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
Therefore, your plan must include identifying your target audience, deciding on the Social Networking platform (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, etc.), choosing a reputable partner to work with in creating your Social Networking “platform” and creating a Social Marketing budget that will allow the plan that is designed to achieve the desired outcome.
Once these decisions are made you will then be prepared to start creating your Social Networking Platform. For today, I will provide a short overview for creating a dental office Facebook page.
1). Create a page and populate it
When creating a page make sure you have the top things in place before promoting your page. Find a profile picture that is branded well for your dental practice. A practice logo is not always best. The profile picture is what people see first. Make sure they see what you want them to see. Here are the basic specs that Facebook provides. Facebook recommends that profile picture should be a maximum of 200px wide, while height can vary as needed with a maximum height of 600px allowed.
Next, make sure to add information, pictures, and events on an ongoing basis to your page as well. Let the world know what is going on with your company so they can participate with you. Example: Your dental office has a “Kids Day”. Create an event with all of the information. Add the times, contact information, and always a picture for the event. The day of the event post a status update about it. After the event post pictures from the event as well and an update.
2). Invite your friends
Once your page has information on it, suggest the Facebook page to your friends. Make sure your website has a link back to your Facebook page so people can see it as well.
3). Maintain the page
Come up with goals of how to manage the page. If there is someone in your office who can be the point person make sure they know what your goals are for maintaining the page. Example: How often will you post status updates? What do we want to share and what do we not want to share? Make a plan and stick with it.
4). Give back to your fans
People love when they get something. What giveaways can you do? What discounts or promotions can you offer? Example: When you get 100 fans give a 20% discount on teeth whitening, or pick of a “Fan of the Week”. Highlight someone each week by giving them a $5 gift card to Starbucks.
There is a fine line between letting people know about your practice and pushing too much information out to others. Next blog post we will discuss what not to do when it comes to social media. Until next time, get started and good luck!
President of Yodel Networking