Social Media - What Is It Good For?
By Mike Shoun, CEO
You hear it every day – you need to be on Facebook or tweet daily to get business.
But in your rational mind you think, “Seems like a waste of time, and how will that get me patients?”
Social Media is here to stay, and it is only becoming more organized and mainstream. It may be a burden on your staff to stay on top of it and still do the daily tasks that you hired them to do in the first place, but since it is never going away you might as well throw up the white flag and join the bandwagon, before your competition starts to understand the importance and take potential new patients away from you.
Before Social Media, there were many other technologies that people thought would be fads. It is often assumed that new technology will replace the old, but in many cases the new combines with the old to give it more power. At one time, radio was the standard communication technology. When television sets came around, people thought the radio would become extinct – but we still have the radio and it is more powerful than ever. We can be watching CNN at home and hop in our car to run an errand while continuing to listen to the show on satellite radio. Over time, technology has become more sophisticated, but using it in the correct way only brings value to you and your practice.
That brings us back to Social Media. You might not be a fan, but it is a powerful tool to engage with your patients and needs to be treated as such. Knowing that this is the new “Word of Mouth”, you better have the strongest campaign to refer to others. Our culture dictates to us that this is the new norm. Your interaction does matter. Your online reputation has to be strong. Neglect this part of your practice and you might as well say to the masses, they don’t matter.
You may not be convinced that this is for you and feel it is a waste of time, but let me share with you why it is an important part of your marketing campaign. A website is your “virtual waiting room”, and with this technology comes your “virtual relationships.” Word of mouth is so important, it can make or break a practice.
A dentist in Minnesota recently had some extreme backlash over his behavior outside his practice, and it was splashed all over Social Media. Even if his office had never engaged in Social Media, others are. This shows the power of its voice. Knowing the power of this marketing tool, you should always be engaging. As extreme as the backlash was for this dentist, it wasn’t about his office practices. You need to be aware of what others are saying about you, good or bad. Keeping in contact with your patients shows you have their best interests at heart.
You are probably thinking you don’t have the time or the staff to handle this operation. It can be overwhelming, but remember – it is your reputation, and it matters. Not only is this your reputation, it is also a great marketing tool for communication. If done correctly, you can engage patients while using Social Media to benefit you in sales. Say one of your patients cancels in the morning for their afternoon appointment. Your announcement on Twitter or Facebook can get that chair filled immediately by offering a discount for the appointment. This not only fills your chair, the best part is you gain loyal followers looking for that deal to pop up again.
Social Media is here to stay, and you need to have a strong campaign. The best way to make this commitment is to invest in a program that allows you to post when you need to, but have the monthly logistics handled by the experts. You will receive the content and reports without having to worry about what or when to post – it is done for you! Having a qualified agency handle your online marketing allows you and your staff to do what you do best – dentistry. This is what Social Media is good for.
Mike Shoun is the President and Owner of Affordable Image Dental Marketing Solutions - a full service marketing company dedicated to the client's overall success.
Mike can be reached at (602) 265-2299 ext. 211, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.affordableimage.com for more information
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