An Introduction to Dental Facebook Marketing
-Social Media is Old Fashioned-
The rise of social media in marketing has been touted as many things by dentists. Some say its revolutionary, some say its ‘too complicated,’ some say its not something their practice needs. Some say they don’t have time to be posting pictures and funny dental joke quotes all day long on their Facebook.
I say that social media is old fashioned.
Social media is essential. Social media is old-fashioned, because social media is nothing other than word of mouth.
Greater than 90% of my new patients are from Facebook.
I track my new patient numbers: How did you hear about us? is a question on every health history form. Patients in their 20s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s —are all finding us on Facebook.
People tell their family and friends how great (or bad) your practice is and now all of a sudden 20 people know. People share on social media and now all of a sudden 2,000 people know.
Many dentists don’t want to take the time to learn how to properly leverage social media in effective marketing. Well, I’m here to tell you, you don’t get to decide if you have an online social media presence. You will have one whether you like it or not — your patients will see you and talk about you. There will be posts about you and your practice floating around in the community regardless if you partake or not — so you might as well get in on the conversation.
If you are posting funny dental jokes and random pictures all day long – your social media presence will flop.
I’ve dabbled with what works and what doesn’t. Much like word of mouth, and social interaction in general — just because there are a lot of people around doesn’t mean that they want to hear what you have to say. Right now, as a new practice, my Facebook page doesn’t have very many followers — We just crossed 250.
Even with just 250 (or less) followers, my Facebook posts for my Practice Page regularly get 2,000 to 3,000 to 6,000 views.
How much would it cost you to send 3,000 post cards out to people’s houses? Post cards of which 95% would get immediately thrown in the trash? I’d bet you your 3,000 post cards would cost you several THOUSAND dollars to send out. And I also bet you, that whichever company you contracted to do the mailing campaign would tell you that you need to send out at least 3 ROUNDS of these mailing campaigns several weeks apart before you saw results. I would tell you that I would rather take my money, put it in a trash bag, and burn it — than to spend thousands on mailers — at least that way I’m not setting myself up to be let down. I would just know the money is gone.
I spend $5 per day on Facebook on recurring ads. With the recurring ads I am able to target the exact area ( I usually target about a 5 mile radius from my office), I am able to target by gender, and also by age. I can decide who sees the ads, and design the ads accordingly. Once they have seen the ads – which are veiled to appear as regular posts by our office page with a ‘sponsored’ tag, they are free to directly message us for questions/appointments or share with their friends.
Hint: Nobody wants to share or tell their friends about your tooth joke or tooth cartoon.
Here are some of my successful posts, and some of my non-successful posts. As I learn more and more, it is pretty standard for each of my posts to have several thousand views — again, right now my page only has 250 followers/likes. But I have GREAT engagement which has translated to real new patients.
This post had over 6,000 views. All 6,000 of these views are roughly within the 5-mile radius of my office and are thus potential new patients. It was successful because I tied it into something that was actually going on — a Holiday, thanksgiving, and I tied it to an offer — Free Exams for anyone who called us over the Thanksgiving Weekend. This turned into a great flow of new patients for us. I spent $10 on a post boost. As you can see by the indicator bar at the bottom, the $10 boost I spent increased the views a little bit, but the vast majority of the views of this post were organic.
Here is an example of a post that sucks. These are the posts you see on most dentist facebook pages. Picture of a toothbrush, linked to a blog article about some random dental facts. 39 views.
Here you can see my continuous running ad budget. $5 per day. I could spent more, and in the future I might, but right now my schedule is full and busy, and I am refining my systems. For every 3,527 people reached, 340 of those people actually visit my website. That is just under a 10% conversion to get people onto my website. Ask your direct mail company what their conversion rate is — I bet it less than 0.5%. Probably around 0.2%.
Here are a few most of my posts below — as you can see, the views are all in the several thousands, all posted when I had between 100 and 250 followers. And they convert.
They convert because I am not advertising.
I am communicating and engaging and building rapport with the community at large.
Just like old-fashioned word of mouth.
Take the time to master this new word of mouth in social media. The ROI is incredible. You will notice that these posts below have a special tag from Facebook, “Your ad has an average relevacne score of …, which means it’s getting more positive feedback and is costing less to deliver than most ads on Facebook.”
If you get this tag from Facebook — you know you are doing things right.
Shoot me any questions to my email or comment below.