Social media isn’t an optional channel for your marketing. It’s a must-use platform for building brand awareness and customer engagement. If you’re already using social media to market your practice, you’re halfway there! Don’t despair if you’ve been struggling to liven up your social media profiles. There is a magic pill for overcoming this challenge.
Don’t underestimate offline marketing’s advantages, either. Even though social media is increasingly gaining prominence, it shouldn’t be disconnected from traditional marketing methods. Here are seven tactics to help you improve your online reputation and attract new patients by bringing together successful offline and social media marketing strategies.
Convert Practice Visitors into New Social Media Followers
You can use print advertising like business cards, posters, signs, and flyers to let your dental office visitors know about your practice’s social media accounts. Ensure that your social profiles are simple and easy to remember, such as facebook.com/dentalcentersmiles.
When you print out advertising materials that invite your patients to follow you on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, add the exact name of your social media handles so your patients can quickly navigate to your page. This step is quite important to avoid sending your patients to your competitors, especially if they have selected a similar profile name to your own (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Place print materials in visible areas in your office or give them to your patients as they leave, reminding them to go online and to keep in touch via social media.
|Figure 2. A dental practice organized a Facebook contest where participants were asked to submit a picture of their children brushing their teeth and to tag the dentist’s Facebook Page. Having that covered, the participants immediately became eligible to win a cleaning for their children.|
|Figure 3. Make it easy for your patients to find your social media profiles by using а printout that shows your web addresses and asks them to leave an honest review.||Figure 4. Add a fun element to the process of checking in, such as a raffle for patients who check in and boost their engagement.|
Boost Online Engagement with Offline Rewards
Take advantage of contests and encourage people to go online and interact with your practice on social media (Figure 2). For example, you can offer free dental services to someone who has commented on one of your posts or who has uploaded specific content to your business page
Or, you can give promotional coupons to people who engage with you on social media. You also can feature patients who create a specific post with an image taken at your office or use a specific hashtag related to your local event or promotional campaign.
Attract More Attendees to Your Local Events
Hosting local events like raising donations for local causes, a 5k run, a presentation of new procedures, or free dental checkups at your office will demonstrate your involvement and will help you strengthen your relationship with the local community.
You can invite current patients and people in your area to attend your event by creating a Facebook event. You can popularize it and increase your online reach by creating a targeted ad campaign, encouraging people to bring a friend or a family member with them by giving them a special discount for your services, or creating a social media competition for people who are at your event by asking them to post a picture from the event on their social media feeds in exchange for a prize.
Show Your Patients You Care
Keeping your patients happy should be your primary goal. Satisfied clients will bring you more customers and leave positive feedback on your social media accounts. To lift their spirits, you can:
- Host a patient appreciation party with interactive games or giveaways
- Organize а coffee and conversation event or a “Treat Day” with free food for people who would like to come and chat with you about dental matters, such as new techniques, treatments, and service pricing
- Pick a “Patient of the Month” and feature this patient in a photo to generate some buzz on your social media channels
Get More Online Patient Reviews
Instruct your office manager to ask patients at the end of an appointment to share their experience on your social media chennels when leaving your practice. Implementing this tactic as part of the checkout process will help you collect more five-star ratings and testimonials from satisfied patients (Figure 3).
Encourage Online Check-Ins by Offering Free Wi-Fi
You can enhance your services by turning your dental office into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Thanks to the tool Facebook Wi-Fi, you can install Wi-Fi service for free. Then, your office visitors will only need to check in to your place on Facebook to use your free Wi-Fi. Facebook will also ask them if they want to like your page. The more check-ins and engagement your Facebook page gets, the higher online visibility your practice will enjoy (Figure 4).
Improve Your Social Media Advertising with Custom Targeting
Social media ads are great way to promote your special offers since they can be highly targeted, cost-effective, and measurable. Social media channels such as Facebook provide you with features that allow you to target and re-engage with customers who have visited your practice offline.
With all the online and offline opportunities to generate new patients for your practice, consistency across all marketing channels is vital. Offline initiatives will help promote your social media activity and deliver more interactive and enjoyable customer experience. Moreover, blending social media with offline marketing techniques will make your dentistry memorable and will distinguish you from your competitors.
Ms. Gadancheva is a digital marketing expert at OptiLocal, an online marketing agency specializing in local search engine optimization (SEO), where she works on all things social media, content marketing, and digital advertising. She is a knowledge-seeker and tries to stay up to date on the latest trends in SEO, social media marketing, and online advertising. For more information, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://optilocal.org/.
Manuela Gadancheva has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article and received no compensation for writing this article.