4 Ways Social Media Can Help Promote Your Library

Social media can be a powerful tool for libraries when it comes to marketing their establishment. From connecting with their communities to promoting their services, social media gives librarians a unique opportunity to connect with their visitors directly. Building a presence online can help build your library’s brand and how people perceive your space even before they visit.

Before we get started, it’s important to choose the social media platforms that are most relevant to your library and your community. Some popular platforms for libraries include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and yes, even TikTok. Each platform has its own unique features and audience, so it’s worth taking the time to consider which ones will be the most effective for your needs.

In this blog, we’ll show you 4 ways that librarians can use social media to stay connected with their visitors and, in turn, build more readers in your space.


1. Update and Inform Library Patrons with Social Posts:

One of the main benefits of social media for libraries is that it allows you to share updates, information, and resources with your patrons in real-time. This can be especially useful for promoting events, such as book clubs, author talks, and workshops, as well as for sharing news about new acquisitions, services, and programs.

You may have useful information and resources that you know would help benefit your patrons. By using social media, you’re able to share that information or supply a link to the blog that holds the information. This helps bring more traffic to your website and further show that the library is a source of knowledge – both online and offline.

The day of waiting for the library to open and speaking on the phone for information is behind us. Nowadays, your visitors can directly message you on your social platform for inquiries about your libraries. This helps your space feel more connected and speeds up the process when helping your community. Your patrons will feel appreciated knowing that they can connect with their local library in seconds.

Some ideas for types of content that libraries can share on social media include:

  • Announcements about upcoming events and programs
  • Previews of new books, movies, and other materials
  • Book “unboxings” showing new deliveries to the library
  • Links to online resources, such as databases and e-books
  • Tips and tricks for using library services, such as borrowing materials or accessing online resources
  • Inspiring quotes or interesting facts related to books and reading


2. Build Engagement with Your Online Community:

Librarians can use social media to engage with their community, making their relationships with their visitors stronger. By creating content and posting online, you are opening an online door for your followers to comment, like, and share what their local library is doing. Doing this shows that your library is active, even when your visitors are away physically.

Take Advantage of Existing Communities

Join the #BookTok community, a subcommunity on the app TikTok which is focused on books and literature, to get your posts global engagement. From book reviews to writing tips, plot reenactments of popular novels and more, #BookTok is a delightful corner of TikTok that encourages followers to enjoy literature. The #BookTokChallenge might be one of the few TikTok challenges that are actually wholesome and inspiring to viewers.

User Generated Content

User-generated content is content that is created by customers and posted to social media. UGC comes in many forms, including images, videos, or testimonials. One particularly effective way to engage with your patrons and create user-generated content is to set up a photo op in the library. This can be as simple as setting up a backdrop or props related to a particular theme, and then inviting patrons to take photos and share them on social media using a designated hashtag.

Create hashtags specific to your library’s photo op area that people can use when posting their photos online (e.g., #LibraryNamePhotoOp, #lovemylibraryname). You can also run contests where people who post using these hashtags can win prizes such as books or gift cards! This will not only increase engagement with your existing patrons but also draw in new ones who might otherwise never have heard of your library before!

Your followers are gateways to more visitors to your library. By having your followers share your posts and events, it gives your library new potential visitors that can come through your door.

Open Communication

What’s great about social media is that it becomes a two-way street. Online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter give you the ability for your patrons to message and respond to your questions.

Consider asking your audience what events they would like to see from their library, or what genres of books the library should bring in. Maybe you want to learn about what new improvements your visitors want from your library, social media allows you to get that information in an instant.

Giving your visitors a platform to speak will show that you are actively trying to better your establishment for its community.

In addition to sharing your own content, it’s also important to engage with your patrons and encourage them to participate.

Great engagement activities include:

  • Asking for feedback or suggestions from patrons about what they’d like to see at the library
  • Responding to comments and questions from patrons in a timely manner
  • Encouraging patrons to share their own photos, reviews, and experiences at the library using a designated hashtag
  • Running social media contests or challenges, such as a “book spine poetry” contest or a “shelfie” challenge (a photo of someone’s bookshelf)


3. Reach a Larger Audience and Build a Community:

Having an online presence grows your ability to build your library’s community by helping you reach a larger audience than traditional advertising methods.

Through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even Tiktok, you are able to see your visitors and how they interact with your space, both online and offline.

Consider hosting a hashtag for your library so that you can stay up-to-date and see the latest posts happening at your location. Reposting these posts can show that you’re actively engaged with your community and care about what your patrons are doing.

By reposting your community’s content, you actively build your library’s ‘User-Generated Content.’ This content, created by your community, showcases the vibrancy of your location. Sharing, tagging, and reposting your visitor’s posts can have your patrons feel noticed, and part of a bigger community.

This especially works if your library’s decor is unique and different from your typical library, which leads to our next point…

Library story time area with sculpted tree.


4. Show Your Library’s Personality on Social Media:

In today’s society, younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z place a strong emphasis on values and beliefs when they interact with businesses. As a result, it is crucial for businesses to not only provide high-quality products or services but also have a brand identity and mission that aligns with their target audience. This is where effective marketing comes in.

In the case of libraries, social media can help showcase the library’s personality and create a unique brand identity. By sharing stories and experiences, libraries can build a sense of community around their brand, connecting with followers who share similar values and beliefs. This approach can help libraries attract a younger audience and establish a stronger relationship with their current patrons.

