Social media can be one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. But, how to use social media marketing for dentists? What are the three main things to keep in mind when doing so? Mark and Howie explain in this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery.

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Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Hello, Mark, what are we going to talk about today?

Mark: Hello, Howie, how are you?

Howie: I’m good. Thanks

Mark: At our recording? Have we hit three digits in our thermometer in Las Vegas today?

Howie: All this week, it will be between 103 and 118 Believe it or not?

Mark: Wow, let me know when he gets to like 112. I want to know if you can tell the difference between 103 and 118. Alright, so our next installment of the mastery series is going to be about individual media types. The characteristics of each, um some common mistakes and common myths that surround how dentistry uses these media types. When we say media types, what are we referencing? Howie?

Howie: Well you’ve got, you know, all kinds. You got the radio, TV, web video, direct mail, on and on and on? Oh, these are? These are multiple media types, multiple channels, you could look at it that way.

Mark: Advertising channels.

Howie: yes.

Mark: Okay. So that’s, that’s basically a media type. In the next several installments of this series, we’re going to take, we’re going to take these one at a time and dissect it for you, and then lend our experience and what we see that works and doesn’t work within them. Couple that with how we see people using them and the mistakes that they’re making when they’re using them.

You know, it’s funny, we run into dentists all the time, who say, “Do I try putting… I tried using advertising, medium x and it didn’t work for me.” And Howie and I will both tell you that there are many, many, many right ways to use each media type. And there’s even more wrong ways that you can potentially use them and waste your money. So, with each one of these, we’re going to try to bring forward the best practices on the right way to give them much give them a shot. And then give you some examples through the years that we’ve seen.

Doctors, you know, not use them. The first one is, well, this is the bundler buzzword through a lot of dentistry these days and its social media. So social media marketing for dentists, we chose this one first because it has the word media in it. So, it has its own media type, very much like the yellow pages or direct mail or radio or what have you. But it’s definitely a different media type. Social media marketing for dentists is work and it has both attributes. It can be incredibly indirect. In other words, the very passive, your social media page for your business just sits there and waits for people to find it.

You’ll be a lonely dentist, if that’s your strategy. But it’s still a very passive marketing meeting, very much like your website is a passive marketing, meaning your social media channel channels can be more aggressive. In other words, you can use them, you can apply a portion to your budget ror instance, on social media platforms such as Facebook. You can create Facebook ads, you can log into your Facebook business page and manage those ads and who sees them.

There’s a decent targeting in Facebook, not great, but it’s pretty decent. You can control your spending on Facebook with Facebook ads for dentists. So, there is a way within social media marketing for dentists to be both passive and hope people show up and find you. Or aggressive and pay to put your Facebook ad or your promotion or your on your Facebook post and boost that post to a specific targeted audience immediately surrounding your dental practice.

So social media for dental offices, though, has been I don’t know if the word overhyped, I think at the beginning of this popularity process, it was way overhyped. And I also believe that dentists are missing. Well, probably the biggest value in participating in social media, which really doesn’t have anything to do with how many likes you get, or how many followers you have on Twitter. The biggest benefit to managing your social media, at least for the last seven to eight years, has been to dominate your local search and Google.

By having multiple properties on the internet. Your website is an internet property. A post to your blog is an internet property as is your post to your Facebook as your post to your Twitter account. Any other social media property, Pinterest, Instagram, all of them are our internet properties that your practice could own. And anytime you post content to that, especially keyword rich, relevant dental content, guess who looks at that and finds it and picks it up, when another consumer near you was looking for some kind of a dental Related Search. Google picks it up, and it picks it up rather quickly. It picks up the words. And if it’s done properly, it picks up the video.

So, for years, the biggest benefit of being are being a participant in dental practice social media marketing has been coming to get people to my website, I’m going to in that local search in your town. For a dental related search, I’m not just going to have my website there, I’m not just going to have my Google business page listing, I’m not just going to have my little a-b-c-d-e balloon in the little map, I’m going to have my Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter blog and Facebook post, take up that entire first page of a dental search. You don’t think that’s possible? We have hundreds of customers who would say otherwise.

So that’s why you will initially invest your time and energy some not all some time and energy into this thing we call social media marketing for dentists. Once you gain followers, once you advertise and gain likes to your business Facebook page, then of course you have a somewhat captive audience to promote your services too. Um, but that’s going to take some time. So, between now and then don’t miss out on the really the biggest initial benefit of being a part of social media. And that is to generate more organic traffic to your practice website.

Let’s see some. Well, one of the biggest one of the biggest misconceptions when all the buzz started to happen in dentistry about social media was the dentist thought they would get a Facebook page, and a whole bunch of people would like them just because they’re likable. And, and right… remember those days? How do I get likes and why if I know people like me, and I would be my friend, and oh my gosh, right now and they thought they were going to post something about Memorial Day, and then sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Because what they posted was so innately interesting, people were just going to dial the phone.

That’s not what social media is for, not until you develop a good solid local following to your dental practice, that’s going to take a while and do and the way you would do that primarily is with paid Facebook ads for dentists.

A paid Facebook ad is you create the content. And I can throw in a little plug for dental web content. com here because I know we have Facebook ads. We have the pictures and the framework and the words for proven Facebook ads in dental web content. But that plug aside, even if you do your own ads, that’s fine. You get to go choose who sees them. And then you get to go choose how much you want to pay to put those impressions on those local computer desktop or phone or tablet screens. So, it’s more of a pay by paper and press, you’re gonna I want let’s say I want to hit 1000 local views, and you’re going to pay a certain amount of money.

