Increase Patient Conversion With These Facts About Online Reviews

New data suggests that reviews are getting shorter, positive and social.

A 2018 study published by ReviewTrackers found that online reviews are changing – for the better. Literally, reviews are getting more positive. They also found that people are using fewer characters to get their point across and that review-only sites are not growing as fast as social media and Google. We’ve talked before about how important it is to get good reviews on Google and how social media is the first place many go to find out about your practice. Below we present three of the findings that ReviewTrackers highlighted about the direction online reviews are going this year and how they can grow your practice.

More poetry than prose

Reviews are getting shorter. This is good news. People don’t have to slog through a rambling review to find out what the person wants to say. ReviewTrackers reported that “Reviewers are writing simpler and more to-the-point reviews. The average review has gotten 65 percent shorter since 2010 and is now roughly the size of a tweet.”

How this helps: With the rise of the tweet, people are learning to write succinctly about the businesses they visit. In this time-constrained, mobile world, we just want to know the facts. It also means that the barrier to entry is lower. We can ask patients to write short, factual posts quickly. It also means that people can read more positive reviews about your practice in less time (see point three below).

Rise of social and search

Review-only sites like TripAdvisor aren’t seeing as much growth in reviews as Google and Facebook. In fact, ReviewTrackers reports that Google and Facebook are now the No. 1 and No. 2 for online reviews.

How this helps: People & Practice dedicates its marketing efforts on a client’s Google MyBusiness profile and Google reviews. We also help practices develop and maintain an engaging and robust social media presence on Facebook – including targeted educational advertising. The data supports our findings that these are prime online channels for patient outreach and referrals.

The future is bright

Reviews are more positive than ever before. ReviewTrackers said in its report that “reviews are increasingly shifting from being a place where consumers air their grievances to being a place to recommend businesses after a positive experience.”

How this helps: Positive reviews convert people into customers. Other surveys have shown that half of consumers look for a 4-star rating at a minimum before they choose a business and 73% said that positive reviews make them trust a business more. Reviews are a serious business.

Want to learn more about reviews and reputation management for your orthodontist practice? For a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

Online Reviews: Five Things You Need to Know For Your Ortho Practice

Consumers say that they want to see ratings on review sites before they even think about going to a practice. A survey by BrightLocal.com showed that half need at least a 4-star rating before they choose a business and 73% said that positive reviews make them trust a business more. Reviews are a serious business.

Are you getting the maximum star rating on Google and Yelp? Are your reviews positive or negative? Do you even know? People and Practice is the expert on reputation management for orthodontist practices. We have put our SmartReview™ system in place at offices across the country to boost positive, 5-star reviews on Google and minimize negative ones.

Below we have outlined five things to know that will help with your online reputation. Want to learn more? Click here to contact us today!

Spot Fake Reviews

Are there fake reviews about your business online? Most consumers admit they can’t always tell a fake review from a real one. You need to be vigilant about monitoring your online reputation. Bad reviews and fake reviews have a negative impact on patient conversion from the web.

Encourage Positive Reviews

Happy patients aren’t clamoring to sing your praises on review sites like Google or on social media. That’s why we designed our SmartReview™ system to get you authentic positive reviews, fast. Most consumers report leaving a review when asked by a business for their feedback. Take advantage of that and increase your online cred.

Head Off Negative Comments

Capturing reviews at point of contact can help head off most negative reviews before they hit the net. Our system helps to avoid bad reviews being posted. You can address the patient’s concerns directly, offline.

Update Your Info

There’s nothing worse than an out-of-date phone number or email address on a review site. It’s your job to make sure this data doesn’t lapse. Regularly go to every website you can find where your contact information is listed to keep it up to date. Don’t only rely on your website. Most people say they look for contact info in places other than a business website including Facebook and Google Business listings.

Increase Number of Reviews

Last year the average number of reviews that people read before they trusted a business was six. This year it’s seven. It’s getting harder for a practice to gain trust online. With reviews on the right mix of websites you can get ahead of your competition. Speaking of that we have a bonus fact for you…

The Right Sites

According to the BrightLocal.com survey the top three most trusted review sites are Yelp, Google and Facebook. You need to make sure you put most of your attention on the big three.

Want to learn more about reputation management for your orthodontist practice? For a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Good Reviews on Google?

Nothing happens. And that’s bad.