Show off your people and their personalities.

Having a social media platform allows your library to have its very own spotlight. This allows librarians to show all the details that make your library special and unique compared to others. This is especially important because it gives your space personality and further grows the atmosphere that you’ve worked so hard to build in person – online.

Put a spotlight on your building and the amenities it has to support people in your community.

If making your library more unique and appealing is one of your priorities, consider looking into custom theming to have your library stand out. Theming creates a welcoming and safe space for children to come and explore literature, showing you care about the comfort of families in your community. Theming is an easy way to convey how the atmosphere or your library should feel and look the moment a visitor comes in. Your library theming can range anything from contemporary minimalistic styles to fun and whimsical and appeal to your younger audiences and families.

Click here if you’re interested in how you can add custom theming to your space.


Social Media Can Help Promote Your Library

Whether it be to share information, build engagement, build your community, or show the well-deserved spotlight to your library, social media can be a powerful tool to help all of that and more.

By being on social media, you are not only growing your potential reach, but you are also showing your involvement with your community. Who knows? Maybe your post will become a new member one day!

By using social media effectively, you can strengthen your relationship with your patrons and attract new ones to your library.


Check out these related resources for making your library an exciting place to learn:

Unique Decor Ideas for Libraries

Tips for Creating a Presentation Area in Your Children’s Library

Say Cheese! Playful Photo Op Inspiration

The Benefits of Themed Decor for Kids

Explore Examples of Children’s Library Decor

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your library into a place that captures everyone’s attention!

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Do You Have a Media Consent Form for Your Office?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was created to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.

HIPAA was created many years before social platforms became the omnipresent media giant it is today. As a result, there are no specific rules outlining social media use. Rather, you can apply the general rules around the protection of PHI (patient health information).

Healthcare organizations must implement a HIPAA social media policy to reduce the risk of violations. The HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibits the disclosure of PHI on social media networks without the express consent of patients.

So if you want to utilize social media in your marketing, that’s what you need to worry about – acquiring consent.

The easiest way to gain consent is by including a ‘Media Consent Form’ with your patient onboarding paperwork – either printed or as a digital file. Patients and their families are already mentally prepped to fill out paperwork when dealing with health and dental visits, so this won’t be an inconvenience to them at all.

Why worry about getting consent to post photos of your patients?

One of the best ways to show off your dental practice is by posting patient results on your website, office bulletin board, and social platforms (both photos of teeth and photos of patients having a good experience in your care) so having a media consent form is critical to marketing your practice. And it’s just good practice. Some parents are sensitive about sharing their children online, and some encourage it!

One of our most popular marketing items is our photo ops that help create social media engagement. Of course, parents and kids can take and post all the photos of themselves that they want.

The time for a consent form is when your business wants to share photos as well, such as celebrating a cavity-free prize winner, sharing funny photos of a family posing with your photo op character, or showing off the successful results of a dental treatment plan on a young patient.

A consent form should include:

  • your organization’s name to show who is using the photos and videos
  • the name and signature of the parent or guardian
  • the date to show when consent was granted – a timeline of when the use of photos and videos begins
  • purpose of the authorization – description of how the media will be used – social media, website, promo videos
  • the ability of the parent to revoke consent at a future date

This signed agreement, with clear indications of how the information will be used, must remain on file. 

Here is a sample of what a consent form will look like:

We have included all this information in a media consent form for children and one for adults:

This blog is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by using our contract template. If you have a specific problem and need legal advice, contact a licensed attorney. Consult your legal team or HIPAA Privacy Officer about HIPAA and your social media policies.

Other tips to help you stay HIPAA compliant when using social media include:

  • Have a dedicated social media coordinator who is educated in HIPAA compliance. There are numerous educational programs to help your staff get HIPAA compliant. It is better to have someone who is aware of the rule surrounding HIPAA and who is able to check the consent form before posting or commenting on social. Having control over content is the first step to avoiding violations.
  • Consult your legal or compliance team to verify that your content does not violate HIPAA and aligns with your brand’s social media use policy. Additionally, work with them to establish a communication protocol for corresponding with patients and their families over social media.
  • Make sure your staff keeps PHI off their personal social media accounts. It is a good idea to train your entire staff in HIPAA compliance to make sure they do not make a mistake in their personal use of social platforms.
  • Review environmental photographs and videos to ensure there is no PHI in the background such as a patient’s name on an x-ray, charts, or computer screens.
  • Ask permission to share photos and testimonials posted on a patient’s own social media page, just to be safe.

More HIPAA resources that will help keep you informed:

Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule

HIPAA Rules for Dentists

HIPAA and Marketing

AAPD FAQ about HIPAA

Add a Social Media Photo Op to Your Office

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Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

Dental Office Theming is Big News for Local News Stations

One of our favorite perks to theming offices all over North America is getting to see our offices pop up in local news across the country. Not only is this a great way for a dental office to get extra exposure and free advertising, but it will make you proud knowing your office is newsworthy.

This is a great opportunity for some free dental office marketing. Don’t miss that chance to get your themed office in the news. Local news channels love to show off unique and exciting stories in the community. Whether you get in the newspaper or manage to bring out a whole news camera crew, any free promotion is welcome.



