Most Dentists like you want to create perfect smiles and save people from losing their teeth but...
You are actually quite into promoting your practice and building a brand within your locality and particular specialty. Very few of you are spending money on newspapers and yellow pages these days. So you are trying out new ideas or not doing anything at all to promote your practice. Over the past few months, we have encountered a number of dentists that have stopped traditional advertising completely as they have noticed it is not working any more.
Their new patient numbers have been dropping and are now finally starting to wake up and smell the coffee so to speak by taking action. They of course understand Social Media is one of the things they should be doing and that it is necessary for them to have a presence but they are worried about how it will affect their practice.
Twitter is actually a great platform to get the team involved with the growth of the practice and an awesome way to empower them too! Do not forget it is also a great way to fill up facebook fan pages too.
You must be very careful to set it up properly or it can be a threat to your business if not managed effectively. We help teach this with our Twitter Training Workshop This is not a hard thing to do but it does take a little time to work out.
Here are 7 things to consider when setting up Twitter accounts
1) When setting up an account for your practice you must remember to have the login details linked to your practice email address, otherwise when staff leave you will have a nightmare changing the account over. Ending up having another redundant twitter account. Potentially a legal suit if it is not handed over, causing you a big headache and giving you another reason to not embrace twitter.
2) You need to sit down for an hour and work out what is acceptable content to share, for instance is it ok to talk about football or health or are you going to just offer dental tips and images of perfect smiles. What kind of behaviour is ok? Remember whatever you tweet is visible to anyone who wants to read your twitter stream. Some dentists choose to post useful historical quotes or motivational quotes. Just remember that your practice has its own style and this must be reflected in your tweets, something to consider if you do think of hiring someone to help you with scheduling tweets.
3) You are not allowed to post pictures of people's faces, before and after pictures are ok but just for teeth, they cannot include the face of the person. This is part of the gdc regulations on social media :-
""4.2.3 You must not post any information or comments about patients on social networking or blogging sites. If you use professional social media to discuss anonymised cases for the purpose of discussing best practice you must becareful that the patient or patients cannot be identified. ""
4) Don't forget to put your twitter @name on all of your Twitter marketing materials, from your practice newsletters and blog posts through to your email signatures, business cards, newspaper adverts and anywhere else you can think of, maybe even on your car.
5) Begin by creating many great local contacts by using twitter advanced search. A very under used feature, which will help you find just the kind of people you want to be following, like any marketing effort you should start with the end in mind and utilise this awesome tool. What kind of patients are you looking for? Do you want to focus on people who are getting married for instance?
This planning will give you a good idea of the kind of businesses and people to follow locally, ie. wedding planners? You may want to follow your local wedding venues or beauty salons or boutiques and follow some of their followers, what will help you with this is using Twitter's advanced search.
6) Who is responsible for tweeting? Mostly it’s the case that people are overwhelmed by twitter, the more people they follow the more they are likely to drop off twitter and think it was a waste of time. To limit this it’s an idea to pick a few team members and get them to put their initials after their tweets, so limiting the amount of time they have to invest to get your brand name out there and build relationships, it is time consuming and some will enjoy it more than others.
7) Relationships are what it’s about! As I said in my video interview with Nick Peters from the Dental Talk Show. It's not about broadcasting the loudest and doing the best deals, no-one wants to hear about zoom whitening, they don’t even know what zoom whitening is, if you are going to promote certain offers do so in blocks of 5 or 10 tweets with a call to action promo at the end, never broadcast offers all day, twitter is all about building relationships with your followers and twitter community by retweeting and mentioning them creating the most important aspect of social media, SOCIABILITY!
If you found this blog post helpful and are serious about growing your dental practice checkout our incredible free dental marketing gift by clicking on the box below.
By Nathaniel Schooler, GetWise Marketing