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McGill Article: Top Social Media Do’s And Don’ts To Gain New Patients

Our co-founders, Leon Klempner, DDS and Amy Epstein, MBA, were invited to write an article for The McGill Advisory about how orthodontists can be successful on social media. The article is filled with great tips and advice and appeared in the March 2019 issue.

Most practices jump headfirst into social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) but fail because they don’t understand the platforms. If you want to succeed, you need a gameplan that follows some basic rules. Use the advice below to reach prospective new patients in your area who need your services…

To read the full article please click here to go to the McGill & Hill Group website (membership required).

READ McGill Advisory Article: Digital Marketing Strategies To Build Patient Trust

Effective digital marketing requires more than just a website and Facebook page. To build trust and increase new patient flow, you must also actively engage consumers online. Below we discuss how you can use digital media to convince potential patients that you’re the right practice for them.

Building trust with potential patients you’ve never met isn’t easy, but it can be done. Potential new patients are savvier than ever, researching practices on and offline before making a decision. Several factors contribute to their decision-making process including your website, online reviews, social media, positive comments, testimonials, a doctor’s referral, etc. All of these sources must convince them your practice is trustworthy and worth investing their time and money.

Where to Start: Building Your Online Reputation

Surveys show 90% of people read reviews before choosing a business. And most consumers read an average of 7 positive reviews before trusting that business—even with a strong star rating. Thus, your first priority should be garnering as many 5-star reviews as possible on Google and Facebook.

Since reviews of your practice carry so much weight, it’s vital to have some control over that information flow. One way to accomplish this is to capture authentic positive reviews in the office. A review capturing service will help boost positive reviews, and limit negative comments—“catching” them before the patient airs their grievances publicly. If a negative comment is posted on the web, you can defend it proactively by buffering it with positive feedback, making a single negative comment look like an outlier.

Next, add video testimonials from patients and/or referring doctors to your website. While written testimonials can be effective, video is much more powerful in building trust. Post these on your homepage and social media so they can be easily accessible with just one click.

Underscore Your Practice’s Unique Value

Authenticity translates into trust—a powerful motivator when making a purchase decision. So, always be authentic. Communicate your unique value to potential patients online with strong educational and interesting content.

Your content should educate them by answering their most frequently asked questions, show you’re an expert and clearly communicate your value over the competition. By using a blog and/or news section, you can organically attract patients to your website who are searching topics of interest. If they like what they read, they’ll follow you on social media and sign up for your email newsletter. Fun posts showing the personal side of your staff and patients, your community and charitable involvement, cool contests and informational content, all build confidence with potential new patients. So, when it’s time choose to a practice, you’re the one they’ll already know and trust!

Ensuring That If You Build It, They Will Come

Unfortunately, potential patients don’t always find you on their own and sometimes need a push. Facebook is arguably the most effective direct distribution channel for online content in the world. Their ads are highly targeted, allowing you to focus on a particular geographic area, age group, or interest category, so they reach the potential patients most likely to respond.

Carefully crafted original educational content is easily converted into ads that will move potential patients from Facebook or Instagram to your website with just one click. This strategy captures attention and creates awareness.

When writing online content, use a natural, friendly tone, as if you are speaking to the patient chairside. Also, make sure that photos and captions are posted by someone familiar with your practice culture to maintain authenticity. Otherwise, potential patients may unfollow you on social media if the posts don’t feel authentic.

Making Social Media Work for You

The primary benefit of social media is its social aspect—the sharing of information and content between your practice, patients, and potential new patients. Social media invites conversation. Everyone becomes part of the marketing process when engaging on Facebook and Instagram, thus exposing your practice to their entire network of online friends and family.

Social media is an integral part of digital marketing and building patient trust. Never let your online presence go stale. Rather, keep it fresh and authentic. Have a key staffer regularly update your website, Facebook and Instagram pages, and your Google Business listing. Remember, active engagement is key.

Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein, MBA are founders of People & Practice, LLC, a digital marketing firm exclusively for the dental profession. For more information and a free marketing analysis, contact them at 888.866.DOCS or email hello@pplpractice.com.

