By now, most people have had some exposure to the hunky dentist doing a dance challenge in the hallways of his practice. The video went viral almost immediately. (Here is a link, in case you missed it!) While this is an unusual example, building an online presence and interacting within digital communities can help dental professionals promote their practice, provide reliable information, and help patients feel less anxious about their trips to the dentist.
We do live in a world where many people prefer to communicate and interact through their phone or computer versus making an actual phone call to a health-care professional. According to a study released by Pew Internet & American Life Project, about 93 million Americans have searched online for a health-related topic. For these reasons and many others, it’s time to make sure your online presence as a dental practice is everything it should be in order to be used as a valuable marketing tool and excellent communication channels in general.
Being device responsive is important as is an aesthetically pleasing design and optimization for the best possible speed.
It should be sell organized with separate landing pages for different topics so you aren’t cramming an overwhelming amount of information on one page.
Make sure it is easy to navigate with an intuitively designed menu.
Avoid: Flash – it slows things down and is unfriendly on a number of levels.
Auto-play audio and videos – many people will panic if they aren’t expecting noise then will close the page and never return.
Include a clear call-to-action on every page encouraging your readers to book an appointment.
What else should you include? Blogs, videos, images, social media connections, online appointment setting and payment options, reviews, client testimonials, access to health records, an office tour, FAQs…just to name a few ideas.
Provide details of what different procedures involve or things that various services include.
Explain any specializations the doctors at your office practice in.
Highlight the technology utilized in your practice.
Talk about best practices in your field and how you follow them.
Dedicate a corner of the home page to celebrations of birthdays, no cavities, etc.
Feature an “About Us” page that shares credentials and also communicates who the doctors and staff are as people – their hobbies, pets, favorites books, etc.
Clearly display all contact and location information as well as the operating hours for your practice.
Have available online any forms patients may need access to.
Include a page that outlines payment methods and who to contact with financial related questions.
Have a section that addresses the insurance companies you work with.
Social media provides an opportunity to step back from full-on clinical mode to a more personal approach. Be sure to include your practice’s social media information on all paperwork, business cards and communication, and post signs in the office with, “Like Our Facebook Page,” and, “Follow Us on Instagram,” messages.
Encourage patients to “check-in” during their visits and to tag your practice.
Social media platforms are mediums through which patients may easily refer you to their friends, colleagues, and family.
Assign a point person. Delegate social responsibilities to someone in your office who has a creative side and enjoys the engagement piece. Important to check throughout the day so you may respond to questions and comments in a timely manner.
Otherwise, you may want to consider outsourcing to ensure consistent, value-added content is appearing on your profiles.
A Facebook page only helps your practice if people are seeing it.
Excellent way to build relationships and trust.
Photos of staff, office and happy clients.
Links to relevant news articles.
Ask for client input on new ideas for the clinic.
Monitor profiles for comments and questions so you respond in a timely manner.
Gain exposure to prospective patients when they view posts from or about your practice in their friends’ feeds. If you think about it, new clients are more likely to come across your Facebook page by chance than your website, especially if you utilize paid campaigns.
Quick way to gain attention – tweet about new offerings or technologies.
Use hashtags regarding the services you offer – great for being found through searches.
Live tweet from conferences or other professional development experiences.
Everything visual belongs on this platform.
Behind-the-scenes action shots.
Before and after photos.
This is also a great venue for brand hashtags.
Other Content Ideas
Causes, symptoms, and treatment options for various dental issues.
General health tips.
Employee of the month.
Solicit questions from patients for each staff member to answer via video clip.
Establish a practice (brand) hashtag and encourage patients to use it when they post their own images across social media platforms.
Special discount offers.
Local news and events.
Infographics are an engaging way to present different topics.
In all of your efforts, utilize professional images and high-quality videos.
Highlight any community involvement or charity work your practice is involved in.
All of these digital resources are an extension of your practice and deserve the same high-quality attention that it receives. And don’t underestimate the value of online patient education. Establish yourself as an expert who is interested in providing helpful and valuable information to your patients.
Whether you are a dental professional or just someone looking for guidance and support for your digital presence, contact the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing – we are ready to help!