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May 2021

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Patient Relationship

Prevent Last Minute Cancellations

Your time is valuable. And few things are more frustrating than last minute cancellations that leave a big gap in your schedule.

One of the most common ways of handling cancellation offenders is to make them wait to get back into the schedule. But sometimes patients have to wait months to reschedule. Is this the best way to handle the situation?

The world of dental marketing – social media, web page user experience, blogging, etc. – is about building relationships with your current and potential patients.

Patients want a dentist they trust. They want services that are top-notch. From PPC brand awareness campaigns to social media posts and conversations, everything we talk about in these articles is designed to help your practice deliver those desired services and patient experience. Handling appointments and cancellations is no different.

Booking & Cancelling Online

Your practice may have a system that allows your patients to schedule, cancel and reschedule appointments for future dates online. This is a great service that can make filling the appointment calendar easier for both you and your patients.

Just remember to create settings that prohibit cancellations and rescheduling within 72 hours of the initial appointment. Cancellations within that 72 hour window will have to occur over the phone. I can’t stress this enough.

Last minute cancellations should always be handled with a conversation over the phone. It is a great opportunity to enhance your practice’s personal engagement and service with a smile attitude.

Keep learning about how to use new technologies to increase patient satisfaction.

Relate To Your Patients

Understanding your patients is the first step in building a long lasting relationship.

Cancellations happen for two basic reasons. One reason is an unavoidable circumstance. For instance, an illness or the boss scheduled a meeting and your patient’s job depends on being there.

Reason two tends to be a bit more flexible – something came up after making the appointment. It could be an unexpected lunch date. Or, they simply need to pick their children up from an event at the time of the appointment.

A patient may think these are unavoidable, but a couple small concessions may be all that is necessary for them to make their scheduled dental appointment.

Provide Solutions

Too often practices simply say okay and then punish the patient by making them wait for a couple months to get back on the schedule.

When the front office staff speaks with a cancellation, the first thing they should do is show concern and find out why the patient needs to cancel. Establish whether it’s an unavoidable or possibly flexible situation.

If you deem it a flexible situation, begin thinking urgency and solution. Explain what will happen to their teeth if they don’t keep the appointment while asking questions that may lead your patient to change their minds about canceling.

Always try to offer a solution. Maybe their children can carpool with friends or a spouse can pick them up. Patients won’t always make adjustments to keep their appointments, but they are more likely to if you present a solution.

Confirmation Reminders 

Send appointment reminder emails and phone calls at least seven days before the appointment. If you can do them again 72 hours before that would be great. Try using text messages for the second reminder.

It is important that these messages don’t offer a way to cancel. When we say things, like “if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment call…” patients are no longer thinking about keeping their appointment, but rather how to cancel it.

Confirmation emails and phone calls should simply say we are looking forward to seeing you on a specific day at a specific time. This approach leaves patients thinking about making their appointments, not canceling them.

Learn more about the benefits of automated patient communications.

Reward Good Behavior

One thing that has been proven in behavioral studies is that positive reinforcement modifies behavior better than negative reinforcement. Obviously, if you have a patient that is habitually late to appointments or has multiple last minute cancelations you have to do something to dissuade them from doing it again.

As we previously said this leads to a long wait to get back on the dental schedule. But what about a positive reinforcement campaign?

A gift card giveaway might be just the thing. Using Facebook and other social media outlets your practice can highlight how valuable everyone’s time is during the busy holiday months. Then when patients are on time for scheduled appointments put their name in for a giveaway.

How do you typically handle appointment cancellations? Leave your comments and feedback below!

Keep learning more secrets about how to avoid last minute cancellations and, download the free whitepaper, Automated Dental Patient Communication: How to Keep more Patients with Less Work by filling out the form below.

Social Media

22 Questions on Social Media for Dentists, Answered

There are several ways in which dentists can maximize their practice’s presence across today’s top social media channels. These are some great questions that are usually asked by patients. We have the answers for all of them below!

  1. Do we need a personal account on Twitter to open a professional page as well?

Twitter does not differentiate pages for businesses vs. people the way Facebook does, so on Twitter, you only need one account which should be branded and named after your practice.

  1. What if you created a Facebook Business Page but didn’t link to your personal page? Can you combine the two? Also, how do you get your name off unverified pages?

Unfortunately, if you create a Facebook Business Page for your practice but didn’t link it to your personal Facebook profile, it’s possible Facebook will delete the page.

To get your name off unverified pages, first search for your practice name on Facebook. If you find a page that matches your practice, follow these steps to claim the page first.

During these steps, you’ll have the opportunity to combine the existing page with any page you already have access to from your personal page.

