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
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
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:
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.