign monitoring is set up in two halves:

  1. The advert itself on either Facebook or Google Adwords pushes campaign data into Google analytics by using Source, Medium and Campaign tracking.
  2. Google analytics has goals set up which are triggered via these campaigns.

On the client’s website they had 3 conversion mechanisms that we were tracking:

  1. A request an appointment form, we know that a new patient appointment is £55 so we can allocate this amount each time the form is triggered.
  2. A discounted dental health check available online only, we know that this appointment is worth £25 so we can allocate this amount each time this form is triggered.
  3. A free consultation, we know that patients that book for these tend to go ahead so we allocated an arbitrary £200 each time this form was triggered.

Each time the form is filled in it bounces the user off to a ‘thank you’ page, this thank you page is then set up in Google analytics as a goal with the necessary amount allocated against it.

Because the adverts are sending through data such as ‘Facebook’ or ‘Adwords’ and ‘Implants’ or ‘Ortho’ This can then be pulled out as a Google analytics report and we can see visitor data for each of these.

Facebook versus Google PPC

 

Because Google analytics can then multiply the number of times the goal was triggered for each campaign and source we can then extrapolate the value of each and compare this to how much we have paid.

Here’s what we found for the past 30 days:

Campaign results of Facebook and Google PPC

The question now is, what would you do with these results?

Here’s a summary of how the process work.

added tracking codes to adwords cmapigns--utm_source=Adwords&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Implants-utm_source=Adwords&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Ortho (1)

Create, Curate, Syndicate and Aggregate – The Rules of Online Marketing

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s funny how these things turn out sometimes, I was at a dentistry shown last year having a very interesting discussion with a colleague that runs a dental consultancy. We were talking about what I specifically did for dental practices with their communications.

Out of nowhere I simply replied “Well I, Create, Curate, Syndicate and Aggregate”

And that has now become my golden rule of online marketing… It should become yours also!

Modern search engine optimisation focuses much less on keywords we want to be found for, where we rank in Google search results or how many people visited the website. These may be important metrics but the real focus is on how many people we can help. Period!

The more people we help, the more people will talk about us. This works in real life as well as online. If more people talk about you online and share your information then more people will visit your website, Google will notice those people talking about you and give you a boost up the search results.

Let’s look at each of the Create, Curate, Syndicate and Aggregate areas individually.

Content Creation

This is where you use your experience as a dentist to create unique and individual content. It’s an opportunity to talk about what is important to you and what you value most. It’s the time where you can show what you are interested in and what you believe in and how you believe you can help people solve their dental problems.

You could consider creating content for a free download on your website (check out my free guide also), you could create blog posts (such as this one) or do micro-updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google plus, all designed to hand out useful, free and relevant dental health advice.

Creating your own unique content sets you up as a person that genuinely cares in the local area, if people like what you say they will share it which results in more people visiting your website.

Content Curation.

Curating content is about understanding what problems your patients are trying to solve and then directing them to other people’s uniquely created content. You may see articles written on news websites, columns written in online magazines or other non-competing dental practice websites.

Sharing other people’s content again shows that you genuinely care about the people in the local area. It builds trust as it demonstrates that you want to help solve their problems and that making money is not your primary concern!

Yes, dare to share content that you did not create! (That means sharing with full attribution, NOT copying to your website and claiming as your own!)

Content Syndication.

SImage courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Syndication means taking one piece of original digital content and syndicating it across various media. This is where online marketing really comes into its own. Consider this blog post, this blog post is going to be shared on:

  • My own dental marketing website.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google plus
  • Linked in
  • 4 different e-mail databases
  • RSS feed readers

Syndication using modern technology such as Feed BurnerSocial Media Borg or Hootsuite allows you to rapidly reach the maximum number of people as quickly and simply as possible.

The more people you reach, the more likelihood there is of them sharing your unique content which drives more traffic to your website.

Content Aggregation.

This is the process by which we pull in multiple streams of information into one easy to read place. Take a look at the bottom of my website and you will see Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all if aggregated into one place.

Using software allows us to aggregate multiple streams into one, for example, you could take your original content that you have created, and aggregate it with your content that you have curated, placing all of it onto twitter.

Aggregating content from multiple places, particularly if you automate the process, allows you to keep a very active presence on the Internet.

People often comment that I always seem to be online on Facebook and Twitter… I do spend a lot of time online to be honest, but I use software to aggregate content from around the Internet, I then use software to syndicate that content which has been curated by others or created by me.

Taking time to create your own content, curate content from others, aggregate all of that content into a single stream and then syndicate it and round the Internet has become the hallmark of a successful Internet marketer, it’s also the hallmark of many of my dental practice clients.

Will it also be your hallmark of success?

 

Buy or sell

How to Sell Your Services – REALLY?

I was recently approached by a prospective new client who said something along the lines of:

“Mark, I’m running a course for dentists in three months time… Can you help with your marketing to fill it for me?”

Now equally, this could have been any one of the many dental services on offer, or even something completely different.

I asked what they had in mind for the marketing? They responded with ‘a series of e-mails, Facebook messages, Twitter tweets and the like.’