Here are a couple of examples of themed offices that have made the news to give you some ideas on how to pitch your story to your local news provider.


Practice Finds its Niche with Young Patients

“We’re the Walt Disney World of dentistry,” said Trey Anderson with a laugh.



Smile Town Dentistry Profiles of Excellence

“I knew how challenging it was to get my brother into appointments and my parents experienced an equal amount of stress,” explains Dr. Chadha. “I wanted to help other families; that’s why we decided to open offices that are fun for children of all ages and specially designed to accommodate families with special-needs children.” Dr. Kanani adds, “We are here to help, and we are empathetic to their needs.”



Technology, fun approach to dentistry help make Big Smiles in Milford


“We want to make the whole office fun… We don’t want them to be scared,” said Eunice Lee, one of two pediatric dentists at the office.




The Smile Start Interactive Center at the PDAO Bentonville office is used for new patients aged four to eleven to focus on education and training. In this simulation center, kids can practice brushing and flossing on a large replica of a mouth, look at plaque through microscopes and feel and smell giant cavities. Staff observes each patient to coach them on how to correct their technique, and there’s even a test at the end to keep kids paying attention and taking dental hygiene seriously, while having fun!







We hope these offices inspire you. So don’t be shy, you have a cool and unique office, get your office in the news! Here’s a template you can use to invite a news crew to your office. 

Contact a journalist directly if you can, not just the generic news station contact. Your story could get lost in the shuffle. Find someone who writes about topics similar to your business.

The subject line of your email pitch must contain your news hook – the one thing that makes your story stand out and demand a journalist’s attention.


Try one of these:

1. “Amazing kid-friendly [Jungle/Ocean/Etc] themed office comes to [local area]”
2. “A dental office kids can’t wait to visit!”
3. “From fear to fun, how this local dental office is changing the way kids feel about the dentist.”

And include in your body: 

[Journalist Name], I know you like to write about [local business/events/children/health] and thought this story would be of interest to you. Please find attached below a story about a unique dental office experience designed to reduce anxiety in children.

Make it easy on the journalist you have contacted. Tell them a bit about your history in the area. Any philosophies you have around treating patients. Talk about the problem you are solving for consumers – making going to the dentist easier for both kids as well as their parents. Describe your office and how it is designed to entertain and relax children, better priming them for their appointments. Feel free to allude to any awards you have won for your services.

Attach a photo! A themed office is designed to sell itself.

Lastly, invite the journalist to contact you if they need any more information.

Thanks,
[Your Name] 
[Contact details]





Has your office been featured in the news? Share a link with us to see at info@idskids.com

Check out these related resources for improving your marketing efforts:

Connect Your Social Media Platforms Together To Save Time

3 Quick Tips on Using Theming as a Social Media Promotional Tool

Key Strategies to Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing

Add a Cool Google Office Tour to Make Your Business Page Stand Out

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn about branding basics, social media tips, ways to improve your online efforts, plus event and promotional ideas.

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Creating Online Buzz Starts Offline for Dental Practices

When creating a digital strategy, marketing teams typically think in terms of online activity and create digital content designed to convert views into clicks. Clicks then convert into appointments, with bonus points whenever it’s a new patient. But here’s the thing – it’s NOT a one-way street.

Your digital strategy is incomplete if it doesn’t consider driving activity in both directions: digital converting into a physical visit, and physical visits converting into patient-driven activity online.

It’s an often-overlooked component, yet it’s highly effective at creating buzz around your brand and recruiting visitors as brand evangelists. It’s something that’s being done more and more by major malls and hospitality brands, and there’s no reason your practices can’t benefit too. You may not be able to buy word-of-mouth advertising, but you can certainly create the conditions that encourage those conversations, shares, and likes!

If your practices are family-friendly or pediatric-focused, there are some proven techniques for converting patient visits into digital traction by tapping into the network of local parents online.

HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE WAYS TO ENCOURAGE ONLINE INTERACTION WITH YOUR CLIENTS:

1. Run Social Media Contests to Increase Social Media Engagement

Budget for prizes and set a goal. Determine whether you’re trying to increase social media followers, generate more leads, or want to increase brand awareness.

The better the prize, the more activity you’ll generate. Find some local products as a prize to support other businesses in your area. Aim your contest prizes at both kids and adults (adults are the ones who will be doing the majority of the posting, so make it worth it for them). Promote this prize while your patients and their families are in the office.

One of the most straightforward ways to run a contest is for each time a parent tags the practice and uses a special hashtag, they get entered in a draw to win a fun family prize.

You can also ask your clients to follow you on social media to be entered, ask followers to share a specific post to promote your dental office on social media, and ask people to like and comment to get entered in a draw to increase engagement on your page. 

When people like, comment, and share your posts, social media algorithms recognize this activity and more people are likely to see you and learn about your business.

Learn more about social media contest ideas in our free marketing guide.

2. Create Shareable Moments for Your Patients and Their Parents to Post Online

Let’s face it – parents are always looking for an opportunity to capture an adorable photo of their kids and then share it with friends and family. Even better is when they get the subtle brag that shows how much fun their little one had during a recent visit to the dentist. (FUN at the dentist – your kids must be amazing!)

The trick here is to create a setting that helps ensure photos are share-worthy. A charming sculpted character with whom to pose, a colorful wall mural or some ‘photo booth’ props are all methods that help curate the perfect photo inside your office. Make sure your brand is carefully yet subtly included and you’re well on your way to supercharging your social media presence.

