Facebook & Social Media

Online advertising: Why Facebook matters

Friday 20th March 2015

 

The two largest Internet giants are Google and Facebook, so it is no surprise that billions of actions occur on each site every single day. Through these platforms, there lies the opportunity to advertise your dental services to potential clients.

 

The most popular option is to bid on a click on your advert and only be charged for the click. The click is the action by the potential client accessing your site from the respective platform. This is the pay per click (PPC) model. Advertising this way can be very cost-effective if the right strategy is put in place, as PPC is trackable and measurable and can be focused on a specific geographical audience. Google PPC can also provide instant gratification; by this, I mean if you are willing to offer the highest bid per click you can appear at the top of the page.

While many dentists might have embraced Google PPC in the last five years, not many seem to be aware that there is a similar option available for Facebook. I am not referring to buying likes, which is actually more of a vanity strategy and does nothing to bring value to your patients. Why would one advertise on Facebook, you may ask? Consider that 890 million people (as of December 2014) log on to the social media platform, generating 4.5 billion likes every day. It is estimated that there are 217 million active users in Europe, of which 24 million are active in the UK alone. Worldwide, there are over 1.39 billion monthly active Facebook users. These are impressive figures.

With Facebook PPC, dentists can run trackable, measurable, location-specific campaigns as with Google. There is also a myriad of options to allow one to be more niched and specific. Specifically, dentists can target their audience based on their likes, habits, education, salary levels, and even the phone they are using. Imagine running a campaign for orthodontic treatments targeting Facebook visitors who accessed the site using the latest iPhone. Would it be safe to assume that they have expendable capital and are ideal patients in terms of ability to pay?

Facebook PPC is significantly cheaper than Google PPC. The difference is pennies on Facebook compared with pounds on Google. Aside from having a good call to action, relevant adverts and a strong landing page, dentists should have a responsive site to maximise their success, as the majority of Facebook (and Google) users will most likely engage with them via a mobile device, like a tablet.

Facebook has taken strides in developing the advertising side of the platform for the last two to three years. Ensure your success in online marketing and make sure you are not left behind.

 

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dentalfocus.com

 

About the author:

Naz Haque, aka the Scientist, is Operations Manager at Dental Focus. He has a background in mobile and network computing, and has experience supporting a wide range of blue-chip brands, from Apple to Xerox. As an expert in search engine optimisation, Naz is passionate about helping clients develop strategies to enhance their brand and increase the return on investment from their dental practice websites

Making The Most Of Social Media

Wednesday 4th June 2014

As one of the big talking points in dental online marketing, social media has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool for attracting people to your practice, and improving the relationship you have with your patients. However if left neglected a poorly run social media presence has the potential to backfire, and won’t just reflect badly on your practice, but it might even send potential new patients looking elsewhere.

Before we look into the pros and cons of social media use, it’s worth pausing for a moment to consider just how powerful social media really is. According to some of the latest figures, as of December 31, 2012 Facebook had 1.06 billion monthly active users with daily active users in excess of 600 million. Though these figures do of course represent users on a global scale, there can be no denying that these numbers represent a remarkable amount of the world population. If these figures aren’t enough to convince you of the value to be found in social media, then consider this: if you don’t have a social media presence, the chances are your local competitors do, and if they don’t, they will have soon. If the Facebook usage figures tell us anything it’s that social media won’t be going away any time soon, and will only continue to grow and evolve in new and interesting ways.

So what’s the secret to good social media management? In one word: engagement. One of the most common mistakes that many people make it to see social media just as another ‘advertising board’ on which to post adverts about the services that they offer. Not only is this approach rarely effective, but it does not embrace the great potential that social media, and Web 2.0 have to offer. Ask yourself this: would you follow or ‘like’ a page that only posted adverts about products? Probably not. At the very least you would likely disable news feed posts from that page, and at worst you wouldn’t follow the page at all. So, while the people running the page ‘selling’ you a constant stream of adverts may think they are doing a good job, they are not taking full advantage of the social media platform as a tool for engagement.