Okay,  so essentially they want to sell their course using online marketing.

But wait.

Who do we send those e-mails to?

Who is going to see those social media messages on Facebook or Twitter?

Aha, now we get to the nitty-gritty of the problem. We either have to use an existing e-mail database or buy one, and we have to pay for messages on Facebook or Twitter as we don’t have a particularly good Facebook following.

And if we suddenly start bombarding people that have never heard of us before with marketing messages trying to sell a new course, what does that do to the amount of trust they have in us?

Marketing in this style is what gives social media and e-mail a bad name. People say they’re bombarded with messages they hate and perceive as spam… And to be honest, that’s exactly what many messages are!

An alternative way of marketing – Switching from hate to love

Hate love switch

Switching the style of marketing we use can have an enormous impact, but it’s not a quick fix and you can’t suddenly think “Hey, I want to sell a course how can we fill it?”

The secret starts months possibly years earlier than the course/service you want to ‘sell’.

Marketing isn’t something you do… It’s something you are!

Here is a simple step-by-step list of how you can go about selling a course/service with no spam and without upsetting people:

  1. Identify the problem your target audience is trying to solve. DO NOT MISS THIS OUT! What is their problem? Is it that they want more confidence? Are they looking for more time? Are they looking for more money? Are they looking for a new partner? People go about solving these problems in a huge variety of ways, from looking for a new dance class to having teeth whitening… All to solve the same problem! Once you have identified the problem that people are trying to solve you can move on.
  2. Create a social media channel focused around solving this problem.
  3. Create a free guide focused around solving this problem and put it on your website in exchange for an e-mail address.
  4. Begin handing out useful, free and relevant advice helping these people solve this unique problem. Put that advice on your social media channel and write blog posts about it.
  5. Do this consistently and continuously all of the time. It should be your raison d’être. Hand out useful, free and relevant advice which helps that person go some way to solving their problem.

Doing this increases trust and reduces risk which means that when you have a specific service to sell, such as a course, you have an engaged audience which trusts you (after all, you’ve been giving them free information for ages now) and sees you as a low risk option (after all, you been giving them free advice and asked for nothing back).

With this engaged audience, whose problems you understand and have demonstrated you are an expert in it’s a logical and simple step to suggest that they take action to solve their problem with you.

And that’s how you use e-mail and social media to sell your course or service. It takes time to build and grow, but once it does it becomes an unstoppable machine which works 24/7, the best time to start is always now…

 

What Seems to Be Working Best to Attract New Patients at the Moment?

Female doctor consulting patientWorking with many dental practices throughout the UK helping them reach the local people is a great privilege of mine, we are finding we are able to distribute our dental health message far and wide making a considerable difference to the local communities.The payback to this is, of course, a successful dental practice with a good number of the right type of new patients each month. But what seems to be working best?

I thought it would be good to write a little summary of some of the things that practices are doing which is helping them reach more of the people that matter.

Lower priced dental health checks.

When a patient first visits your website they are faced with two dilemmas:

  1. How do they know you are trustworthy?
  2. How can they lower their risk by coming to you?

Good-quality dental marketing is always about increasing trust and lowering risk, This is how serviced-based marketing should work on these two factors are one of the most important things you need to address in any marketing the dental practice.

One of the ways of doing this is to offer a free consultation however I’ve noticed, certainly over the past year or so, that this technique of attracting new patients is becoming less effective. There could be many reasons for this, my guess is that patients are just worried that a free consultation will mean a hard sell!

What I am finding however, is that reduced price dental health checks and working extraordinarily well. I have one practice which offers them for £15, deliberately to compete with the NHS. They get an excellent conversion rate from patients that coming and then join them on their patient plan.

Other practices offer this dental health check for around £25-£45, doing this lowers the risk for the patient but at the same time increases trust that you are only providing them with a dental health check, rather than just giving yourself the opportunity to sell extra treatments.

The way I prefer to work this is to ask the patient to download an online voucher entitling them to this discount, this then becomes an online discount only and encourages patients to visit your website. We hand the voucher out in exchange for an e-mail address.

The e-mails are then automated to follow-up the patient at scheduled intervals, with more follow ups being gentle and educated in their nature. The software I use for this is Aweber, it’s available from around £19 per month, there is a really low cost way to begin managing your e-mail marketing.

Using e-mail automation like this means that your marketing works 24 hours a day and enables you to focus on what you’re good at, delivering great quality dental health to local people.

Facebook offer advertising.

blog_facebook_offersWhen people sign up to Facebook they tend to tell it where they live, how old they are and what gender they are. Whether we like it or not, this allows advertisers to target those individual people, and we can take advantage of this opportunity if we so wish.

I recently ran a targeted Invisalign promotion for a client. We had a budget of £200 and ran the offer over a two-week period targeting people aged between 21 and 55 living within 10 miles of the dental practice. During this time we had 332 people claim the offer and it was viewed by 51,136 local people.… Quite a result!