Repeat this process for any unverified pages you find until you combine every page to ensure you don’t have any unverified pages with your name on Facebook.

  1. How do I get my business name to be on top of Google search?

There are a few ways to get noticed toward the top of Google search results – you can do so via paid ads (PPC), organic listings (requires dental search engine optimization), and optimizing your Google My Business profile.

Learn what you can do to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) profile to get noticed within the “map” section of search results.

Call us to learn more about dental pay-per-click and search engine optimization solutions at (888) 932-3644 or download the whitepaper to get a high-level overview of what’s involved with dental pay-per-click advertising.

  1. Can you put a link to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram profiles on your email signature?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage you to do this. You can include a simple line that explains the benefit of following your practice with links to each respective page (e.g. Get oral hygiene tips and offers by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!)

  1. What are some good programs for creating logos and content for posts (like cartoons)?

There are many sites available, but one that we love is Canva. It’s a great (and free!) tool that allows you to create logos and content without any professional design experience.

  1. How do you send a link in an email to have a patient “Like” your Facebook Business Page directly?

We recommend going to your Facebook Business Page to get the full URL. Then, in the body of your email, you can simply ask the patient to “Like our practice on Facebook, herewhere you hyperlink the text “here” to the actual URL.

You can do this by right-clicking the word “here” and clicking “add link” – simply paste your Facebook URL into this section.

  1. Does the personal page connected to the Facebook Business Page have to be active? Meaning, can you have an incomplete personal page, photo, etc., and yet have the Business page filled out?

It is OK to have an inactive personal profile while having an active Facebook Business Page for your practice.

Because the two are separate from one another, having an incomplete personal profile will not negatively impact the performance of your Facebook Business Page.

That said, if you do have an active personal profile, you can use this as another tool to drive more traffic and “Likes” to ask people to share the word about your page.

  1. Can I “Like” other dental-associated Facebook Business Pages from my practice’s Facebook Business Page?

Yes, you can “Like” other Facebook Business Pages from your practice’s Facebook Business Page, however this content will not appear in your personal newsfeed (there is a separate newsfeed for Facebook Business Pages).

This means you’ll miss out on content from the page that you “Liked” if you’re on your personal profile. A best practice is to “Like” other Facebook Business Pages from your personal profile so you don’t miss out.

  1. What are the best social media platforms for reaching patients?

For dentists, we recommend having a presence on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has a large reach and wide-range of users, plus your profile can be used to showcase reviews, share educational articles, photos, and videos.

Instagram is great for dental practices because it provides more information about your practice, visually. You can showcase before and after photos, your office, team members, and more.

  1. How important is it to include hashtags on your posts on each platform?

It will not make or break the success of your page, but it is a good practice and habit to form.

You don’t need to go overboard with 50 hashtags per post, but it is recommended to use a few hashtags that pertain to the topic of your post for maximum visibility (e.g. #chicagodentist #oralhealthtips #cosmeticdentistry).

  1. We have two Facebook Business Pages per office. Is it better for us to merge the two since its only one doctor in practice? We have two websites as well.

It’s best to have to have one Facebook Business Page per location. If you have two pages per one office location, then you will want to combine the pages with same address.

The reason for this is because Facebook is one of the top directories that Google considers when triangulating name-address-phone number data, which can help with your website’s local search rankings.

By creating two pages for each practice location, you can potentially increase  your website rankings as well.

  1. Can you connect Instagram with Facebook?

Yes! You can link your accounts so when you post a photo to Instagram, you can also have it shared to your Facebook Business Page.

  1. Where on Facebook can I find which posts have the most likes?

Within your Facebook Business Page, in the navigation bar, you’ll see a row of options where you should click Insights.

Here, you will find analytics with information on the performance of your content and pages. On the left-hand column of the page, you’ll find an option to click “Posts” to see which ones have the most likes, comments, and clicks.

Use this information to understand which types of content your audience prefers most and post more of it!

  1. How do you suggest getting followers if you are just starting a new Facebook Business Page not connected to your personal profile?

The first step would be to send an email to all of your patients letting them know you’re on Facebook and requesting they “Like” your new Facebook Business Page (with a link as well).

Let them know what they can expect from doing this gesture – will they get weekly tips? Special discounts? Educational articles? Let them know what’s in it for them, and they’ll surely like your page!

You can also include signage in your office and add a sentence to your signature lines via email. Train staff to tell patients about your practice’s new social media presence before they leave your office.

  1. Is there any way you can have a Facebook Business Page without merging with your personal profile?

To control a Facebook Business Page, you must get to it through a personal profile. Although they are completely separate profiles, for added privacy, you can make sure on your personal profile to keep post privacy limited to “only me” or “only friends” so the public doesn’t see it, or use an incomplete personal profile to manage your business page.