Taking this lesson a little further, it is easy to see why so many dental practices, and dental businesses fail when it comes to social media strategy. Put simply, this is because they fail to appreciate that their customers (and potential customers) don’t want to be directly sold to by a ‘faceless’ corporate entity. The secret then is to see your social media platform as a means for you to openly talk to patients and engage in conversations relating to dentistry, or even the local area. Has whitening been in the news recently? Why not ask your patients what they think! Seen a scare story surrounding oral health? Write a response!

When patients see that as a practice you are made up of ‘real people’ who are open, friendly and committed to dentistry and the local community then your online marketing will really start to gain momentum. Remember, people don’t visit the dentist every day, and so won’t be on your social media page every day (well, some might!), but when they do need you, you need to be there with an active and vibrant social media presence that is regularly checked and updated so any questions can be responded to straight away.

What this all ties back to is something many people in business circles would refer to as customer relations management, and building your brand online. This ‘brand building’ starts with your dental practice website, and then extends to your social media platforms. Just because you are taking part in conversations in an electronic realm, does not mean that these things don’t matter. After all, there are real people at the other end of that phone line, and you should treat them as such. You wouldn’t neglect your in-practice marketing, so why would you neglect your marketing online?

Dental online marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of attracting new patients and can provide a fantastic return on investment that far surpasses many traditional methods such as paying for adverts in the local press, employing PR agencies and so on. Through clever use of your website and social media platforms you have a way to connect to potential new patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Print methods just don’t offer this round-the-clock coverage, and can’t ‘sell’ your practice in the same effective way.

To help you online marketing efforts, the award-winning team at Dental Focus ® have all the skills and experience to help make your practice an online success. With over 500 dental practice websites to their name, and thousands of Rank 1 results for natural (organic) search, Dental Focus ® are the trusted experts to guide and support you in all your dental online marketing efforts.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com

About the author:

Alfie Jones aka the Guru is Project Manager at Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’. Alfie has worked as a web designer, copywriter, college tutor and charity fundraiser in his time, and is called the Guru because he has a ‘guru-like’ knowledge of the web. As an expert in social media and website technology, Alfie is the first port of call for any dentist who is serious about their online marketing.

 

 

 

Make Polling part of your Social Media strategy

Thursday 29th May 2014

‘Polling’ is a very powerful tool that dental practices can use as part of their social strategy (to market the practice).

Big brands often pay a lot of money to have outside services and companies survey customers to get product feedback. Others use social listening tools to see what people are saying about their products.

But dental practices can be more direct and go straight to patients on a social media channel.

Please see this (please just read ‘patients’ instead of ‘customers’):

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2346906/5-Reasons-to-Include-Polling-in-Your-Social-Media-Strategy

Using Social Media To Boost Your SEO

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Online marketing is a cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. Once you’ve taken steps to establish your presence online, the next step is to plan how you intend to attract new patients to visit your website so they can find out more about your practice and the treatments that you offer. While you may have invested a great deal of money in your website, if it doesn’t appear high up on natural search results then quite simply your website isn’t doing its job.

A brief guide to SEO

Search Engine Optimisation, also known as SEO, is a term used to describe the process of making your website visible to major search engines, with the aim of pushing your website higher up in the page ranking.

One thing factor you need to be aware of here is that SEO is an ongoing process – one that never really comes to an end. As internet trends change, and as your rivals conduct their own SEO, you will find that your page ranking will fluctuate over time. The key then is to think of your practice website as a constant ‘work in progress’, something you need to work on to ensure your website keeps its place at the top of the Google ladder.

SEO basics

At its most fundamental level, good SEO starts with your practice website. Your website should be clean, crisp, and fast to load. Too much information can be distracting, and if your site looks unprofessional, this can easily put patients off. All of these things directly influence whether visitors to your website decide to click on for more information, or look elsewhere. Whichever option they decide you can be sure that all of the major search engines will keep a log of your user activity and will take this into account in your page rank.