Now, I’m not expecting all 332 people to go ahead with treatment, but even so this is a remarkable number of people we have been able to reach.

An interesting phenomenon was that local people were commenting on the add and tagging their friends, thereby ensuring the ad went even more viral and was seen by more people than we had actually paid for!

Here is Facebook’s help centre for creating offers.

Here is Facebook’s help centre for setting up advertising.

Writing blogs.

Writing blogs for a dental practice is another great way to demonstrate you are the low risk option that patients can trust.

What I’m also finding is that blogs are an excellent way to get found on Google, many practices I’m working with are seeing more than 100% increase in web traffic after they start writing a useful blog.This is mainly due to the fact that blogs can be highly targeted and focused.

If you wanted to write a page about dental implants you need to keep it fairly generic and answer a range of questions, Google will then read this page and probably rank it for “<< dental implants >><< Local area>>”, which often is fine, however people are tending to search for much longer phrases for example:

  • How much do dental implants cost?
  • Do dental implants hurt?
  • What are the alternatives for a dental implant?
  • How do I go about replacing missing teeth?
  • What are my options for missing teeth?
  • Is a dental implant better than a dental bridge?

Trying to answer all of these questions on one single webpage can be difficult for the patient to navigate to find the exact answer they are looking for, but writing them in a blog post which focuses specifically on that particular area means that that webpage is highly optimised and relevant for that specific search.

This has a double impact:

  1. The webpage is more likely to be found when people search for that phrase because it is highly targeted.
  2. The webpage is more likely to be relevant to those people when they land on it because it is highly targeted.

We then get a snowball effect occurring. Google sends traffic to the webpage, people like it, Google knows this (By looking at the number of pages people read, the amount of time they spend on the site and whether they bounce back and do another search or not) and sends more… And so the cycle goes on.

All you need to do is make sure that your blog (which should sit on your main website) has good conversion mechanisms such as the low price dental health check which drops that person into a robust yet gentle e-mail marketing program.

Optimising their website to be found on the search engines.

We all know that if we want to find something out we Google it. Your patients are doing the same!

Being found in the search engines is absolutely vital for any online marketing strategy, writing a blog will help enormously as will engaging on social media and creating links back to your website using Facebook and Twitter etc.

You all is so need to be engaging in good old-fashioned PR, but with an online marketing spin. PR is about getting articles and blogs written about your practice, conventionally this went into print media, but the modern way of doing it is to use the online world. Google reads these PR releases about your practice, recognises that they are about you which then let’s Google know you are important and worth sending visitors to.

Read more >> Top tips to optimising your practice website.

It’s a minefield as to how you get these news releases out there, but that’s the job of an optimisation specialist and online marketing consultant such as myself!

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I hope you have found this blog post useful, I’ve included many links to additional resources (Some of them my own and some of them external resources) to enable you to continue to help the local people with their dental health, simply by being found!

Hashtags – what they are and how to use them


It seems that the whole world has gone hash tag crazy. From being an unused button on the phone and keyboard to being the source of frustration about when to use them the common # has seen it all.

So in this blog post I’m going to go through the use of #hashtags with perhaps some imaginative ways that you can utilise their power.

To my knowledge twitter was the first social media network to come up with the concept of hash tag. Put simply they are away of uniting all messages with a common theme, and the thing which unites them is the use of the #hashtag.

Conferences and TV shows began using the hashtag to group together all tweets about a particular show #celebjuice and #chattyman use them all the time. If you want to tweet about the show and you want to make sure that your message is seen by people watching the show then you simply add the hash tag to the end of your message.

celebrity juice and chatty man hash tags

It’s then possible to search all messages that are using the same tag.

Hash tags then started to spill over from twitter into Facebook and Google plus with people using things like #justaying & #epicfail to explain what their message was about…

just saying hashed tag

Because people were using the Twitter etiquette of the hash tag on other social networks it wasn’t long before Facebook and Google decided that they would introduce formal recognition of this tag –  it’s only been in the past week or so but Facebook is roll this out across its users in the UK.

So how can you use them now famous hash tag?

  • Consider developing a unique hash tag that you use as a practice. #yourpracticename
  • Or using them when you talk about treatments such as #teethwhitening and #dentalimplants
  • If you run a competition then link all of those messages together with your #competitiontag
  • Use them to add intonation to your message #onlyjoking #justsaying #beingserious
  • Grouping types of messages together is also possible #dentalhealthupdate #missingteethadvice #straightteeth
Using the hashtag then allows anyone on Facebook, Twitter or Google to search for that hash tag. These social media networks will recognise the use of the hash tag and turn it into a clickable link this will then open up a separate window with all of the messages using that tag in it – Facebook then gives you the opportunity of commenting on that particular topic.
This shows a search on Twitter for the hash tag #dentalmarketing
twitter hash tag search
And a similar search on Facebook for #dentistry
Facebook hash tag search
Think of hash tags like topics, or categories for messages and you won’t go far wrong.
How have you seen hash tags being used?
Please do comment below and let me know… If you do use the hash tag #markoborn and then go to Facebook to see the results of how these messages are grouped together.