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July 2013

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Social Media

Why You Shouldn’t Write Off Social Media

Whether you simply don’t have the time or just don’t see the potential reward, you may have decided that social media marketing isn’t something you want to explore; and that’s perfectly fine, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore social media entirely.  

Social networking is a popular online activity.  In fact, an estimated 25% of Americans use social media several times per day.  Ignoring the extensive reach of social media could potentially cause your practice harm.  Here are three reasons everyone needs to monitor social activity regarding their practice:

1. Research job candidates – What would you say if your newest hire was sharing unprofessional jokes online? Or getting into controversial political debates? More than a little concerning for any business owner, these occurrences are quite frequent on social networking sites.  Having social media profiles to screen job candidates can save your practice from a potential PR nightmare.

2. Monitor employee frustrations – Many social media users share their frustrations and honest opinions with their friends and followers. If you have an unhappy employee, you’ll want to nip it in the bud, as employee complaints about your practice tarnish your reputation.  Whether you’re a tough boss or your employees aren’t communicating with you directly, monitoring the things they share among their social networks can give you better insight into your employees’ attitudes about work.

3. Observe brand mentions – It’s naïve to think that because you aren’t active on social networks, you aren’t being talked about. Disgruntled patients are actually more likely to share their negative experiences online when they know (or think) you aren’t paying attention.  Monitoring brand mentions on social networking sites can help you remedy patient frustrations and avoid a negative online reputation.  Simply use the search feature within Facebook or Twitter to see what is being said about your practice.

Even if you don’t think social media is a necessary marketing avenue for your practice, it can still impact your bottom line, making it essential for you to continually monitor your practice, brand, and employees online. 

If you are interested in getting started on social media, contact us at 888-932-3644 to learn more about our social media services.

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Social Media

Facebook’s New Cover Image Rules

Until recently, Facebook had very strict guidelines regarding the amount and type of text allowed in cover photos. Previously, cover images could not include any promotional text, nor could they have a call-to-action, such as “Like Our Page”.

Now, Facebook has relaxed their terms, and cover images can contain any amount of text. With these new guidelines, you can update your Facebook cover image to help market your practice. Here are four ideas you might consider:

1. Encourage fans to “Like” your page by including subtle text that draws visitor’s attention to your “Like” button. More page “Likes” on your Facebook Fanpage opens your practice up to a larger online audience. With more Facebook users engaging with your Fanpage, you are able to extend your marketing reach.

2. Help fans find your website by displaying your URL. If fans seriously want to know more about your services, displaying a link in your cover image can increase traffic to your website and help users learn more about the services you offer.

3. Direct fans to your page tabs with arrows or text. If you’ve spent time customizing your Facebook tabs to include appointment request forms or patient surveys, use your cover image to highlight these tabs.

4. Share your contact information so fans can quickly and easily schedule an appointment. While your Fanpage already includes your contact information in your About section, putting this information front-and-center within your cover image can increase the number of fans who contact your practice.

Learn more by downloading our guide to social media marketing for dentists:

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Company News

We Are Excited to Announce…

Today, we are thrilled to announce our acquisition by The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm with over $3.5 billion in managed assets.  In conjunction with this acquisition, we will merge with Riverside’s portfolio company, CPASiteSolutions, the premier website design firm for accounting professionals.

Since our founding in 2003, we have been dedicated to building the ultimate website solution for dental and medical professionals. As we look towards the future, we are excited to unite with another industry leader, combining our technologies, design expertise, and assets, to deliver enhanced products and services to all of our members. This acquisition and merger will strengthen the technology that powers your website and will provide you with new future innovations, ensuring you are always one step ahead of your competitors. 

Our founder and CEO, Lance McCollough, will serve as the CEO of the combined company, continuing to oversee the company’s operations.

In his own words, Lance “is very excited about the combination of ProSites and CPASiteSolutions. Both companies share a common passion for providing great websites to make it easy for professionals to grow their practices. Combining our design and technological expertise will help us better serve our members, which is what we focus on each and every day.”

If you have any questions regarding the acquisition and merger, please contact your dedicated Website Consultant at 888-932-2644. 

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Website Design

3 Steps to Create Branded Content

While it only takes 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about whether they like your website, visitors’ first impressions are lasting.  And, building a recognizable practice image is an essential aspect of online marketing.  Beyond having an esthetically pleasing website, you can further enhance visitors’ first impressions with branded content.  In fact, studies indicate that 38% of a prospect’s first impressions are based on the tone in which your brand communicates.