Curating share-worthy moments is even more effective when you combine a photo op with a contest, like the one mentioned above – share your photo with our character, tag the practice, and you’re entered to win!

3. Ask Your Clients for an Online Review

If you are committed to offering an above-expectation experience for your patients, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a Google or Facebook review at the end of a visit. This can be done via an on-site tablet, a text message follow-up, or even a polite reminder on the back of your appointment cards.

If you’re worried about negative reviews (it can happen to the best of us), you can filter clients at the very beginning of the process into two streams:

1. Not happy? Please let us know so we can make it right (i.e. they are not asked to leave a Google review, instead a feedback form that goes directly to management).

2. Happy? Great – please tell the world by posting a Google review!

By using these three simple techniques, you will see a big boost to the online activity around your brand. Because it’s buzz coming from your clients, it will be regarded as more genuine and will do more for referrals than your own content or paid ads ever could.


Check out these related resources for how to attract more dental patients:

The Importance of a Website for Promoting Your Dental Practice

The Best Dental Marketing Tactics and Strategy

How to Get Online Reviews for Your Dental Office (and Respond to Negative Ones)

Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing with These Key Strategies

The 3 Social Media Sites You Should Be Promoting Your Business On and Why

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn more tips to help you get more patients in your dental office.

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5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Office Photo Op

With social media playing an ever more critical role in marketing, it’s no surprise that photo ops are becoming a trend in clinic waiting rooms the world over. It’s a great dental office promotion idea for using your physical office space to drive social media activity (like posts and shares) and can really help a practice gain organic traction in the online parent community.


5 Key Tips to Maximize Your Dental Office’s Social Media Photo Ops



1. Make Sure Your Dental Office Photo Op is ‘Share-Worthy’

Parents are always on the lookout for the next moment that will produce an eye-catching, adorable photo of their little ones. Make sure that your photo op features vibrant colors and something that will really make kids smile. It’s all about curating that perfect social media moment. 


2. Create a “Subtle Brag” for Parent Engagement on Social Media

Beyond the adorable moment, parents are secretly looking for the opportunity for a subtle brag. For example, “Look at how much fun my kid had at the dentist… Oh, and no cavities!”

To play into this desire, add some props to the scene that allow kids to proudly advertise ‘Cavity-Free Today!’, ‘Had a Great Appointment!’, or ‘I was Brave Today!’.

If you’re an optometrist, try a sign that says ‘New Glasses Day!’ or ‘My First Pair of Glasses!’.

If you’re a doctor, ‘I Was Vaccinated Today!’, ‘I Got a Shot Today!’, or ‘I’m All Better!

Want more tips like this? Download the free guide to learn more tips to help you get more patients in your dental office.



3. Integrating Your Brand into Dental Office Photo Opportunities

You get the most marketing value from a photo being posted to social media if those who see it know where it was taken. We suggest a combination of two things: your medical or dental office logo subtly included in the scene somewhere – it can be incorporated in the background scene, on a signpost that’s in the shot, or perhaps on the t-shirt of the photo op character. Next, utilize hashtags and encourage parents to tag your office when they post the picture. Make this easy on them by ensuring your hashtags and social media handles are easy to find and are included on any take-home paperwork they may receive.


4. Boost Engagement with a Social Media Contest in Your Dental Office

One of the best ways to nurture parent-driven activity online is to run a contest. Weave this together with your photo op by allowing the posting of the photo as entry into the contest. Use a unique hashtag to easily identify entries online and make your prize something family-focused such as passes to a local amusement park or a family picnic prize pack.

One thing to note here – not every parent will be open to posting photos of their kids on social media, so be sure to supplement the above with an offline entry ballot as well. This way parents have the opportunity to enter without being ‘forced’ to post pics of their kids online.

If you want more tips on running a contest in your office or on social media, check out out free marketing guide for more great insights.


5. Keeping Dental Office Photo Ops Fresh with Seasonal Updates

Parents don’t want to look like they are posting the same photo more than once, which is why you’ll need to put some thought into keeping your photo op current. It can be as simple as adding some seasonal props like a Santa hat on your character or adding some pumpkins and cobwebs around Halloween. The trick is to make the photo op reflect what’s current now.


Transform Your Dental Office with Effective Theming Today

Don’t hesitate to chat with us about how theming can help market your business. Call us for a free consultation at 1.888.884.4102. You can also email us at info@IDSkids.com.

IDS theming is not an expense; it is an investment in your business.

Invest in Your Patients

  • Reduce patient anxiety and enhance their relaxation
  • Prime patients and families for their appointments
  • Create positive dental care experiences

Invest in Your Business

  • Create “buzz” in the community you serve
  • Accelerate patient referrals
  • Generate positive online reviews


Get more marketing tips and tricks to help grow your office:

3 Quick Tips on Using Theming as a Social Media Promotional Tool

Creating Online Buzz Starts Offline for Dental Practices

Key Strategies to Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience. 


From our artists to our engineers, we pride ourselves on the level of expertise each team member brings to the projects we create. Our experts want to offer some insight into their work and offer professional advice to help your dental office reach its full potential.