Bad reviews can be bad for business. Despite a recent research report finding that online physician ratings are not a good predictor of the quality of a doctor, people continue to rely on feedback they find on Google, Yelp and social media to make choices about which businesses to patronize and which doctors to visit. In fact, a survey by Bright Local found that a whopping 97% of consumers read online reviews about local businesses, with 12% looking for a local business online every single day, almost a third of them doing their research via mobile apps.

Chances are that most of those people didn’t get around to reading the research paper.

There’s an old adage in the ad game that asks what happens if a business doesn’t advertise? Nothing. Same goes for online reviews. What happens if you don’t get any good reviews on Google? You guessed it! Nothing.

People will not call. They will not come back to you after an initial consult or they will cancel appointments. Many consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business – that is up from 6 last year! More people are using online reviews more often and basing where they take their family for orthodontic treatment on what they read.

If you aren’t doing anything about your online reputation then don’t wonder why people aren’t calling for consultations. Almost a quarter of people surveyed said that they use online reviews as a first step when seeking out a medical provider. Good reviews actually don’t just happen on their own. You need to ask patients to post reviews for you if they feel your practice deserves it. People & Practice has a SmartReview™ system that’s designed to capture authentic positive reviews at the point of contact in your office.

Want to learn more about how you can supercharge your social media? Our work builds trust in your practice online to help you get new patients in a digital era by convincing them (before even meeting you) that you’re the practice to choose. For more information, or a free marketing analysis, you can contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

Five Predictions For Ortho Marketing in 2018

It’s that time of year when prognosticators read the tea leaves to make their predictions for 2018. Since we’ve been following the trends in dental marketing all year, we think we have a good grasp on where things will go over the next 12 months. Keep reading for our take on what you need to put into action to make your practice successful in 2018.

1) Content Marketing

Creating useful, relevant, informative content will never go out of style. The way it is delivered might change (anyone still subscribing to Poor Richard’s Almanac?) but the old adage that content is king still rules. Content is a win/win/win. It’s an SEO strategy that benefits all parties: the producer, the consumer and the search engine (primarily Google). People love searching for free stuff to read online when they should be working. If it delivers value and helps instill trust in your practice, then all the better. But there’s a new reason to double down on content in 2018: ad zappers. Ad zappers are software that seeks out and removes ads from the websites you visit so you don’t get deluged with annoying banners while you read your nifty content. It’s debatable if these ad zappers are good or bad for business but the bottom line is that in lieu of throwing money at local advertising that might never get seen, you will want to divert some marketing funds toward creating content to attract visitors organically. Read more about ad zappers and how content can help fill the void here.

2) Social Media Marketing

Again, nothing new here. We’ve been promoting social media marketing for orthodontists for years now. What we predict for 2018 is the growing importance of social media as a first stop in finding your practice online. That’s because Millennials aren’t necessarily going to your website to research your business. In a recent survey, 45% of Millennials say they begin researching a company on social media first. So if you’ve let your social media presence go stale it’s time for a refresh. Fill your page with useful info about your practice, links to your blog posts, and pictures of happy patients. You need to engage your audience in new ways to encourage sharing so when they ask, potential patients have a place to go on Facebook to do their research. Read more on this social media marketing and Millennials here.

3) Micro-moments

The future of marketing is the acceleration of what we already have in place now. That’s right things are moving even faster in 2018. Don’t worry, you won’t need to be a speed demon to keep up, you just have to be there with useful information when your next patient is looking for a dental practice in her hometown. Google defined micro-moments as the extension of an already empowered consumer now armed with the web at her fingertips on a mobile device. You get your info wherever, whenever.  “Waiting has become a thing of the past. That translates into today’s pervasive micro-moment behavior—immediately turning to a device to know, go, do, and buy… In short, marketers have had to start being a lot more assistive.” Producing good content, having a dynamic social media presence, and making sure your practice shows up in Google results with lots of positive reviews are three strategies to capturing the mico-moment. Will your practice be the one a parent picks when she Googles “orthodontists near me”? Find out more about micro-moments and how they will affect your marketing here.

4) Engagement

You can’t just sit idly by waiting for the calls to come in. In 2018 you will need to be fully engaged with your current customers so they can evangelize your practice on social media and review sites like Google Business and Yelp. Being present on social so that you can respond to questions and comments goes a long way to humanizing your practice. It also lets potential clients know there is a real doctor behind the page who is knowledgeable and friendly. Social media is a powerful tool to communicate the value of your practice if done right. We have some ideas about how to engage patients on social media on our blog here.

