My Top Three Social Media Choices for Dental Marketing
Social media seems to be the hot topic on just about every blog and every article I read, but I know why; it’s because social media marketing is probably the most underused type of marketing around; which is ironic because it’s virtually free. It’s apparent that everyone seems to be aware of social marketing sites and just about everyone you know probably has a Facebook profile page, a fan page, a Twitter page and a LinkedIn profile, maybe one of those or all of them; but for marketing purposes they are underutilized and I’m not sure why. My hope is that you’ve taken advantage of all of these platforms and more. Dentists; as a business owner you should think of every social media site as an important set of tools needed for your dental marketing toolbox and use them liberally.
As a dentist, you have tools for various procedures performed in the dental office and although I’m not a fan of dental tools I am very appreciative that modern dentistry is accessible to me and my family. In the past dentists have gotten a bum rap; not everyone is excited about their dental appointments. Hopefully with the right mix of social media and some attractive dental marketing ideas the public will have a more positive outlook about their dental care.
I took three of the most popular social platforms in the networking world today. There are more and only one of these three is ranked in the top three according to Alexa.com, but they are my “go to” sites for networking. One is less used by the masses; however it pulls its weight in performance if used correctly and consistently. Let’s begin with that one;
LinkedIn – Ranked #25 on Alexa.com. I know it seems strange with others rank higher but; LinkedIn is on a more “profession oriented” level of social media, not so mainstream but very effective in communicating and networking with other professions linked with dentistry. The tricks here are getting the profile page filled out in its entirety. LinkedIn gives you step by step guides as you fill out your information; however what it doesn’t give you is some beefy information about using keywords in your current job titles and descriptions. Even using keywords in the area provided for websites. Instead of just adding your URL, name your site with keywords. Example; Your Town Dentist, if you blog then add that URL too but also use keywords to name it on your profile, ie; Dental Marketing Tools Blog. There is even a place to add your Twitter URL. Once you have completed your profile, go find some groups that are compatible with your profession, like other dentists, orthodontists and dental surgeons, comment frequently in the discussions, add discussions, be active in the groups you belong to. If you have a blog, LinkedIn offers the capability of feeding your blog posts to your profile page or if the blog post is on a specific hot topic that warrants some feedback, post that to the discussions with in a group.
Facebook -Ranked at #2 on Alexa.com of [the]top sites on the web; what you don’t know can hurt you in this social platform. For instance did you know that you do not necessarily need a personal Facebook profile page to create a Facebook fan page? To create a Facebook fan page one needs only a title for that page and within a few minutes you’re ready to begin posting status updates and finding connections. Facebook even gives you tips on how to effectively promote your page with Facebook advertising. Something to note when setting up your page, think about the title carefully because you won’t be able to change it. Do some research to find out what keywords works best for your practice; most likely you would use your practice name and the town in the title. Example: “Your Town Your Dental Practice Name” or “Your Dental Practice Name in Your Town”. From there the sky is the limit as you can set up RSS feeds from you blog or website when you add new content. Even send updates from your phone.
Twitter– Ranked at #11 on Alexa.com; a very efficient tool for dental marketing. Every dentist/dental practice should be utilizing this free social platform. It’s quick, easy and now that Twitter has implemented some changes by redesigning their web interface, it now becomes a multimedia arsenal for your social networking. Very soon you will be able to embed photos and videos directly on twitter. Set up your page with a title just like you would your Facebook page. Personalize and customize your background with literally thousands of background choices on the web or design and create your own. Google the words “customize your twitter page tutorials” to find out how to make your twitter page reflect your dental practice.
Of course all of these tips are only useful if you use them along with a little research to help optimize the steps you’ve already taken. Something to note; these tasks can be thieves of your time so it is recommended to do one at a time and in little bites if that is all you can do. Asking a staff member to assist you might be an option or maybe a college student in the graphic design department. College students always need the money and you can dictate what you want done now that you have some basic knowledge.
If you have not had the chance to see what the social platforms look like or how they work, take some time to lurk around Twitter, read up on LinkedIn. Facebook is pretty much a closed door unless you have a profile or fan page, but look for information via Google searches. Like I said earlier, almost every marketing blogger has written on this subject it shouldn’t be too tough finding a DIY article on social media.
One last nugget of information; profile pictures, don’t neglect this area. You should aspire to have a consistent profile photo or avatar on each one of these sites. This makes you recognizable and gives you and your practice; status and credibility. Think of it as a brand for your practice’s social badge. A personal photo of you is fine; this puts a face with the name. A logo is fine too; as long as it is web ready. Achieve a more polished and professional look with a profile picture that complements any backgrounds or banners on your existing website or blog.
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My Top Three Social Media Choices for Dental Marketing