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The 3 Social Media Sites You Should Be Promoting Your Dental Office On and Why

In the age of technology and digital communications, it is becoming increasingly important to market your dental practice through social media. Traditionally, mailed leaflets, phone calls, and word-of-mouth were the main sources of new clients. There are approximately 247 million U.S. social media users as of 2019. That is a massive market waiting to be tapped by your practice. By using social media, you are able to put a face to your business and quickly and effectively reach out to previous and potential clients.

There are three main social networking sites that are best for reaching and interacting with your client base: Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. Each serves a specific purpose and can be utilized in different ways.

THERE ARE 3 SOCIAL MEDIA SITES YOU SHOULD BE PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS ON AND HERE IS WHY

1. Facebook

Facebook is the most commonly-used platform, so having a Facebook account is a must.

Facebook is best used when looking to connect with audiences and to share information with those who are interested in your practice. You post content like:

  • Photos of your patients who are cavity-free
  • Celebrate your staff during special events like birthdays
  • Promote events, like if you’re setting up a booth at a local fair or doing a talk at a school
  • Informative content, like articles on the latest dental technology
  • Information relating to your practice such as contact information, hours, and a map of your office 
  • Updates that are relevant to your clients, like closures due to Covid-19

Post consistently; several times a week is best for reaching those who follow you.

Facebook can also help you to gather feedback and comments from your existing patients. Be sure to monitor patient comments and respond promptly to both positive and negative comments.

Be warned, Facebook is a money-making business and will want to charge you to share your content with a wider audience to get more reach and engagement with your posts. The key is to create content that users actually want to see and your content will spread organically.

Use Facebook for:

  • Audience Reach: With over 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a platform that caters to a broad audience, making it an excellent choice for reaching a diverse range of potential patients.
  • Engagement Features: Facebook offers various engagement features, including posts, photos, videos, events, and reviews. You can create a business page, share educational content, promote special offers, and interact with your community through comments and messages.
  • Content Opportunities: You can share a variety of content on Facebook, such as dental tips, educational videos, patient testimonials, and updates about your dental practice.
  • Community Building: Facebook allows you to create a community around your dental practice. You can engage with patients through comments, private messages, and events.

2. Linkedin

LinkedIn is an excellent platform for promoting your dental office, especially when you want to engage with a professional audience, build relationships within the healthcare industry, and establish your practice as an authority.

Remember to maintain a professional tone and image on LinkedIn. While other social media platforms may focus more on casual interactions, LinkedIn is a platform where professionalism and credibility are highly valued.

Use Linkedin for:

  • Professional Networking: LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that allows you to connect with other professionals in the healthcare industry. It’s a great platform for sharing educational content, industry news, and professional achievements.
  • Build Credibility: By sharing informative articles, participating in discussions, and showcasing the expertise of your team, you can build credibility and trust among potential patients and other professionals in the field.
  • Educational Content: Share informative content about dental health, advancements in dentistry, and your team’s expertise. This can help build trust among potential patients.
  • B2B Opportunities: If your dental office provides services to businesses or professionals, LinkedIn can be a valuable platform for B2B networking.

3. Instagram

Instagram is a platform that allows your practice to post and tag a single photo or a small scrollable gallery. This social media platform relies on hashtags and photo filters to create an image for your practice and name.

Instagram can be used as a tool for your staff to share office life, post photos of kids who are in the daily ‘no cavity club,’ and celebrate office events. It is less formal than Facebook and a great tool for connecting to your younger patient base.

Instagram is the best platform for reaching millennials (your family-aged audience) and other users who appreciate a good picture or video. If you have a themed office that means you’ll have an endless supply of visually interesting content to grab the attention of the cool, millennial moms in your area.

The Instagram app.

On top of attracting new patients, Instagram is a great place to attract good staff. Job hunters will often head to Instagram to find out the culture of a company they are looking to work for to see if they will be a good fit.

Use Instagram for:

  • Visual Appeal: Instagram is a highly visual platform, making it ideal for showcasing your dental practice through high-quality images and videos. This is particularly useful for highlighting before-and-after dental work, office aesthetics, and the team.
  • Engagement with Visual Storytelling: Use Instagram Stories and Reels to share behind-the-scenes glimpses, patient testimonials, and quick oral health tips. Visual storytelling can be powerful in creating a connection with your audience.
  • Hashtags for Visibility: Utilize relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts and reach a broader audience interested in dental health.


SOCIAL MEDIA IS WORTH THE EFFORT FOR YOUR DENTAL OR MEDICAL BUSINESS

It may sound time-consuming to utilize social media, but it often only takes a few minutes a day.

By cross-posting your content to all three of these sites, you can consistently and efficiently reach out to patients who are interested in your practice with considerably less time. There are even programs that help you manage all of your accounts from one place, such as Hootsuite.

Placing advertisements on these platforms allows you to reach new clients without spending a fortune. Each of these sites also offers analytics so that you can immediately see who is following your practice, which types of posts generate the most interest, and track current dental trends.

Social Media is about more than simply posting content. The content you create is also pivotal to your success. Featuring events in the community, educating patients on the importance of dental health and lifestyle changes, and highlighting opportunities for clients to interact with your practice are all key.

In order to create a ‘buzz’ around your practice, you can enter your office into dental design and local business competitions. This recognition not only increases the prestige of your office, it is the perfect promotional opportunity to share with your followers on social media.

The great thing about social media is that you can let your patients market your practice for you!