5) Live Video

When Facebook first unveiled its live video feature, it didn’t make much of a splash as it was limited to celebrities and people with verified accounts. Media companies and marketers tried to figure out how to use it. Fast forward to today and live video streaming is available to everyone on the platform and it’s become a hot way to communicate on social. And it’s only going to get hotter in 2018.

It’s not just Facebook that has realized live video’s potential on social media. Now, SnapChat, Marco Polo and other many apps have come to develop their own versions of shared video on social networks. (For those keeping score, even before Facebook Live there was a live video service called Periscope that integrated with Twitter.) Videos on Facebook don’t have to be watched live either. When you’re done filming they’re archived on your page for later viewing just like any other post.

Live video is easy and fun thanks to integration right in the Facebook mobile app. Just go to your page and start filming your patients with their new smiles, having fun in your office around the holidays, or finding out they just won a prize in one of your contests. Click here for a simple and easy intro on how to jump into the live video frenzy from Facebook.

Are you ready to take your marketing into the future? Contact People & Practice today!

Online reviews and reputation management

Ignore Online Reviews at Your Own Peril!

Take our advice, you ignore online reviews about your practice at your own peril.

First, the bad news. According to Brightlocal.com, a negative review will drive away about 22% of your customers. These are people who go to an online review, read something bad about your business (deserved or not), and then never even call you. That’s bad.

Here’s the good news. The same site said that consumers will probably spend about 31% more on products and services at a business that have good reviews. That’s good.

If you’re ignoring online reviews, don’t have a system in place to capture positive reviews to post online or intercept negative reviews before others read them, you could be damaging your practice and not even know it. Online reviews are important especially in the healthcare industry where patients are extremely sensitive to online reviews. In fact, a recent survey by a medical software company found that 84% of patients use online reviews to evaluate doctors. And, a majority of customers say that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation! That’s powerful. Moreso when you factor in the influence that Millennials are bringing to the web. Millennialmarketing.com reported recently that 70% of Millennials felt a responsibility to share their experiences with a company, good or bad.

You might think, “So what? I checked and I don’t even have any reviews. I’m safe.” Not so fast. People also tend to shy away from businesses that don’t have any online reviews. Bottom line is that you have to do something if you want to grow your practice. Don’t let the marketplace define you. Millennials and Generation Z are communicating how they feel about your practice, as decision makers and as the young patients you’re helping to give a better, healthier smile. With a single online post they can make or break your business.

People & Practice specializes in online reputation management for orthodontic practices. Prospective patients do their online homework, and they trust peer-to-peer feedback above all else. One negative review can significantly damage your reputation, especially if there are no positive ones. That’s why it’s vitally important that your practice have many positive public reviews across different review sites. Our SmartReview™ system is designed to get you authentic positive reviews, fast.

Our work builds trust in your practice online to help you get new patients in a digital era by convincing them (before even meeting you) that you’re the practice to choose. For more information, or a free marketing analysis, you can contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

The McGill Advisory Invites People & Practice to Pen Article on Differentiating Your Practice With Social Marketing

People & Practice was invited to write an article for The McGill Advisory–the monthly newsletter of The McGill & Hill Group, a dental practice advisory group–about the importance of social marketing. In this article, titled “Increase Your New Patients By Differentiating Your Practice Online,” co-authored by our founders Leon Klempner, DDS and Amy Epstein, MBA, they wrote about the mix of strategies used to gain the right new patients when competing against corporate dental practices.

The full text of the article that appeared in the April issue of The McGill Advisory is posted below with permission from the publishers. You can also read this article on The McGill Advisory website (subscription required) by clicking here.

Increase Your New Patients By Differentiating Your Practice Online
By: Leon Klempner, DDS and Amy Epstein, MBA

In today’s world, traditional practices are not only competing against each other, but also against corporate dental practices, also called Dental Service Organizations (DSOs). DSOs typically have the advantage of a much larger advertising budget and generally charge lower fees. How can you succeed in gaining new patients when competing against these Goliaths?

Delivering Superior Quality of Care

If you plan to differentiate and grow your practice, the delivery of high quality care is non-negotiable. Any marketing strategy will be short circuited without good clinical and nonclinical care.