Find Your Voice

There are many proven exercises that will help you discover the tone you want your practice to project, and the following creative processes will help you find your voice.

Understand Your Audience

The “are/are not list” is one of the easiest methods to discover who your target patient is. Once you determine who you are most trying to communicate to, you can decide the manner in which you should be communicating.

Start by imagining your ideal patient. Identify their qualities, such as: Are they young or old? Male or female? Are they well-educated? Are they wealthy?

As an example, a prosthodontist, Dr. Smith’s list may be:

• Our patients are concerned about their appearance.
• Our patients are wealthy.
• Our patients are educated.
• Our patients are not rash.
• Our patients are not modest.
• Our patients are not youthful.

From this, Dr. Smith can better understand that her audience is likely older, thinks through their decisions, and is willing to spend more money on a top-quality esthetic service.

Define Your Style

Once you understand the persona of your target audience, you can formulate the type of grammar, vocabulary, and tone that will resonate best with your prospects. Define where your style will fall somewhere between each of these extremes:

Formal                                                                    Conversational
Detached                                                                                   Warm
Professional                                                                         Playful
Serious                                                                             Humorous
Relaxed                                                                                 Anxious

If you determine that your style should be more conversational, warm, and playful you will want to use a vocabulary and sentence structure that supports this style.

Maintain Your Voice

Once you begin to develop your practice style and voice, it’s important to consistently communicate in that voice. Remember, each time you publish something online or create a new business card, mailer, etc., ask yourself, “Is this consistent with the tone of voice I’ve branded my practice with?”

If you find yourself answering, “No,” reassess the publication and try to cast your voice into the piece.

Creating a recognizable tone that speaks to your target market will help you stand out as a provider they can trust. When researching your services, prospective patients don’t select a provider solely based on the appearance of their website or their flyer. Prospects are going to choose the practice that has the attributes they are looking for in a provider, and communicating effectively can help you win over your desired market.

For more information about creating a recognizable brand, read our blog post about building a unified brand image.

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Practice Marketing

9 Ideas for Increasing Patient Loyalty

Currently, the cost of acquiring one new patient is estimated to be $282, while the estimated cost of retaining a patient is $57. Patient retention is one of the biggest concerns in owning and marketing a practice, and given these estimates, it’s easy to understand why.

Want to speak to experts and improve your patient loyalty and retention today? Request a demo of our complete marketing services here.

A practice acquiring 30 new patients per year is spending an average of $8,460 to do so, while a practice focused on building patient loyalty is only spending about $1,710 to retain their current clients. And, as you may have already learned, one of the biggest busts in marketing your practice is running a “new patient special”, as it never guarantees to keep a new patient coming back.

The following ideas are intended to help you retain patients beyond their first visit:

1. Make a Great First Impression – Despite the common belief that a patient’s first impression is formed in your practice, their in-office visit may not actually be their first point of contact. When researching providers, many patients look at your website, social media profiles, mailers, and networking groups to formulate their first impression, so be sure you are representing yourself well across all channels, not just in your office.

2. Host a Patient Appreciation Event – Select one day each month or every other month as your Patient Appreciation Day. On this day, verbally thank each patient you see, and let them know how much you value their patronage. You could even present them with a small gift, such as a $5 or $10 gift card, depending on your budget. Each patient is not only likely to feel valued, but is also likely to recommend your services to their friends and family. Also, you can randomize the day each month to avoid patients catching on and scheduling their appointments according to your appreciation schedule.

3. Use Social Media to Interact with Your Patients – It’s no secret that people like doing business with friendly and familiar faces. Interact with your patients on social media by congratulating their achievements and encouraging their endeavors. You can use your practice Facebook page or Twitter account to announce your patients’ achievements and share their successes with all of your followers. Just be sure you get their permission before featuring them on your page. Remember, you don’t always have to promote your services to build patient loyalty; you just have to show you genuinely care about your patients.

4. Make Your Patients Feel Important Year-Round – In order to make your patients feel like they’re part of your family, you have to treat them like family, even when they aren’t in your physical presence.  Send patients birthday cards and anniversary cards celebrating their patronage to your practice.  Include a handwritten note with a meaningful message.