And then Facebook’s going to get that impression out to those walls and those timelines until it exhausts your budget. That’s how you would use that that’s how you would drive local consumers to your Facebook business page. And once they like your Facebook business page, then you can engage with them. And I have, we have clients that engage directly with their Facebook page, they’ll say things like, have a cancellation at 330. Anybody want to take it? It’s for joining the hygienist. If you need a cleaning, give us a call 1-800 or, you know, whatever the local phone number is? And wouldn’t you know, if you have enough people who like your Facebook page who are local people, people will actually respond to a short call list on Facebook.

Howie: Okay,

Mark: So

Howie: Yeah, yeah

Mark: This is not I mean, you know, it’s not like you need to be the Pioneer to see if this works. I mean, this works. Okay, so on it. Same thing with emergencies to how many if you have a bunch of guys who you know who liked your your, your Facebook business page. And, you know, you say you just say something about emergencies that you’re available, even if you’re not available? 24/7, tell them when you’re available, and tell them that you’re willing to see emergencies, because let’s face it, guys, we don’t go to the dentist unless it’s an emergency. Right?

Howie: I want you to comment on something here. As we know, a dentist’s current patients are the best fans, right?

Mark: Absolutely.

Howie: So how can, how can a practice, you know, what do they have to do? Can they put a computer in their waiting room? Ask people to sign up sign in check in? How is that?

Mark: Well, I mean, 99% of the people that are walking into your office in the reception area, if they have to wait two minutes, it’s really easy to ask them to use their phone and like your page. This is me as a piece of cake. You don’t have to have a tablet, you don’t have to have a computer, you don’t have to have just your phone just to put the patient’s phone, right. It’s not really, it’s not typical, some offices will have a little contest in their office, right little sign, like our Facebook page this month, and we’re going to donate this much to the Child’s Heart Foundation, or what have you. Right? You can set it up any way you want. Really, but um, all the all the patient needs is their phone, it’s really easy. Um, anyway, that’s a good idea.

So alright, so some of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen over the years last eight or eight or 10 years, I guess. And social media has become more popular in dentistry. A while the first one was expecting sitting there staring at the phone expecting it to ring a stop. The second one would be expecting my expecting to be able to measure the ROI on the time I spend on social media, you need to stop thinking about that too, because you’re never going to really be able to justify the ROI with five different social media challenges channels.

And you’re not ever going to really be able to justify how many kinds Google impact improved at the search rankings for a local consumer and the local consumer finding your you’re never going to know. You’re never going to drill down the data that far. So if you’re going to put up a wall in front of you and say, Well, if I can’t directly measure the ROI, I’m not going to participate in social media, then you’re kind of defeating the whole process before it even gets started. Would you agree Howie?

Howie: Yeah, absolutely.

Mark: I mean, it’s all mixed in. It’s all mixed in with driving here. Here’s the here’s another real enormous gigantic mistake dentists are currently making. Then they have for the last couple of years or so. dentists are relying almost solely on the internet, it for all their new patients, and they’re scrambling into the social media. You know, make sense. I mean, they count social media as part of the internet, of course, and so the why. And, um, but they’re forgetting there. They’re forgetting that 99.999% of all successful websites, drive traffic, through offline communication. Social media for dental offices is online communication. Your website is online communication. Google is online community. That’s all online. I want you to think about Amazon.com, Overstock.com. Let’s see.

Howie: Google,

Mark: Google them. Right. Right, right Web MD Google itself. Every one of those websites. You, you were sent to those websites through offline promotion. You didn’t know their name until some offline had told you their net. And, you did not Google the world’s largest retail online retailer and come up with Amazon. com. You just didn’t do it. You saw an ad, you watched it on TV, you might have listened to the radio go and you there some offline promotion, drew you to their website. So, in real life, you have witnessed yourself behaving exactly the same way dental consumers, okay. Which is, yes, I could find you on the internet. I could find you through your social media channels.

Maybe. Um, but if I see you on TV, or I hear you on the radio, or I get this piece of mail in the mail, or my friend refers you or whatever. Most of the time, your web traffic, the best web traffic you get is driven to you through offline promotion.

Howie: You know what, Mark? And that’s true. I you know what, I still get mail, I get mail from Google.

Mark: Right? That’s true. That’s true.

Howie: using direct mail,

Mark: Also get mail from AOL. But no, but seriously, it’s a big, big mistake. And what happens is the doctor shuts off their offline promotion dollar, tours it all into online, and then comes back and says What happened? Right? Well, you stopped what was working. That’s what happened. Okay, so anyway, the subject of social media, there’s really three basic ways to use and leverage the power of social media marketing for dentists to your benefit.

Number one, is overlooked, and actually the most important, and that is to drive additional organic search results to your practices website. So that’s number one. It’s also the first one, you’re going to realize, it’s the first one that’s going to happen if you do it, right.

Number two, the ability to use some social media for advertising purposes. And specifically, I’m talking here Facebook, you can log on, place your content, place your ad, and control your costs and pay for impressions. In other words, basically put your information on timelines of the local people that you select.

And number three is engagement is once you have your customer or your customers. Once you have your patients up on your Facebook page, you can engage them there. I mean, a message, a Facebook message gets to all your patients who are on your Facebook page almost instantly. So, let’s say you have an opening at 3:15 for a hygiene visit know you, you may end up using Facebook as a short call list and in the future. So, there are many ways to use social media. It is more and more beneficial every day. And we hope you if you’re not on that train, we hope you get on that train. It’ll be a fun ride.

Howie: Thank you, Mark, will sign up now. We’ll see you next time.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can find more podcasts on our YouTube channel on Stitcher and iTunes. Also on our websites, dentalwebcontent.com and newpatientsinc.com.