A themed office gives patients plenty of photo opportunities that they want to share to their social media profiles. Choose a hashtag that relates to your office and encourage patients to tag your practice in the photos they take. Not only does this increase word-of-mouth recommendations, it also makes patients feel connected and excited about your office. A happy practice is a social practice and your patients will be happy to promote your dental office on social media!

When using these platforms, keep in mind:

  • Consistent Branding: Maintain consistent branding across all platforms, including your logo, business information, and visual style.
  • Educational Content: Share informative and educational content about oral health. This not only positions your practice as an authority but also provides value to your audience.
  • Engagement: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and reviews. Encourage patients to share their positive experiences.
  • Promotions and Specials: Use social media to promote any special offers, discounts, or events happening at your dental office.

Remember to review and adhere to the specific guidelines and policies of each platform. Regularly analyze the performance of your content to understand what resonates best with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Check out these related resources for improving your social media efforts:

Connect Your Social Media Platforms Together To Save Time

3 Quick Tips on Using Theming as a Social Media Promotional Tool

The Best Dental Marketing Tactics and Strategy

Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing with These Key Strategies

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

Want more social media tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide!

 



From our artists to our engineers, we pride ourselves on the level of expertise each team member brings to the projects we create. Our experts want to offer some insight into their work and offer professional advice to help your dental office reach its full potential.

Micaela

Social Media Marketing Coordinator
Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications
Joined IDS in 2007

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How to Get Online Reviews for Your Dental Office (and Respond to Negative Ones)

Reviews matter for small businesses, especially if you cater to the public. Online reviews bring the benefit of social proof, something we have talked about before. Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of other people have on your own behavior and decisions. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as the recommendation of a friend.

HOW TO GET ONLINE REVIEWS FOR YOUR DENTAL OFFICE

So we all know reviews are important, but how do you get them? Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to get ahead of the competition.

Claim Your Online Business Profiles

If you want to have control over your reviews, be sure to claim your online profiles. This means either setting up a profile or claiming the default listing created by review sites. Make sure you have a presence on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and any industry-specific sites where your business can get reviewed.

If you must begin small, begin with taking control of your Google Business Page. Google reviews are the most important type of review for a dentist. Unless being referred, the first place a parent is going to go to find a pediatric dentist or doctor is Google to search for dentists in their neighborhood. If there are a number of options in an area, they will begin looking at reviews. For a small business competing against similar establishments in the same area, Google reviews can often be an important tiebreaker.

Make it Easy for Your Customers to Review You

Add links to your review pages on your website. Include links with your email correspondence and any e-newsletters. Make it easy by making it accessible.

Offer Incentives to Get More Reviews

Now that you are ready to receive and respond to reviews, how do you get them? Begin by offering incentives. This is helpful especially when you are a new business and do not have a lot of reviews. Offer a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop if they leave a review. Or create a contest where every good review is an entry into a prize draw – make sure you announce the winner on a social media to create excitement.

Ask the Right People to Give You Online Review

When looking for reviews, ask the right people. If you have a referral program set up and are able to track referrers you have a great resource at your disposal. If someone refers a friend to your office they are obviously happy with your services. Send them a thank you for the referral, a referral gift, and of course, a link to leave a review.

Once you encourage your customers to leave reviews, make sure their efforts are rewarded with a reply from your business. Reply to every good review with a thank you. And be ready to reply to every negative review as well.

Earn Your Reviews

If you want good reviews, then you’ll have to earn them. Have great services, a friendly staff, and an amazing themed office that makes their kids calm and happy! Our clients often have excellent reviews talking about the fun environment created by adding games and themed decor.

“The kids loved playing on the iPads on the wall and in the hot air balloon while we waited. Great experience!”
 
“We also love the play area-lots of things to do while the kids are waiting.”
 
“Super clean and decorated beautifully – it made the kids more excited to be there. Would recommend without hesitation.”
 
“Had a TON of eye candy for the kids (awesome decor and video game screens all over the place!)”

If your clients genuinely like your business, you’ll get the reviews you want. Get more marketing tips like these in our free guide.




WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN YOU GET A BAD REVIEW?

The majority of review sites will not allow you to delete a bad review, so be prepared to deal with them and use them to your benefit. Handling a bad review in a professional manner can actually be just as helpful as a good review as it can show how you handle negative situations.

Also, consumers trust a 4.5 star review more than 5 stars as they feel an imperfect score to be more truthful and reflective of the business. 5 stars are just too good to be true.

But back to how to handle those reviews. Here’s a quick rundown of points you should remember when you get a bad review:

  1. You want to respond as quickly as possible so that other people are not able to read this angry review without your side of the story. But be cautious. Don’t respond in the heat of the moment or you may say something you don’t want out in public.
  2. Do your homework. Make sure you know your employee’s side of the situation before you craft a response.
  3. Take responsibility for your part in the problem and offer a sincere apology. Even if the review is unjustified, be empathetic to the reviewer’s complaint. Let them know you understand their frustration and will help them with their issue. This shows others that you care about your customers’ opinions and feelings and will hopefully calm the anger of this particular reviewer.
  4. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to bring this issue to your attention. Let them know you pride yourself on excellent customer service and appreciate the opportunity to make things right.
  5. Don’t go into too much detail in your reply. Offer to take the conversation offline. You don’t want to start a debate with an irate customer on your wall of reviews, so offer to have to call or email to further discuss the issue. If you’re dealing with an online troll, just walk away. That’s a fight you’ll never win. Anyone reading the review of a troll will know when someone is just being a bully compared to leaving a legitimate review


With these tips and tricks, you have the know-how to get you on the right path to gain more reviews.

