So in this last segment on social media marketing I wanted to talk about using the media to help patients and potential patients connect with you and your team. One of the most powerful things we can do today with technology is stay connected or get connected with other people. I have a belief that patients want to be in relationship with us, as more than simply a provider of dental services. There is a sense of belonging when we know about another persona and they know about us.
Last week I started a series discussing social media or internet marketing and the things I have found to be successful. In the first post I discussed clarity, figuring out who you are as a dentist and office and who your trying to market to as a potential new patient. The second post looked at creating visibility on the web by generating content. Search engine optimization is about written content over time. Loading your website up with content at the front end and then ignoring it may boost you in the search engines at first, but others will quickly replace you. The search engines want to see new content being posted consistently over time.
In yesterday’s post I discussed the first piece of successful marketing, clarity. Today our topic will be visibility. This may seem obvious as no marketing is successful if it is not seen, but marketing using social media on the internet is very different. When we utilize direct mail for instance it becomes visible because we push it out to the addresses on the list we purchase. The internet is more of a “if we build it, they will come” construct, the modern terminology is “Inbound Marketing”. Visibility is about building something that meets the technical criteria to become highly visible, and then making it so appealing people will want to visit.
As we begin 2013 I thought it appropriate to look at social media marketing. Over the last 2 years I have learned quite a bit about social media and using it as a marketing tool, both for my pursuits as a dental educator and my dental practice. When I look back over what I have learned and how it has shaped using social media there are 4 distinct lessons or activities that combine to create success, Clarity, Visibility, Activity and Connectivity. In this and the next three posts I will look at each area.
One of the greatest lessons of marketing, whether it be social media or other types is clarity. You can not market effectively if you do not know what you are marketing. The three pieces of clarity are:
The past few blogs have focused on utilizing Facebook as a powerful Social Networking tool. Today we are shifting our attention to Twitter. According to a recent article on Twitter.com, they have more than 100 million monthly global actives. And half of their active users log in every day. “55% of our active users are active on mobile. We’ve seen tremendous growth with mobile – about 40% increase quarter over quarter.” Those are big numbers that show that they have a “sticky” base of active users that communicate on a daily basis.
In my last blog we focused on pictures for your Facebook page. This weeks topic is on videos. After you’ve “mastered” Facebook, and you’re ready to incorporate video into your practice marketing, YouTube is the next step in ramping up your social media presence. Video is a phenomenon which has become paramount to sharing one’s story. The fact is that the “tools of the trade” for a dental practice now include cameras, editing software, and a platform to broadcast. The platform that is the biggest and the easiest to get started is YouTube. YouTube’s traffic is incredible with 48 hours of video being uploaded every minute, over 3 billion videos are viewed a day, and 800M unique users who visit YouTube each month. These numbers alone should cause you to think about sharing content with others using this FREE service. When deciding what to make videos on think in terms of what you would like to watch. Keep in mind that the attention span of the average viewer is very is short. Video clips should be between thirty seconds and two minutes long.
As we have talked about in past blogs, Facebook is a place to share information. You have heard the quote, “A picture is worth 1,000 words”. Today we are taking that principle and applying it to Facebook. We will cover four album ideas for your dental practice. Albums are groups of photos on Facebook. You can create different albums for different events. Otherwise, if you just have one picture you can post it directly to your wall. Here are four ideas for albums:
The week before the holidays I posted a guest blog from Bartley Stratton on “Getting Started in Social Media” to help answer the numerous questions about using social media for dental practices. The post was popular and generated even more questions about using the different social networks, so Bartley has agreed to share with us the suggestions she gives her clients when they are launching into this marketing arena.
This week we are focusing on, “what not to do on Facebook”. This will help give you some insight of how to do-this, not that. It may seem self-explanatory, but it’s always a good idea to review. Remember that your page represents your practice. The image you want to give your followers and Fans will be portrayed on your business page. Make sure you make the proper choices to put your best Social Networking foot forward.
A question that is becoming more and more common when I talk to dentists is ” How can I use social media to market my dental practice?” I decided to go to an expert for the answer and called my friend Bartley Stratton. Bartley is the President and founder of Yodel Networking. She specializes in helping companies grown their business via social networking strategies. I asked Bartley to share with us what she suggests for dentists who want to get started in social media, here is her answer:
It is crucial to map out your specific business goals before embarking on a social media program. “I think it’s safe to say that companies making investments in better connecting with their customers now, will have a distinct advantage over those that are resolved to wait and see with this social web thing.” Lee Odden, toprankblog.com