  1. Can you also explain the “boosted” post and what that exactly does? Is it worth the money?

Boosted posts are ones that you apply money to, in order to increase the audience it reaches. It’s one of the simplest ways to advertise on Facebook. Boosted posts are different than Facebook ads because they are not created in Ads Manager and don’t have all of the same customization features.

Try testing a small amount of money first to see if it helps your page get more likes. If it does, try a bit more budget until you feel you’ve reached your goals.

  1. As Instagram wants pictures of a certain size/parameter, how do you manage posting to both Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?

Instagram will allow photos of different ratios to post but using a square is still considered best practice.

Facebook and Twitter are more flexible, but using a square image across all platforms allows you to post simultaneously to all platforms while ensuring your content shows well on each network.

Try using Canva to create square images or the crop feature on your phone.

  1. Do my other coworkers have to know my personal passwords to log-in to the practice’s Facebook Business Page?

No. You can simply name other coworkers as an “Admin” on your Facebook Business Page so they can log-in to Facebook under their own personal profile.

You can also set different controls to distinguish how much an individual is able to control or edit the page.

Want to learn more about marketing your practice on social media? Click here to access o demand webinars that will teach you how to create strong social media profiles and pages for your dental practice on today’s top networks.

Marketing your dental practice on social media can be time consuming and tricky. Learn how ProSites handles it all for you and call us at (888) 932-3644 for a free demo.

Social Media

30 Great Social Media Post Ideas for Dentists

Consistently posting on social media can be hard to do after a while. So, we thought we’d give you some inspiration with these 30 amazing post ideas!

Want to learn more about dental social media now? Download the free whitepaper, Running a Dental Practice in the Age of Social Media.

Hours and Updates

  1. If your hours and safety procedures have changed, post about it on your social media! This will help patients understand any guidelines or health screenings ahead of time and make them feel safe booking their next appointments.

Community and Volunteer Events

2. Highlight volunteer work your practice is involved with. Social media is a great place to post photos from charity walks, events, and any pro-bono work your practice offers.

3. Host a charity drive and promote it leading up to and on the day of the event. Consider offering an annual food drive around Thanksgiving and a toy drive around Christmas!

4. Help promote events happening in your community like a pet adoption near you. People like to help spread the word, so these posts will likely get shared by your followers!

5. Share information about scholarships you offer or are aware of, particularly for dental school students.

Office Celebrations and Announcements

6. Celebrate your staff with a happy birthday message. This will resonate with your loyal patients and build familiarity with your friendly staff!

7. Congratulate your staff when they announce a pregnancy (given that they feel comfortable sharing this news).

8. Show your practice’s personality and post photos of holiday parties, costume competitions or white elephant gift exchanges.

9. Is your office offering new technology like online intake forms or online billing? Show off these new features!

10. Announce conferences that you are attending and include professional photos from the convention floors.

11. Share your experiences at CE events. People like to know that their dentist is keeping up with the times!

12. Introduce new-hires with a photo and quick bio. This is a great way to familiarize your patients with new staff members.

13. Explain a new process that your practice has implemented to improve patient experiences, like confirming or rescheduling their appointments seamlessly online.

14. If you’re in the news, it’s OK to brag a little! Share local press about your practice.

15. Give your followers updates on holiday hours so they can plan their appointments accordingly.

Testimonial Content

16. Share your own positive, native reviews. Facebook allows patients to review you, so if someone has something nice to say “share” the post and thank them publicly.

17. Highlight before and after photos (with the patient’s permission, of course). ProSites also offers a service called Patient ShowCase which makes it easy to highlight before and after photos on your website to increase case acceptance.

18. Re-post any positive posts that patients post about and tag your practice in.


19. Hold themed days such as Denture Days or Patient Appreciation Days. Having a blog post that explains the promotion helps too.

20. Offer a discount to new clients. Tip: Promotions are best shared near end of calendar year when people are thinking about their expiring benefits. Start posting weekly in September and continue until December 31st.

21. Create a Patient of the Month program thank patients for being loyal supporters.

Educational Content

22. Create a list of common questions and answer one common question each week, such as “What to do in a dental emergency?”

23. Discuss your opinion of fashions trends that affect oral health such as piercings, jewelry in teeth, and other uncommon cosmetic procedures.

24. Share dental care tips that inform patients about flossing, the benefits of sugar-free gum, and more.

Entertaining or Humorous Content

25. Entertain your patients with celebrity before and after smile comparisons.

26. Uncover myths about dentists debunked.

27. Highlight fun facts about dentistry. A quick google search can help come up with a few.

28. Make kids laugh with cartoons about dentists. Use your best judgment to determine if this is consistent with your practice’s voice and personality.

