3 Ways Location Based Services Help Recruit New Patients

For some dentists out there, location-based digital marketing opportunities like Facebook Places or Foursquare represents an easy cost-effective addition to the overall practice marketing plan.

Some dentists are already deploying their geo-location identity across multiple location-based environments.

Whether or not Foursquare goes the way of Gowalla or Google Places, all signs indicate a digitally available, location-based identity will help you monitor your online practice reputation.

It no longer matters how you feel about digital marketing, the Internet, advertising; or religion and politics for that matter.

Dentists Use Location Based Services to Amplify Digital Word of Mouth

Patients will seek out multiple online environments to communicate the now ubiquitous online review. And they’ll do some social snooping to see how others feel about their dental experiences in your practice.

How can you ensure your dental practice digital footprint is firmly planted and communicating beneficial digital word of mouth?

A good defense is the best offense.

That holds true for the sedentary – as it relates to marketing – dental practices out there, just as it does for the dynamic dental marketeers pitching their wares on virtual bus benches and location-based virtual neighborhoods.

Defend your online practice reputation by actively utilizing these proven social media outlets, controlling your identity in the local search environments, and enabling mobile connectivity within geo-location based communications.

In the scope of benefiting from having a practice identity throughout these popular, and not so popular (relatively speaking), online environments, let’s examine three simple ways how using location-based services in your dental practice digital marketing plan will result in new patients.

1. Digital Word of Mouth

Crowdsource your marketing. Not for budget sake; Foursquare and Facebook Places are free BTW – you probably already have a FB Places page, and you’re probably not even using it toward any particular end.

Crowdsource to sow positive online reviews, and broadcast practice word of mouth; your patients are the crowd. Enable them to help build your digital footprint by actively communicating their online review in their location-based service of choice.

Empower and incentivize patients to use these online neighborhoods and join the party. A check-in goes hand in hand with an online review…and there’s no sense checking in anywhere if people can’t blab something into the social stratosphere.

Sign up for these location-based services and add a few more places to elicit, collect, and syndicate positive digital word of mouth.

Any ideas?

2. Link to Website

Sign up for Foursquare, get an incoming link to your website. Done.

To simplify things, incoming links are a good thing for online practice visibility as it relates to your website being found when people search for targeted dental keywords.

Quality, relevance, age, and content all matter when it comes to beneficial incoming links to your dental practice website, but generally most dentists will only be linking from dental specific sites, or colleges and universities.

Another BTW – any link you can get from your alma mater’s website to your dental practice website is a decidedly valuable proposition.

3. Online Practice Visibility

This one goes back to the online reputation management equation, the good defense being the best offense conundrum. Enrolling your dental practice in these socially adept, digitally connected, online neighborhoods will immediately increase your digital dental practice footprint.

Aside from the incoming link to your practice website, just having these listings or profiles controlled by you – and your location – allows obscure search engines like say, Google, to go ahead and add another check mark to your digital dossier.

Here’s a bonus, this stuff is free. As in no cost to initiate, manage, update, administrate, and procreate.

Let’s hear the negative; launch cruise missiles of doubt and despair at will. Hear about a story where Foursquare ruined a practice?

Please share with the group…however small it may be at present.

The only ways dentists can learn how to effectively navigate digital practice marketing avenues is by dead reckoning or GPS.

Who is plotting your digital dental practice marketing course?

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+Chris Barnard is the Managing Partner at Social Dental Network, a boutique digital marketing agency consistently generating tangible return on investment for dentists across North America & the U.K.