While doctors base their perception of a high-quality practice on the level of clinical care provided, patients use a totally different yardstick. Since most patients are not able to evaluate clinical care, their evaluation is largely based on several nonclinical factors.

One critically important factor is your staff. Patients want staff members that are well-trained, friendly, courteous, compassionate and offer the highest level of customer service. Do your staff members make scheduling an appointment quick and easy? Does your practice respect the time of your patients and run on time, or with only minimal wait times?

Another factor influencing patients’ evaluation of your practice is how trustworthy they feel the doctor is. It is very important for doctors to build trust by establishing a strong personal relationship with the patient. It only takes a minute to look the patient directly in the eyes, address him/her by name and show your interest in them as a person. That could be as simple as asking about family members, job and other personal matters, all of which can demonstrate that you care about them and their well-being. The doctor should take time to thoroughly explain to the patient their dental symptoms, recommended treatment options, and communicate the negative impact of not accepting treatment.

Your competitive edge over low fee competition is your ability to build strong long-term relationships, and those relationships are built on trust. Now, let’s talk about how to leverage that trust, which translates into a competitive edge, using social marketing.

Power to the Practice

In today’s competitive dental marketplace, it’s essential to have a carefully crafted digital marketing plan to effectively communicate your superior quality of care, and differentiate your practice from your lower fee/lower quality corporate competitors. Below are three strategies to harness the power of patient referrals, tell the story of your practice, and capture the attention of potential new patients cost-effectively.

Reputation Management: In Reviews We Trust

Potential patients trust online reviews and often base their decision on what others say about your practice. A recent survey by BrightLocal.com found that 84% of those asked said they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That’s the same as a friend telling them that they should call your office. The same survey showed that 74% of consumers reported that a positive review will make them trust a local business more.

Your future patients are researching practices online and will make a decision based on what they find, particularly on review sites such as Google and Yelp. Just going from 0 to 1 favorable review increases the rate that online practice shoppers will contact your practice by 65%. And to be truly effective, you need to generate at least 20 favorable Google reviews. This creates a cycle – the more reviews, the more new patients joining your practice, leading to even more reviews, and higher search engine rankings.

The survey also revealed that a majority of patients will leave a review for your practice, if asked. This highlights how important it is to have a system in place to amplify positive comments you hear in your office and help “catch” potentially negative experiences before they go public.

It’s not as hard as you may think to convert an offhand comment into an authentic, five-star public review so that potential new patients can read it. At the same time, it’s important to offer a sounding board to patients in case their experience wasn’t perfect, giving them a chance to vent before they take to the Internet to air their grievances.

Social Engagement Done Right

There’s no better way to add value to your practice than having current patients share your content with their social media friends. Actively engaging with your patients through social media will reap benefits exponentially if done right. A Facebook page must not only have a regular stream of updates, but also must be interactive, encouraging current fans to like and share your post on the pages. This helps reach their network of friends, increasing the number of potential new patients aware of your practice.

The content needs to be personalized, informative, or entertaining to be good enough to share. A contest that incentivizes patients to like and repost to their own page in order to have a chance to win is just one of many great examples of interactive, shareable content.

Facebook Advertising: Choose Your Audience and Get Clicks With Educational Content

Facebook’s dynamic ad platform allows doctors to target a specific audience and potential new patients who are in need of your services, and live within a short distance of your practice’s physical address. These ads can be directed back to educational content on your website, with forms that are specifically designed to capture new patient data delivered right to your inbox.

Stronger Together

While these strategies can operate independently to boost your practice’s referral rates, they work best together. In conjunction, reputational management, social engagement, and Facebook advertising form a digital marketing plan that’s unmatched in communicating your competitive advantages in expertise and experience to deliver personalized customer service that’s superior. This will help you compete and win against DSOs in converting more new patients.

Download a PDF of the full article.

Why Doesn’t My Social Marketing Attract New Patients?

Watch the video above for CEO of People & Practice’s full answer to this important question. 
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Why doesn’t my social marketing bring in new patients? The short answer is that you are not using all of the available marketing tools necessary. You need a coordinated combination of collecting multiple five-star public Google reviews, initiating a robust social media engagement program and effective content driven targeted Facebook Advertising.

Today, let’s focus on Facebook Advertising.  Facebook currently has over 1.7 billion users. You may be surprised to learn that the best growth opportunities are to target those that do not even know you exist. Facebook Advertising enables targeting potential new patients within a 5-10 mile radius of your practice, categorized by whatever age, sex, or income you desire to attract.

