For some businesses, Facebook has become their main traffic-driver. However, most small businesses and dental practices have yet to really tap into this opportunity. The truth is, it’s not an easy opportunity to take. Social media is challenging and it requires a willingness to experiment, to see what works and what doesn’t. It also requires a lot of ideas, and coming up with ideas for Facebook is hard when you’re also thinking about every other aspect of your practice.
To make it easier, I’d like to share some great examples of what other dental practices are doing to build their Facebook communities.
1. Guess the Number of Candy Corn!
By setting up a simple game — quick and easy for patients to take part in — and posting the results on Facebook, the staff at Reynolds Orthodontics is fostering a strong relationship with their patients outside of the office. This office clearly cares about their patients and wants them to have fun, and that’s the face of the practice that new patients are going to see when they do their research before scheduling an appointment.
One improvement would be to tag the winners in the post, so that they’re alerted to the post. Maybe this wasn’t an option in this particular case. But, it’s always worth asking the patient if it’s okay (always ask first!), because tagging will get the post more immediate visibility.
2. You’ve Been Spotted!
This gave involves someone in the office capturing an image of a license plate, posting it on social media, and offering the driver free braces. Of course, if you’re in a big city, the chances of the driver even seeing this post is very, very small, but that’s why the prize is so big. I love it.
The reason I love it is because it shows out-of-the-box thinking. It’s clever, and whether it’ll bring in more patients I don’t know. But, it illustrates the mentality you should have when thinking about how to use Facebook to grow your practice. Be bold and try any idea you have out, because you never know when you’re going to strike gold.
Another thing I really like about this example is how the contest is geared towards new patients. The winner could be anyone. It shows a different approach to promotions, which, like in the above example, are typically geared towards existing patients.
3. Check Out Rachel’s Brand New Smile!
This example you’ve seen before:
Here are two more examples:
You can see how Bar-Zion Orthodontics tagged the patient. They didn’t do it correctly, but you live and learn. What matters is that they understand the power behind tagging. By doing it you alert the patient that you’ve published a photo of them online, which they’ll appreciate (remember, always ask first), and you allow the photo to be seen by the patient’s friends, family, and colleagues. These are all people who may be looking for a new dentist!
This type of Facebook post is more common, but it’s still a great way to build your Facebook community. You’re not only showing off the quality of your work as a dentist, you’re showing off your practice’s strong family values. You’re showing the human element of your practice, and that’s what your patients — existing and new alike — like to see.
Plus, you can spin these Facebook posts in different ways. All three examples above are slightly different. One is showing off a patient’s smile after treatment with braces; another is welcoming a new patient to the practice; and the other is holding a patient of the day promotion. All great ideas that add a unique flavor to your Facebook page, which helps your practice stand out from the rest.
I recently read a great piece of advice: don’t hide your testimonials where people can’t see them. Instead, put them where they’ll get the most visibility: your home page, your contact page, your practice’s Facebook page.
The example above is great. Apart from being a testimonial, what stands out is that it was hand-written. It makes it seem much more real. To be effective, though, the testimonial doesn’t have to be written by hand. You can take a review from Yelp or Google My Business and put it on an image, as simple as this:
5. Frequent Appointments Card
I thought this was a very interesting idea:
It’s a frequent appointments card. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but the basic mechanics are always the same — you visit us x times, you get a prize. You’ve seen it, usually used by a deli or a storefront expecting frequent visits. You usually don’t think of it as a tool a dentist can use to bring in patients. That’s what I like about it: it’s a new application for an old idea.
You can tailor the idea to your services. Most people visit their dentist maybe two or three times a year, maybe more if they are getting a specific type of treatment done. Still, you usually can count the number of visits on your hand. Your policy can be like 10 percent off on every third or fourth visit.
A frequent appointments card is an easy way of persuading your patients to come back. Of course, you could keep track of the number of visits using your computer, but that takes all the fun out of it! Plus, a card is something a patient will hold on to, serving as a physical reminder about your practice.
Finally, it’s easy to integrate this with Facebook. You can promote the card on your page, letting patients know about the policy. What would be even more fun is to offer random prizes, rather than a straightforward 10 percent off. Then you can take photos with your smiling patients, letting them show off what they won.
Let Us Come Up With the Ideas
Facebook is dynamic. Promotion strategies run their lifetime and then you need something new, which is why I encourage you to be bold and to experiment. But, I get it, you’re a busy person and you don’t always have time for Facebook. The good news is that we’re here to help you.
Let us be your idea man. We specialize in promoting your practice and attracting new patients, so let us help you fill that waiting room. Explore our social media services and then contact us to speak to a consultant and to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like “5 Ways of Getting Your Practices’ Facebook Page Followed.”
What ideas have you tested on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.
Formerly at [Tony] Robbins Research International and at Now Media Group as their Director of Marketing, Jonathan has a background in quantitative economics and analytics.