Once you’ve got the basics sorted, the next thing to consider is your website content. Google loves fresh new content, and one of the best ways to boost your SEO is to write a practice blog. This blog can cover anything relating to your practice, but should aim to engage readers and encourage them to read on, or contact you for more information. You may for example like to give oral health tips in your blog, or discuss the latest ‘hot topics’ that have come up in the news. All of these things help you to engage with your readership and establish your practice as the authority on local oral health issues, while boosting your SEO at the same time.

Social networking

Social media is one of the major ‘buzz words’ in online marketing at the moment, and can be a powerful tool to help you build your practice brand. As well as giving you the chance to engage with your patients in new and innovative ways, social media is also an excellent way to boost your SEO. By encouraging patients to ‘share’ or ‘like’ your practice website you are building a network of natural links back to your website which search engines will register. These help to boost your page ranking and also have the added benefit of giving you a form of free advertising to your patients’ friends and followers.

For further benefit you should encourage patients to share your blog posts as often as possible. If you write an informative blog about oral health, why not ask your readers to share it if they find it useful? Again this will build more links back to your website and will also help to establish your practice’s expertise.

Further tips

Good quality content is at the heart of all good online marketing. If your content is good, and engaging to read then you have a strong foundation to help boost your practice’s page rank. The secret is not to see social media as an advertising space, as no one wants to be bombarded with adverts all the time. As such it is far better to see it as a platform through which you can communicate with your patients and engage them in discussions about their oral health or other related issues.

Don’t underestimate the use of comments either. Comments can be an excellent way to boost your SEO, as an active comments section boosts your ‘social’ search ranking and will also affect where your post appears on news feeds. It is important here that at least one member of your team regularly checks the comments sections on your website and social media so as to encourage responses and answer any questions that may come up.

SEO for business growth

Search Engine Optimisation is a complex and involved task, but one that can generate huge returns for your practice if done well. With a carefully planned, well-executed online marketing strategy you can attract many new patients to your practice, who may spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds on dental treatment with you over the coming years. To help you make the most of your online marketing efforts, contact an experienced dental website marketing team today.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com

About the author:
Naz Haque aka the Scientist is SEO Project Manager at Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’. Naz has a background in mobile and network computing, and has experience supporting an A-Z range of blue chip brands from Apple to Xerox. As an expert in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Naz is passionate about helping clients build strategies to enhance their brand and increase the ROI from their dental practice websites.

Video marketing on the web

Wednesday 4th September 2013

Video is the best way to communicate on the web. Most people would prefer watching a video to reading plain text. And when they watch a video, they stay on your web page longer, spend more time browsing the web and it’s also more likely that they´ll book an appointment at your practice. Whether a video recorded mission statement, treatment advice, or a testimonial, people love it. 

Although often criticised for being too time consuming, it is one way to get viewers onto your website.

 There have been six key tools that have stood out as the most important when using video marketing. Which, if followed you can be sure that you are ticking all the right boxes.

 The first: Letting your personality out. This is key, as it will engage the audience onto your site, and encourage them to look around even more. A video with no real “spark” to it is a sure way to make viewers switch off and exit your website.

 Secondly, being on-going is also crucial. A constant stream of videos with new ideas and imaginative design will keep viewers wanting to watch them, almost as though they are wanting to know what is next. Having a regular supply of videos will help build up and keep your network of people.

 Thirdly, being relevant in your videos. When uploading videos, they must be constantly relevant. Although may seem tough at first producing relevant videos on a regular basis, the more you do it the more it will become easier and the more effective they will become. Videos need to be informative, creative and related.

For the rest of the key factors in video marketing, and more information we are providing you with this published article:

http://www.sitepronews.com/2013/09/02/video-marketing-shouldnt-neglect-youtube/?utm_source=newsletter+-+2013-09-03&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Article%2BUpdate

 

Facebook: To ad or not to ad?

Wednesday 21st August 2013

In a move that may deter some of its users, Facebook is planning to add video advertisements to its website. With companies like YouTube already having this integrated, by having short video clips shown before users can view the video they have searched for, it seems as though this is becoming more popular. With Facebook about to start, it raises the question how long before other social network sites will start to follow?