 

The above article was reprinted with permission from The McGill Advisory, a monthly newsletter with online
resources devoted to tax, financial planning, investments, and practice management matters exclusively for
dentists and specialists, published by John K. McGill & Company, Inc. (a member of The McGill & Hill Group,
LLC). Visit www.mcgillhillgroup.com/newsletter or call 888.249.7537 for further information.

John K. McGill
Publisher-The McGill Advisory

The McGill Advisory is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal or accounting advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Copyright © 2018 John K. McGill & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Marketing Strategies for a Successful Orthodontic Practice

The right mix can create a marketing masterpiece for your orthodontic practice.

We speak with orthodontists all the time who bemoan the loss of their tried and true referral sources and feel like they are facing the abyss when thinking that the only way to survive is by slashing fees. This is simply not the case. People and Practice has proven that, with the right mix of marketing online, a practice can not only survive it can thrive. You do not have to give up on the high value of service you have been providing to your patients. Your reputation does not have to take a hit in order to bring in new clients. What you need to do is make sure you are communicating why you are worth paying more for and connecting that message to the right customers. That’s where People and Practice excels. We know how to put together a marketing plan that will produce more patient conversions.

Social media leads to patient starts

It’s not just “nice” to have a social media page it’s essential. Studies have found that in the orthodontic industry one of the biggest opportunities for growth has been through social media. It has become one of the most common marketing strategies among practices and reports have shown that social media had a positive effect on new patient starts.

In a survey conducted by the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, 94% of respondents say that they have established a company page on Facebook to support their practice. Among the types of advertising orthodontic practice owners say that they have stopped using are Yellow page advertising, newspaper ads and direct mail – no surprise there. The question is, do you know how to replace these older forms of advertising with a more dynamic and interactive marketing channel like Facebook?

At People and Practice we work with each individual office and optimize a Facebook page to hit the right audience through interactive and shareable content. We support that effort with advertising that is targeted to reach a specific audience in your geographic region – people who are within driving distance of your practice.

Reviews are essential to converting customers

A potential patient won’t even think about calling your office unless they see positive reviews on Google, Facebook or other review sites and they want to see a lot of them. More than half of consumers that were surveyed said that a businesses rating was the most important factor in deciding where to go. The number of reviews was the second biggest factor in decision-making. Not only that, the number of consumers who want to see business responding to reviews is on the rise. And guess what? You cannot rest on your laurels because only 4% of consumers said that they pay any attention to reviews that had been submitted over a year ago.

People and Practice has a proprietary system to consistently capture positive, starred reviews and encourage patients to post them on Google Business and other social media websites. On the flip-side, we are able to head off negative reviews and address concerns before they are posted online.

Content is key to building trust

Trust is has always been an integral part of the transaction. That used to come from personal referrals and trusted centers of influence (dental offices) sending their patients your way. As the business of orthodontics changes we need to adapt to survive. Dentist are offering orthodontic services in-house, Dental Service Organizations are pounding potential clients by advertising low fees and quick turnaround, and mail order orthodontics – it’s a thing now. A practice has to cut through the clutter to communicate its value and build trust in a patient before they even walk in the door. The way to do that is by crafting educational content that positions you as an expert in the field of orthodontics and posts that show the value you and your staff bring to a patient’s experience in your office.

All good things deserve a boost

The greatest content in the world means nothing if no one sees it. Facebook and Google allow targeted advertising to show up in front of the specific audience you want to convert. We these powerful marketing tools to create and audience segment that is centered geographically in your office’s neighborhood and who are primed and ready to interact with the content we help create for you. Before they even walk in the door they have build up trust in your practice because we have served up useful, educational content the is relevant to them, giving them the tools to decide on their own if yours is the practice they want to bring their kids to.

If we build it they will click

People and Practice takes a multi-channel approach to marketing for orthodontic practices. Each strategy will work on its own but we believe that our marketing program is much more than the sum of its parts. By encouraging current patients to share posts about your practice on social media, making sure positive, starred reviews show up online about your office, crafting educational content, and making sure the right people are seeing that content when they need the information the most, we help you put more patients into chairs at your practice.

Want to learn more about putting the power of our marketing program in place for your orthodontist practice? Get a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.