Marketing for dentists has changed since the days when every practice got its new clients when they were brought in by their parents. It was pretty much a case of setting up shop, turn up and the patients will come, especially when every surgery offered the same relatively small range of treatments, like fillings, extractions, dentures and crowns.
Now, however, there’s a much wider range of treatment options and most dental practices have to specialise and compete with other practices to get on and grow. This means that it’s time to bring out the big guns of social media.
Many dental practices haven’t taken full advantage of Facebook and so they’re really missing out on opportunities to reach new patients and to grow their practices. Here are some easy FB strategies to bring in fresh blood.
Use Facebook dark posts
As sinister as they sound, dark posts are actually quite benign. They’re called dark posts because they don’t show up on your audience’s organic FB feed or on your timeline either. They’re adverts that look like a News Feed item and the great thing about them is that they can be targeted to the individual Facebook account.
As we’ve seen in the news recently, Facebook has a lot of data and this data is invaluable for small businesses – like a dental practice. Dark posts let you create ads in the form of updates, videos, special offers and just simple photos, then use well-researched and targeted keywords based on the demographic data FB has collected to hit the right people.
Of course, you’ll need to create a number of different ads – implants for older people, braces for the parents of teens, free check-ups for toddlers and so on. Use each one for a few days at a time and see how much your traffic (and hopefully your bookings) increases. You’ll find out which ad works best and then you can go from there.
Use a vanity URL
If you have a business Facebook page it’ll give you the option to use a vanity URL, which is a shorter URL used for marketing. For example, your dental practice’s vanity URL could be www.facebook.com/docyankem/. If you don’t choose the vanity URL, you’ll get the same address but with loads of numbers on the end, which isn’t great for brand recognition and sharing.
Use your check-in feature
When someone checks into a shop, an airport or, indeed, your chair, then they send out a message to the world that they’re happy (ish) to be there and that they trust you. The FB check-in feature is a very powerful tool because people are nosey so they’ll probably have a quick snoop at your website to see exactly where their friend is.
A really good idea is to give any patients who check in with you a reward – $10 off their next hygienist visit, or a fancy new toothbrush. Don’t forget, every check-in will reach a few hundred people on average and these people know your patient, which means they trust their judgement, which means they might be next through your door.
Use informative and engaging content
Although a lot of Facebook marketing for dentists involves visual and person-to-person interaction (check-ins and likes), you do need to use your own content as well.
If you have a blog, then link it to your feed. Keep it short – people go to Facebook to unwind so they don’t want to be reading a 1,000-word post on gutta percha, for example. They want 300-word snippets on new techniques, teeth-cleaning tips and feel-good tales about how a set of implants transformed someone’s life.
When it comes to your actual Facebook posts, make them short and sweet too. Use polls on what you should call the new surgery goldfish, updates on new equipment, amusing anecdotes about staff members or the training courses they’ve just been on… Link to other practices (out of your area) that are doing something fun, like a dentist who sings rap songs to their patients; anything that will get a like or a share will do you just fine.
Above all, have fun, be consistent with your posting and make sure you respond – the resources to grow your practice are out there, so use them.
All the best…. Kristan
P.S. when you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:
1. Grab a free copy of our latest practice case study
It’s the exact strategies we used to help a local dentist get more patients and grow from 1 to 3 dental chairs in under 6 months. Click Here
2. Join The Dental Collective and connect with dentists trying to grow too
it’s our new Facebook community where smart dentists can connect and share on the way to getting more patients, income and independence. Click Here
3. Register for our next live webinar
Learn how to attract and retain high-value repeat patients, increase annual revenue and live a freer, happier life than ever before. Click Here
4. Have me and my team work with you privately
If you would like to work with our team to devise and implement your growth strategy and go from struggling to booking, just reply to this message, put “Private” in the subject line, and tell a little about your business and what you’d like t work on, and I’ll get you the details.