29. Re-post relatable content such as these Buzzfeed articles about dentists. Use your best judgment to determine if this is consistent with your brand as well.

30. Repost old content that did well as a #TBT (throwback Thursday) post.

Practice Marketing, Social Media

Dental Facebook Posts – Ideas for Your Practice

On average, adults in the USA spend nearly two hours on social media networks per day(!). Facebook is in the lead with 2 billion users worldwide and offers a growing array of things you can do on the platform. From posting a status and sharing photos to getting news, selling items, or asking for recommendations – being on this social network has almost become a cultural requirement for both individuals and businesses. Become an expert in Dental Facebook Posts today!

As people are now so transparent in sharing their lives publicly, they expect the same from businesses. Social media is a great place for your practice to showcase its personality, interact with current patients and drive more traffic (prospective patients) to your website.

People won’t be impressed if your dental practice’s Facebook page is bare, missing information, or simply promoting patients to come in. Instead, publish amazing Facebook Dental Posts that provide valuable and educational content to get people Liking and interacting with your page.

Facebook Dental Posts Ideas

Need some help getting started? Here’s some ideas that you can take and use as your own the next time you hit social media writers block.

Post Idea 1

Have a toothache? Here are four ways to offer temporary relief (but in the meantime, make sure to call us to get it checked out):

  1. Rinse with warm water.
  2. Floss to remove food or debris that may be wedged between the teeth.
  3. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  4. Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic containing benzocaine.

Post Idea 2

Frequent headaches? You might be grinding your teeth at night which can also hurt your sleep and damage your teeth. Find out if a mouth guard is something you should consider and ask us about it at your next appointment!

Post Idea 3

Did you know that in a lifetime, the average person spends 38 days brushing their teeth? #themoreyouknow #dentalfacts

Post Idea 4

Tooth decay is the world’s second most common disease (the common cold is #1). Take a few minutes morning and night to take care of your pearly whites!

Post Idea 5

The great debate – do you brush your teeth the moment you wake up, or wait until after breakfast? Comment below and watch out for tomorrow’s post on my viewpoints! Make sure to follow-up with a post with your views on morning brushing. Bonus: Tag people who commented on your original post so they can see your answer.

Schedule Facebook Posts in Advance

Now that you have content to post, the next step is to publish frequently and consistently. Plus, Facebook has a tool that allows you to schedule posts in advance. Instead of needing to remember to post 3 times each week, you can dedicate an hour to scheduling out posts months in advance. This way you can focus your time spent weekly on social media to engaging with followers by commenting, replying, and liking their feedback and posts.

Watch the video below to learn how to schedule your content on Facebook.

Once you have a month’s worth of content on your page, it’s worth taking the time to view your Insights, or Facebook page analytics, to determine the best days and times to post, and adjust your scheduled posts accordingly.

Discover 30 great dental Facebook Posts and get even more ideas on what to post and download the FREE toolkit below.

Social Media

How Dentists Should Use Facebook Polls

As a dentist, if you’re on social media – you already know the importance of staying engaged with current and potential patients. In addition to posting about dental hygiene tips, special offers or promotions, and office news – have you considered using a Facebook poll as part of your content strategy?

Asking poll questions is a something that both large and small companies can benefit from asking. It allows you to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding about your patients (current and potential)
  • Get more content ideas for new posts
  • Differentiate the types of content you’re posting about for more engagement and interaction

Create a Facebook Poll

To get started, simply go to your practice’s page, then into publishing tools and go to create a post. From there, click “poll” in the drop-down options.

From this option, you can insert your question and type the various answer options. You can also set the duration for how long you want the Facebook poll to last. Once you’re all set, simply hit publish and wait for the results to come in!

Common Poll Questions

To help you get started, below are a five examples of questions you could ask your patients:

  1. Which appointment times do you prefer?

Option 1: Morning/early afternoon

Option 2: Mid-afternoon to early evening

  1. Which types of content would you like to see more of?

Option 1: Tips on hygiene and cavity prevention

Option 2: Tips on teeth whitening

  1. Do you prefer to use a manual or electric toothbrush?

Option 1: Manual

Option 2: Electric

  1. How often do you floss? (Be honest!)

Option 1: At least 4x a week

Option 2: Under 4x a week

  1. Do you want to see more posts about…

Option 1: Special offers and promotions

Option 2: Tips to keeping a healthy smile

Learn more about the importance on Facebook Marketing and discover how to enhance your practice’s social media presence today!

You can also call ProSites at 888-932-3644 to learn how we can manage and grow your entire presence on today’s largest social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.

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