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn about branding basics, social media tips, ways to improve your online efforts, plus event and promotional ideas. Or check out these strategies to help market your dental business.


Check out these other marketing and patient experience related resources:

Key Strategies to Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing

What is Patient Experience and Why Does It Matter?

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5 Easy Ways to Use an Award to Market Your Business

Awards are an honor to receive, as well as a great way to boost the reputation of your business. Let’s look at how an award can help your business.

Awards are a form of “social proof”Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of other people have on your own behavior and decisions. By showing that your business is recognized for its quality, you will help ease the minds of potential customers. Other examples of social proof are testimonials, ratings, and celebrity endorsements.

How Do You Find Awards?

The easiest way to find awards to apply for is to search online for industry-specific awards available in your city, state, or country. Small business awards often contain multiple categories in which you can nominate yourself.

Magazines, newspapers, and websites love to run “Best of…” contests and issues.

You can even check out mom blogs and parent groups for more award opportunities.

Be sure to use your unique IDS themed office to get more attention when you apply for awards. Once you start winning you can promote yourself as an “award-winning dental office” or that you are “voted the best childcare facility in Montana”.

Here Are Some Simple Ways You Can Use an Award to Market Your Business:

1. Get Your Award in the News

Send a press release to your local paper to announce your accomplishment. Local news crews are always looking for fun feel-good stories and will likely be interested in your story, especially if you have a visually interesting IDS themed office. This will get your name out there in an organic way that’s less intrusive than traditional advertising. You can also post these news stories to your own social media, so it’s a win-win.

2. Announce Your Award

Announce your award on social media or add it to the cover image. Social media is a great place to get excited about an award. Post a photo of you and your staff cheering and holding the award to make it more personal.

3. Put Your Award on Your Website Bio

Add the words “Award-Winning” to your company bio or list the award with your patient testimonials. We’ve seen many dentists add them to the footer of their website as well.

4. Display Your Awards

A printed banner, plaque, or even a sticker on your front door allows old and new customers to see your awards.

You’ve probably seen signs on your favorite pizzeria that say “Voted Best Pizza” or a TripAdvisor sticker at a tourist attraction. These are social proof that these are places you want to check out. Why not do the same for your office? Dental, medical, childcare, and other healthcare facilities can benefit greatly from easily recognizable symbols of excellence. Make sure it’s visible in areas where guests and patients frequently visit, such as the reception area.

5. Add Your Awards to Your Marketing Materials

If it’s a big win, go one step further and add it to your printed collateral that goes out to clients and colleagues: at the bottom of your letterhead, in the corner of your reminder postcards, or under your logo as a tagline. Highlighting the award can serve as a powerful endorsement and set your business apart from competitors.

Bonus Tip: Engage with the Local Community:

Organize a community event or special promotion to celebrate the award. This can include hosting an open house, offering discounts or special services, or partnering with local businesses for joint promotions. Engaging with the local community not only celebrates your achievement but also strengthens your connection with potential patients.

These are only a few ideas to get you thinking. Getting positive press for your unique office is easy once you get started. Good luck with your awards!


Check out these related resources for improving your marketing efforts:

The Importance of a Website for Promoting Your Dental Practice

Key Strategies to Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing

How to Get Online Reviews for Your Dental Office

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn more tips for helping with your online presence.


IDS is Proud to Accept the Alberta Business Awards – Marketing Award of Distinction

The Alberta Business Awards of Distinction recognize businesses and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and contribution to their community while having developed business acumen & management practices to ensure long-term sustainability. To date, over 250 companies have been named Alberta Business Award of Distinction recipients. We are proud to count ourselves among that number.

Marketing Team Heads Victoria Mitchell and Micaela Blondin

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Connect Your Social Media Platforms Together To Save Time

In previous blog posts we’ve discussed social media and offered a few ideas to get the ball rolling. However, sometimes it can be hard to manage all of your different social media profiles. 

Most dentists have a social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Here are some tips for relieving a little time and effort from your social media management by connecting your platforms together!

First, it is important to have an account specifically for your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Having a presence on these platforms is vital for reaching existing clients and for finding new ones.

One of the simplest ways to post to each of your accounts is to connect all of your social media so that posting to one will cross-post to the others. This will make updating content easier and keep profile activity for your office social accounts evenly distributed.


Connect Instagram to Facebook:


Just follow these straightforward instructions on how to link Instagram to a Facebook page.

To share posts from your Instagram account to a Facebook Page:

  1. Go to your profile and tap .
  2. Tap  Settings.
  3. Tap Account > Linked Accounts, then select Facebook.
  4. If you haven’t already, enter your Facebook login information.
  5. By default, your Instagram account will share to your personal Facebook profile. To share to a Page instead, choose a Page that you manage below Share to.

If you are a fan of Instagram, you can set up your office social media account so that when you share with Facebook, the post will be shared with your business page instead of our own. By keeping a social media presence high on both Instagram and Facebook, you can reach more fans and garner interest in your business.