Read our article published in the September issue of the McGill Advisory – linked here: McGill Advisory article

Interested in a free marketing analysis of your practice?  Contact me directly.

Leon@pplpractice.com, 631.974.7511(c)
#mktg4docs #practicemanagement

Google Upped Its Review Game: Have You?

Notice something different in your Google Search this week? You know that box on the right hand side of your search results that displays a local business? It’s changed.

Google has upped its game. Instead of only relying on Google Reviews to present local businesses they’re now aggregating information from across the web and across different review sites and displaying it along side their own. Take a look below to see what I mean.

Here’s how your practice looks now:

2016-09-29
As Director of Reputation Management for People & Practice I continually tell orthodontists, dentists and other doctors that having a well rounded online presence is crucial to a winning strategy. It’s not enough to only have reviews on HealthGrades or Facebook or Google or Yelp; you need reviews on all of them.

We’ve always focused on this as a winning strategy – now Google has made it imperative. Even Google is saying that you can’t only rely on Google reviews any more, you need to make sure your patients are spreading the love across all the review sites prospective new patients might consider.

It’s specifically for this reason that we work to increase your online reputation across the board. Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

At People & Practice we do things differently. Our goal is to make sure doctors are focusing on their reputation as it’s projected online. And instead of it taking 20 years to build an online reputation, we help doctors amass real reviews from actual patients effectively and ethically – across ALL review sites.

Contact us today for more information about how we can help grow your practice through on-line reviews: 347-762-6330 or info@pplpractice.com.

Want to Compete With Big Business? Tap Into Your Relationships | DentalTown

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Leon Klempner’s article on Practice Management in DentalTown Magazine: “The reality of business is that corporate groups, affiliations, and conglomerates often replace small-business owners, and can do so efficiently. We know that in theory, but it’s much more prolific when it affects us on a personal level. The dental […]

Implications of Facebook Dislike For Your Practice

If your office is utilizing Facebook for its online marketing (and it should be!) you may be concerned about the rumors of a new “Dislike” button coming to the platform.

As social media specialists for many orthodontic and dental practices across North America, we’ve given this some serious thought. While no one (except the inner circle at Facebook itself) really knows what this new button will look like, we should be comforted a bit by Zuckerberg’s comments from last December when he intimated that Facebook is conscious of the negative repercussions that could occur with something like a Dislike option.

Regardless of what this new Dislike button looks like, we’ve put together some best practices to ensure you’re moving forward in the most positive way possible with your social media efforts:

1. Skip Controversy. As much as it may be tempting to post controversial content, stay away. As a service business it’s your job to maintain an open and comfortable environment for your patients. Don’t risk alienating current or potential clients with controversial posts.

2. Engage. Specifically ask for engagement with an open ended question. By doing so, you will encourage your followers to comment rather than like or dislike.

3. Take it Off-Line. Again, it may be tempting to respond to a dislike comment right out in the open. You think you’re nipping it in the bud, but in reality you’re helping that comment to gain steam. Facebook’s algorithms see any activity on a post as a reason to show it to more people. The best thing to do with something negative is either to delete it using your administrator page or reach out to that patient by phone to address their problem or concern.

4. Understand Your Audience. Are you posting information that is relevant to your audience? Do you know who your audience actually is? Many orthodontic practices that reach out to us for help think their audience is teens because the majority of their patients are teens who need braces or Invisalign. We remind them that teens aren’t the ones paying for these services – nor are they the decision makers about which practitioner they will see. Parent’s are your true audience – specifically moms. Make sure your content is relevant to the mom’s of your community and you’ll get many less dislikes.

5. Don’t Overdo It. Many practices think that more is better when it comes to social media. Not so. It’s important to understand the posting etiquette of each platform before starting. For Facebook think 2x a day, Twitter as much as 5x. If you post too many times, people will start to ignore, unfollow or dislike. Keep it light, keep it positive and don’t overdo it.

Follow these social media best practices and regardless of what this new Dislike Button looks like, you should be in the clear and set up for success.

Social Media too overwhelming? No time to keep it going? We help Orthodontic and Dental practices market themselves online and would love to see if we can help you as well. Contact us today for more information and a simple quote.

Implications of Facebook Dislike For Your Practice

Implications of Facebook Dislike For Your Practice