As a dentist, you must be spending most of your day at your practice. Amid busy schedules and hectic work life, you squeezed out some time to create a website so that patients can see you have an online presence. After a few days, you realize that you barely have any traffic on the website, let alone aside any patient conversions from it. Just having an online presence isn’t enough. There is much more to it!
Social media is a broad spectrum comprised of online communication tools providing channels for connecting with people. The marketing power of social media is growing exponentially and will continue to create new mediums from which businesses will tap their potential customers. It offers the advantage to connect with people with real-time sharing of text, audio, photographs and videos. The advent of social media has invaded the medical cocoon, as well, where dentists, physicians, healthcare providers and physiotherapists have started embracing the change to their benefit.
Patients are looking to online sources of information, including social media, patient review sites and doctor blogs for information about specific diseases, disease prevention, latest treatments and procedures as well as to find out more about doctors, dentists and other health professionals.
Have you covered all your search paths?
To have patients visit your practice through the online channels, you should address key consumer needs. Patients usually look for a new product, service and latest treatments/procedures for their dental health. Dentists should leverage various social media channels to attend to patient needs so as to put their brand into patient consideration.
Constantly update your practice website
A customer-friendly website is the first step toward building a positive online presence. Make sure that your website is updated with all vital details about your practice such as phone, address, hours, email, etc. A profile photo is recommended along with a listing of your credentials and experience. Make sure that the website has social media integration with share buttons to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. To differentiate your website from other competitor websites, you can add blogs, videos and educational materials for your patients.
Get positive patient reviews
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
According to Google Think, 77% of patients use search engines prior to booking an appointment. The physician-rating websites such as HealthGrades, RateMyMD, Vitals, Yelp, etc. are gaining popularity at an alarming rate. Create your profile on the major rating websites so that you are aware of what is being said about you on these platforms. If your profile doesn’t have reviews or has fewer positive reviews, request your satisfied patients to write a review for you. While asking patients for an online review, consider those who have been coming to your practice for a while and trust your dental services.
Positive online reviews can demonstrate the credibility of your practice and negate the effect of any negative reviews. Additionally, positive reviews help you rank higher in search engine results.
Blogging is an excellent and cost-effective way to market your practice. You can set yourself apart from those dentists who are not active on the web. From the SEO perspective, blogs are a blessing. Well-written and informative blogs are usually shared by the readers with many others. This will be a boon for your website ranking, as search engines reward fresh and unique content. Blog pages on your website are natural search engine optimizers as they contain rich keywords, links and frequently updated content, which increase traffic to your web pages.
Blogs are a smart way of selling your practice to online health viewers. Also, they are a platform for dentists to demonstrate their knowledge, expertise, experience and passion in their field of specialization.
Channelizing all the social media channels
Refine your online marketing efforts by utilizing social media to your advantage. Targeting platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. can help create and develop your brand equity in the vast market of healthcare where patients look for quality services. Create a social media calendar so that you don’t miss posting updates. Think through the patient mind-sets and plan well in advance for your updates. Tools like Hootsuite make this task easier, as you can schedule the posts well ahead of time.
A well-balanced social media strategy is becoming increasingly important for dentists to build relationships with patients. With this change in scenario, online proactive dentists are much more likely to succeed. Therefore, to cater to the needs of information-hungry patients, dentists should strategically leverage digital media to shape consumer decision-making in predictable ways.