Excursives welcomes back guest blogger Dr. Jonathan Ford. Below, Dr. Ford shares how he made the case for the importance of social media (also discussed on Excursives here) in his dental practice.
I have a personal page on Facebook and probably joined within 4 months of Facebook ever being created. After I graduated from dental school and joined my current practice, the first thing I did was to create a Facebook page for my practice. My practice is also on Twitter and several other social media outlets.
I knew social media was important, but I had a hard time convincing my staff of its importance and why it’s important to ask our patients to give us google and yelp reviews. At a couple of staff meetings, I tried to explain the importance of it. I got blank stares and it went absolutely nowhere….I was either a bad at explaining it or they just thought social media was worthless. The next step was to bribe them. I told them to ask patients to review us and once we got five more reviews on either google or yelp that I would take them out for happy hour….bribing them was another epic failure. (I should have read “Drive” first.)
Then, Facebook came to the rescue. I was posting something and noticed a link that one of our patients posted.
I decided since my staff wasn’t listening to me, they might listen to someone else. I decided to play this youtube video for them at a staff meeting. Something finally clicked with my staff and we are now all pulling in the same direction as far as social media marketing goes.
I also wanted to point out some key parts to the video that definitely can affect a dental practice.
1) “The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year old females”. Women make the healthcare decisions in a family. Therefore, it is a key demographic for the field of dentistry to focus on; now social media can help us with this.
2) “Do you like what they are saying about your brand? …78% of consumers trust peer recommendations.” Our name and dental practice have a reputation in the community and that’s a brand. Have you done a search for your name or dental practice on Google? Do you know what it says? You better!
3) “We will no longer search for products and services; they will find us via social media.” When someone buys a car and post of picture of it on Facebook, that’s free marketing for the car company. When someone checks in at a restaurant on FourSquare, the restaurant gets free publicity as well. I don’t search for it; it comes to me when I log on my Facebook account. Dentists and dental practices can take advantage of this as well. My next post will focus on tips and techniques that you can use to expand your social media network.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach me through my website, www.FordDentalGroup.com if you have any questions or comments.