19 OctDental Social Media Academy: One Year On
Since I stepped back from running a busy dental practice and even stepped away from clinical practice I have been enjoying managing Social Media Marketing for several dental practices and dental businesses. One of the elements I have always tried to incorporate into this role is to become part of the practice I am looking after so the posts have a degree of personality, not just a generic dental post. My aim is for the potential patient to be able to view the page and get a feel for what it might be like to be a patient in that practice.
Of course the best way to inject personality is to actually have someone in the practice doing the posts but that can be tricky. There may be time constraints or the Principal may be nervous that the posts be of low quality or contravene GDC and confidentiality guidelines.
This time last year I realised there was a place for a different type of Social Media Management, one where I hold the hand of someone in the practice and keep them safe, guide them and teach them how to manage Social Media.
Many do think that putting a post together is simple enough but in reality content curation takes time and it is important to project the right professional and friendly ethos of your brand.
I therefore started the Dental Social Media Marketing Academy last September and my first client was a Practice Manager of a private dental practice in Yorkshire. The Principal of the practice wanted to build a Social Media audience and understood the importance of linking with all other elements of digital media including his website, which we had been also been developing with him. The new PM came from a non-dental background and had no experience of managing a Facebook business page, in fact, very little experience of Social Media.
The PM and I started to work together and first she had to learn the basics about how to structure a post, links, images, what content to use etc. In Sept 2016 the page had 150 likes and was not active at all. We immediately set to work by creating regular daily posts and got lots of new followers with several different tactics.
We worked together to develop the Blogs on the Website and provide excellent content for the Facebook page. The Principal carries out a lot of STO cases and I showed his PM how to put together a Blog about a Six Month Smile case that would create interest. The patient in question had decided to have the treatment in preparation for her wedding and we were fortunate to be able to include wedding photos as well. With boosted posts on Facebook and Facebook Ads, this caused a great deal of excitement with people wanting to know how much this treatment cost. I encouraged the PM to take these conversations away from the page and through the messaging system so she could continue the conversion of the patient via a personally engaged conversation. This can be a lot of work, responding to messages personally and the hard work has paid off immensely with lots of new patients. She has repeated this with other patients, all with their permission and cooperation and used video too, always creating a great deal of interest.
In addition to Social Media we have discussed all aspects of marketing for the practice and discussed various external advocacy projects with local charities, school visits, open evenings. These associations have proved to be enjoyable for all the team. It has helped the team become more engaged and they genuinely enjoy raising money for charity and educating local children as well as baking cakes and doing charity runs. The PM posts all the activities to Social Media of course and patients can see their personality and that it may be a fun place to have dentistry! Some patients are terrified of visiting the dentist, even now, so anything where we can break the barriers down and help our patients relate to us and know they can trust us is a good thing.
One year on the PM is confident on Social Media and has managed to grow their practice page “Likes” organically to almost 1000. It is easy to buy “likes” but all the likes for their page are organic and therefore interested parties. Getting that number of likes to a dental practice is not easy and requires dedication, persistence and commitment. It doesn’t happen over night, nor will you see the results of this activity, new patients, over night. The PM has also developed what I call a “Marketing Mindset”, she sees the opportunities and starts to plan ahead. She already has all the activities planned for Mouth Cancer Awareness Month and Christmas. Marketing is proactive not reactive.
Put together a good Social Media strategy with a well designed and optimised Website that has an active Blog area and you will build interest, you can talk to your patients and potential new patients and break down the barriers.
All the clients in the Dental Social Media Academy connect via a Facebook Group and are able to bounce ideas off one another. They are all at different stages as the tuition and guidance is all one to one so it doesn’t matter when you join the group or what your experience is, I will plan your learning around your current knowledge.
If you would like to find out how we could help your with your Digital Marketing why not get in touch and start the conversation?