Philips Sonicare

New Rules of Marketing, Part 2

So, you’re the owner of a dental practice and you are trying to figure out the best steps to get on to Facebook to drive new patients. It can be a daunting task and with little extra time in the day, how can you be expected to spend time promoting your business on Facebook? I completely understand the challenges of running a small business as well as a dental practice. After speaking with many other small businesses, I’ve compiled the following list of strategies that should help ease the process. (Note, this is the second part of an articles originally posted here a month ago)

6. Limit Your Advertising Budget

As I just mentioned, more dollars on advertising does not always mean more revenue. Start off with a few dollars a day to test out Facebook’s advertising system. You can create a small ad to test out all of Facebook’s targeting capabilities. Make sure that if you are spending money that you’re investing in some long-term goal, otherwise you’ll end up spending a lot of money aimlessly. Trust me, I know from experience!

As your performance improves and you figure out which ads work most effectively you can begin to steadily increase your ad spending. Figure that you’d spend a few hundred dollars on a Yellow Pages advertisement so be willing to test outa similar budget on Facebook. If all goes well and your business starts to increase, you can always invest in more advertising as necessary. As I mentioned earlier, this is an educational process and with so many resources on the internet, learning has never been cheaper. Don’t spend all your money when you don’t have to! To most effectively manage your budget, start off with one Facebook advertising campaign which has a limited budget. For all of the initial ads use that same campaign rather than creating separate campaigns for each advertisement.

7. Use Coupons And Other Incentives

Now that you’ve got a Facebook Page, some ads running, and a few fans of your Facebook Page, what should you be doing? In addition to engaging users on Facebook, you also want to get them to become patients or get more services from the practice. Keep in mind that the incentives you use depend on the type of practice you are running. For example, some dentists may have pricesensitive customers, and special deals may be an incentive to make a purchase.There are plenty of other creative incentives to drive people back to your page and to your business so test out different strategies and see which work best.

8. Emphasize Mobile Subscriptions

One of the best components of Facebook Pages is the ability to receive updates via your mobile device. Once updates come to your phone you can also reply to the updates, making it possible for instant two-way communication. It’s a model similar to Twitter except that on Facebook Pages you get more features for engaging users. The mobile component is an additional layer of interaction which can be used to build relationships with your new and existing customers.

Facebook is a relationship marketing platform, not a direct sales channel. That’s why it’s important to build your relationship with others through Facebook. Configure your Facebook Page to function with your current mobile device and communicate with users while on the go. This can make for some great, instantaneous dialogue. Ultimately most internet based promotions are going the way of mobile, and it is in every business’s best interest to take advantage of that trend; including on Facebook.

9. Post Occasional Entertaining Statuses

Ask your patients this: When was the last time you saw an update from your dentist in your news feed? You probably never have and you may even find it strange to see one, unless of course it was a funny joke. For example if the dentist posted occasion updates about eating candy and junk food in general, you may get a quick smile and possibly even post a status update. Whatever the response, at least you are getting one, which is one additional level of interaction that you never previously had with your customers.

Keeping your fans engaged is an important component of any good Facebook strategy. How much time does it really take to come up with a clever status update? If you’re like me, then catchy ideas occasionally pop into your head (or at least ones that you think are clever) when you are on the go. If you’ve properly configured your Facebook Page to work with your mobile device, you can instantly update your status while on the go. It takes very little extra effort to bring a smile to your fans and it’s something that they’ll remember.

Conclusion

Every dental practice can take advantage of the promotional opportunities that Facebook presents. By using some of the tips listed in this article, dentists can get a great start on promoting their practice on the site. While there are many other strategies to increase the number of fans you have on the site as well as drive new business, much of that can be learned through experimentation. The best thing to do is to get started and figure it out from there!

 

About author
Dr. Lorne Lavine, founder and president of Dental Technology Consultants, has over 26 years invested in the dental and dental technology fields.
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