Facebook pages are a great tool for your dentistry to interact and communicate with your patients. Some of the many things you can accomplish with this tool include sharing your services, attracting visitors to your website, and building relationships with your patients. But, all these great advantages are contingent on having your patients and future patients follow you, and this is precisely one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in the journey towards successful Facebook marketing.
Unfortunately, Facebook isn’t one of those things you can create and forget. To truly succeed on Facebook, a dental practice must be dedicated and proactive. Towards this purpose, I want to share some concrete ideas for involving your patients with your practice on Facebook, drawing them and their friends to your page.
1. Take Photos with Your Patients and Share Them
You are great dentistry that has made countless patients happy by providing them with healthy, brilliant smiles. You can show that off by sharing photos of you and your staff with your patients. After their check-up or appointment, ask them if they would be okay with taking a photo and having it uploaded to your dentistry’s Facebook. If they’re okay with it, tag them in the photo — that way, it’ll show up on their own Facebook page and it’ll be seen by their friends and family, exposing your practice to them as well.
Be sure to leave a nice comment and, if you can, foster a conversation. Not only does a more active post on Facebook get seen more, but your patients will appreciate the after-hours effort you put into interacting with them. Finally, the more your patients interact with your Facebook page the more attention they’ll pay to the other things you share, including your blog posts, specials and offers, and other marketing investments you’ve made.
2. The Movie Star Photo Booth
Building on the aforementioned point on the value of tagged photos of your patient, a really creative tactic that I’ve seen is the “office photo booth.” In your lobby or wherever you have some space, you can set up a small area where your patients can pose and show off their smiles. You can make these photos fun and interesting by giving your patients props to use, like funny mustaches or glasses. You can even have a cool background, like a movie set or a green screen (and fill in the background later), and combine props, making taking a photo at the office exciting and enjoyable.
Fun, funny, and interesting photos can generate a lot of activity on Facebook, and if you tag your staff and patients in them you can tap into their network of friends. A photo booth is very different from what people typically see on Facebook, so it stands a higher chance of catching the eye and drawing future patients to your page.
3. What Are You and Your Staff Up To?
A great way to build a relationship of trust with your followers on Facebook is to offer them a window into the lives of you and your staff. By talking about the places your staff members like to visit, the food they eat, and the things your staff does together, you make the relationship with your patients about more than just business. As your followers get to know your practice better through your Facebook posts on your fan page, and as they become more comfortable, they will begin to interact by commenting and liking. This helps give your posts and updates more widely seen, which in turn gives your practice (your brand) more exposure and helps to attract new potential patients.
What are some things you can share on your practice’s Facebook fan page? Here are some ideas:
- Did someone on your staff recently visit another city or country on vacation? You can upload a photo of a well-known landmark and ask your followers if they can ID it.
- Are you having a 4th of July party for the staff? Take photos and upload them to your fan page.
- Did you recently eat at a new restaurant and loved it? Share with your followers! Leave a comment about the food, recommend it, and ask your fans if any of them has tried it out.
Here’s a rule-of-thumb: any happy, positive event or idea that gives your practice a human, personal touch can be turned into a Facebook update for your practice’s fan page. And always spur your followers to participate (e.g. “let us know what you think” or “do you know where this is?”), so that they feel invited into the conversation.
4. Run a Fun Contest
Contest idea: $20 off your next teeth cleaning appointment if your photo is voted as the funniest.
- Like our page.
- Upload a funny photo of yourself!
- Scroll through our page and like the photos that make you laugh.
- The top 10 photos with the most “likes” goes on to the next round, where our staff will vote for the three pictures we find the funniest.
Running a promotion is easy, inexpensive, and an awesome way to attract new potential patients. The key to a successful contest is a premise that calls for your followers to engage and interact with your page. Having people like your page isn’t enough — you want them to spend time looking through your photos and posts so that they can get to know your practice, building familiarity, trust, and comfort. Asking contestants to vote is one of the most popular ways of doing this, whether it’s voting on their favorite picture or voting on their favorite answer to a question.
Neither do all contests need prizes. You can run more frequent contests that may be less successful, but keep a dedicated pool of followers engaged with your practice. You can, for example, ask a piece of trivia every week, like, “How many teeth does an average adult have?” After a few days, you can provide an extended answer and recognize those that got the question right. You can even blog the answer, drawing those involved in the quiz to your website, which in turn moves potential patients one step closer to scheduling their first appointment with you.
Need some ideas for trivia? Check out these two websites:
- Dental Trivia by the Colorado Springs Dental Society
- The Bizarre Dental Trivia Quiz by Million Ideas For Moving Health Forward
N.B.: When running a contest, you cannot ask your followers to tag their friends or to take the contest to their own personal Facebook pages.
5. Let Existing Patients Know You Have a Facebook
Getting your existing patients to follow your practice on Facebook is crucial to successful Facebook marketing. To do this, your patients must know that your practice has a fan page. Here are some ways you can let them know:
- Invite them to follow you when they’re in the office (have them follow you right away on their mobile phones);
- Link to your Facebook from your website;
- Let your patients know about your Facebook page when you send out your newsletters.
Get the Most Out of Facebook
You can save a lot time by having a marketing company, like Now Media Group, help you manage your social media by taking care of uploading photos, running contests, and posting updates. Still, many of the things that will give your Facebook a personal touch — taking photos of your staff and patients, letting your patients know about your Facebook page — will require your practice’s involvement. Of course, you can always count on us at Now Media Group to sit down with you and develop a strategy that will help you get the most from your Facebook fan page.
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.