Although users may not find this the best news, it seems that Facebook has its reasons to make the decision according to a new report released by Morgan Stanley. The report predicts the advertisements will soon bring in an estimated $1 billion and by the year 2020, Facebook could be raking in as much as $6.5 billion per year. A clear increase in profit for Facebook.

It is looking to be a slow start for the adverts to be fully added to Facebook, as reports show that the ads will start out in the U.S later this year. They then plan to hit European users in the later part of 2014 and will continue to reach different parts worldwide slowly. It is almost certain there will be different opinions emerging as the advertisements reach different parts.

With Facebook being used more frequently in today’s society, particularly with the rise of smartphones having apps available for these sites, no doubt users are going to be wondering what differences they will see on different devices and how much Facebook is going to change for them.

For more information on the ads coming to Facebook, including what will users see when they are on Facebook, and the first reactions on this idea, we are providing you with the following published article.

 

http://www.sitepronews.com/2013/08/09/facebook-expected-to-rake-in-1-billion-from-video-ads-in-2014/?utm_source=newsletter+-+2013-08-10&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Article%2BUpdate

 

How do I get patients from Facebook?

Friday 10th June 2011

Word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool.

You have already used word-of-mouth to grow your dental practice this far. Now 50% or more of your patients use Facebook everyday, many times a day. Word-of-mouth now happens on a ratio of 1:100, not 1:1. You need all your patients to LIKE and join your Facebook Page so they can talk about you and share your special offers to friends.

If you also want to advertise on the most popular website on the planet (target by gender, age, relationship status, interests and location) then you must make your Facebook adverts link to your Facebook Page (not your website) in order to fully maximise your data capture and thus ROI. The secret is to keep Facebook users on Facebook so you keep them in their comfort zone.

Before setting up a free Facebook Page for your business, you will first need to register/login to a free Personal account. If you want to do-it-yourself, click below:

  1. Register/Login on Facebook
  2. Create your Facebook Page

Dental Marketing – Facebook CC Risk Factor

Wednesday 20th October 2010

Mark Oborn asked the interesting question, “Does having your patients visible on a Facebook fan page concern you?” on the Dentinal Tubules forum. Check it out (you’ll have to register to login) and give us your thoughts!

I just posted my reply:

Great question Mark.

I call this the Facebook CC Risk Factor.

If your Facebook strategy involves getting all your patients to join your fan page or group then the risk is similar to sending an email shot and CC’ing your entire patient base and BCC’ing your competitors so they can get your list too. It only takes 1 bad egg to “reply all” and turn an open evening invite into a nightmare PR stunt.

I really hope dentists understand the risks before they jump on the Facebook bandwagon. Never before would dentists in their wildest dreams open their patient books to the public, revealing their patients to other patients and revealing their base to their competition. But now dentists are allowing angry patients, investigative journalists, and private detectives (fronts for solicitors) who wish to expose or sue a dentist now have access to other patients. Is this the rise of group litigation? Only time will tell but we are definitely exposing ourselves.

A lot of dentists are setting up Facebook groups without understanding the basics of Privacy settings. I don’t think dentists should allow anyone to write on their walls. You wouldn’t let patients write directly (unmoderated) onto your website, so why write on your Facebook wall ?

There seems to be different standards of privacy and access in basic Facebook marketing and this does concern me. Dentists do need to be guided and told the dangers – then the decision to go ahead is theirs and because the benefits of Facebook Fan Pages and Groups clearly outweigh the risks.

There are other Facebook strategies you can implement that involve no risk and do not publicly reveal your assets. You do need to have creative and innovative incentives for your patients to talk about you on their own walls – create a BUZZ. I see a lot of dentists talking about themselves on Facebook and very little patients talking about them… I think this is where the secret is – genuine word-of-mouth on Facebook by your patients, talking about you on their own walls.

I do wish that Facebook evolves such that dentists can hide their patients because the email marketing benefits of the fan page or group is obviously huge. I really look forward to hearing what others think and, at the end of the day, I hope through discussion we can educate the dental profession to be aware of these really important issues.  Visit the Dentinal Tubules forum

krish-blogKrishan Joshi is “the Master” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Become his friend on Facebook – www.facebook.com/DentalFocusWebsites

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