Connect Facebook to Twitter:

Just follow these straightforward instructions on how to link Twitter to Facebook.

  1. From your desktop computer, log in to the Twitter account you want to associate with your Facebook profile.
  2. Go to your Settings menu’s Apps tab.
  3. Click Connect to Facebook.
  4. If you are not already logged in to Facebook, then you will be prompted to enter your Facebook login credentials. Enter your credentials and click Log in to sign in to Facebook.
  5. You will then receive a prompt explaining that Twitter will receive certain information from your Facebook account. In order to continue, you must select Continue as [Facebook name].
  6. You will then be prompted to select the privacy settings for who will see your Tweets and Retweets posted to your Facebook wall. It is set to friends by default.
  7. Click OK to complete the process.
  8. Your Tweets and Retweets will now post to your profile Facebook wall and your username will be displayed there as well. Replies will not be posted.


Use third-party programs to post everywhere at once.

Hootsuite is a social media management platform. With it you can schedule posts in advance on all your platforms at once. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Best of all, it has a free version to try out first.

There are many more programs out there that provide a similar service with different costs associated with them. 


Social Media Tip!

Our previous blog post titled How Theming Creates the Ultimate Brand for Your Business, discussed the importance of a unified brand and how theming can help. Social Media is no different. To keep your office brand consistent, create a set of house-rules for each social media profile so that you know what sort of content to post to each. Some accounts might be more professional than others, or include specific themes or colors in every post.

Happy posting and stay social!


Check out these related resources for improving your social media strategy:

3 Quick Tips on Using Theming as a Social Media Promotional Tool

Key Strategies to Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing

The 3 Social Media Sites You Should Be Promoting Your Business On and Why

Want more social media tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide!

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Bring in New Patients with a Grand Opening Theme Reveal

Once your office has been completed, the importance of a Grand Opening Theme Reveal should not be undervalued. Whether you have themed an existing office or built one from the ground up, a Theme Reveal is a perfect opportunity to connect with the community and gain new patients.

By hosting an event for families, it is considerably easier to draw in potential new patients and get everyone in your community excited about the theme you’ve created.  Existing patients will get a sneak peek at the office before they come in for an appointment. Kids have the chance to explore and get comfortable in the office, helping alleviate anxiety and getting them excited about visiting the dentist.

This is also a great option if you can’t get theming installed before your official business start date. Have a soft launch to get the business going and smooth out any kinks, then celebrate in a big way when you get your theming installed!


1. Choose an Event Date and Spread the Word About Your Grand Opening

Choose a date for your Grand Opening Theme Reveal party. Alert local newspapers, send a message to mommy blogs, advertise in school newsletters, send out a notice to your existing patients, and create some buzz for your new, improved office on social media!


2. Guide the Party from Outside to Inside

If you party starts outside, people walking past your event will be drawn in and want to know more. A tour of the inside to show off your theming is important as well, but make sure you grab attention and draw in visitors with fun and balloons. Then you can have tours of the inside of your office, showing off you great theming.


3. Bring in Local Entertainment for Kids and Adults

Your event can be as big or small as you want!

  • Invite sports mascots and local sports celebrities to sign autographs for your patients.
  • Have someone dress as the tooth fairy to entertain kids.
  • Hire artists to paint children’s faces and clowns to hand out balloon animals.
  • Get a band to play some music for children and adults to dance to. This will also draw attention to people who can hear your party from a distance.


4. Serve Food at Your Party!

Nothing brings in crowd faster than a BBQ or a pancake breakfast as part of your reveal. Kids loooove hotdogs.


5. Have a Photo Op Available for Guests

Whether it’s an IDS themed prop, pictures with the tooth fairy, or a basket of kid-sized costumes in front of your dental office logo, make sure your name is getting shared on social media by the people attending your event.


6. Run a Contest for Party Attendees

Everyone loves prizes! Have a draw where attendees must write down their name and email to sign up for your newsletter. Or run a social media contest for the best photo op image tagged with your party hashtag.

This is all apart of your greater dental marketing strategy. Regardless of which stage you are at in the design and build process for your dental office theming, it is never too late to start planning your Grand Opening Theme Reveal to bring in new patients.

You can find all these tips and more in our free Marketing Guide for Dentists. Grab your copy today and read it on the go.


Stay Organized with This Party Checklist:


Create a Welcoming Environment, Invite Patients in, and Set Yourself Up for Success!

Invest in Your Patients

Valuing your patients and their families sets them up for a lifetime of positive health outcomes. And the environment you create can help you achieve a better patient experience.

  • Reduce patient anxiety and enhance their relaxation
  • Prime patients and families for their appointments
  • Create positive dental care experiences

Invest in Your Business

Maintain your edge in the crowded dental service space. Attention to detail in your space can transform your environment and the overall patient experience…especially in a pediatric practice.

  • Create “buzz” in the community you serve
  • Accelerate patient referrals
  • Generate positive online reviews

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn about branding basics, social media tips, ways to improve your online efforts, plus event and promotional ideas.


From our artists to our engineers, we pride ourselves on the level of expertise each team member brings to the projects we create. Our experts want to offer some insight into their work and offer professional advice to help your dental office reach its full potential.

Victoria

Senior Designer
Bachelor of Applied Arts in Visual Communications
Joined IDS in 2010

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Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

The Magic of Parade Floats: Types and Benefits

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