5. Make New Patients Feel Welcomed – Following a patient’s first visit with a thank you card is a great form of customer service. Making new patients feel important and appreciated even after just one visit will make them more inclined to return. If your patients are tech-savvy, consider sending a thank you email, in which you can include a link to your social networks and details about key differentiators in your services.

6. NEVER Be Late for a New Patient Appointment – If you have a patient who is visiting for the first or even second time, be sure you are punctual. Nothing is more likely to turn a new patient away than having a delayed appointment. When you know you have a new patient scheduled, do your best to stay ahead of the clock and avoid excessive waiting room times.

7. Offer a Complimentary Service to Your Loyal Patients – If you know a patient has a big upcoming event, such as a wedding or prom, and they’ve been your patient for years, offer them a complimentary service such as professional teeth whitening. This unexpected gesture will thrill patients and make them likely to refer your services to others.

8. Communicate Clearly – In a recent study, 93% of patients said a clear explanation of required services was a major factor in whether they would return to the dentist or not. When you have a first-time patient, they often don’t understand which recommended services are necessary and which are just suggestions. Additionally, 33% of patients think their dentist tries to sell them unnecessary services, so be sure you aren’t miscommunicating with your patients, as it’s likely to scare them away.

9. Establish and Advertise a Patient Rewards Program – People love good deals, especially when the deals are backed by excellent service. Try implementing a patient rewards program where patients who remain loyal over a set amount of years can earn free services, such as teeth whitening or deep cleanings. Giving patients an incentive will encourage them to stay loyal to your practice.

While the cost benefit of investing in recalling current patients is evident, there are other benefits as well, namely an increase in new patient referrals. Studies indicate happy, loyal patients are more likely to recommend your services among their individual networks, providing you with valuable word of mouth marketing that generates new patients without any added expense.

Want to take your marketing to the next level? Click here to request a demo or fill out the form below.

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Social Media

Is It Time to Update Your Facebook Page?

With all of the social networking sites constantly updating their layout, options, and terms, it’s hard to stay on top of things and assure your page is always performing at its best. Over the past few months, Facebook has made many changes, some of which may be impacting your page’s performance.

Here are some quick tips to ensure your Facebook Fanpage is fully optimized and gaining interest:

• Custom Facebook URL – If you haven’t already claimed your Facebook vanity URL, we recommend you do so as soon as possible. Vanity URLs take your Facebook page from being www.facebook.com/349984563 to www.facebook.com/yourpracticename, allowing you to reference a simple, easy-to-remember URL on your practice’s marketing materials so patients can easily find your page. To edit your vanity URL, visit www.facebook.com/username.

• Edit your short description – When a Facebook user visits your Fanpage, they can view a short description of your services right below your profile image. Use this highly visible area to your advantage and include a concise description of your practice along with a link to your website to drive more Facebook fans to your practice’s webpage.

• Thoroughly complete your profile – Often, when businesses first create their Facebook Fanpage, they get so caught up in getting started that they neglect to fill out all available fields. Including comprehensive information about your practice (such as services you offer, office hours, contact information, and a link to your website) will help prospective patients distinguish you from your competitors and make it easy for them to visit your site to learn more.

• Double check your page category – When you started your Facebook page, did you set it up as a product or service? Switch your page category to a local business to drive locally targeted prospects to your Fanpage. When created as a local business page, your office location and hours are prominently displayed at the top of your profile, preventing users from having to navigate to your “About” section to find the information. Also, listing your practice as a local business prevents any confusion among potential fans searching for your page.

• Update your cover photo – Did you know that Facebook now allows you to include a call-to-action in your cover photo? Facebook has relaxed their terms, and cover images can contain as much text as your heart desires. With these new guidelines, you can update your Facebook cover image to help market your practice. Influence Facebook users to like your page or schedule an appointment by advertising it in your cover photo.

• Revamp your profile image – Profile images should let users easily distinguish your brand. Because your profile image is displayed next to every post and comment you share, you want to constantly be sharing your brand. If you have an identifiable logo, try using it as your profile image, or use a clear photo of yourself.

While it can be tough to stay current on all of the changes occurring across different social networking sites, ensuring your Facebook profile includes these updates can improve your social media marketing reach.

If you’ve made these updates and are ready to start gaining more “Likes”, check out our blog post about generating more Facebook fans.

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