We know the suspense was killing you, how were you going to make it through another weekend without reading Part Deux of why your dental practice is behind the times.
Why your dental practice, at present, with no blog, is grossly ignoring your local constituents.
The wait is over, here is part 2 of our dental practice blogging series.
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.
We’ve seen these digitally rendered splotches before, but what are they, how can you get one, and what can it possibly have to do with running a successful dental practice?
We will most likely continue to see these mobile-friendly bar codes as our cell phones, mobile phones, smartphones…or whatever your preferred nomenclature for these ubiquitous – and sometimes publicly annoying – devices that will soon become our number one way to access this metastasizing thing we call the Internet.
What is a QR code?
QR stands for quick response; the code part enables you to implant your digital dental practice footprint into the mobile-enhanced digital information superhighway of your local constituency.
A QR code stores information about your dental practice; you implant the info there too.
Then you distribute said QR code in newsletters, direct mail pieces, business cards, basically patient communications; and ipso factor, you are amongst the growing community of technologically savvy and socially available SoLoMo connected dental practices out there.
You see, you implant whatever important practice info you’d like to communicate into the code. Then you implant the code into your patient’s mobile phones.
The implantation into the patient’s phone occurs when people scan your specific QR code (from whatever communication you’re delivered) and see the important dental health info you aim to communicate.
How are we doing with all of this implant talk, do things make sense?
You could direct people to sign up for blog, follow you on Facebook, hang on your every dental Tweet, or simply use technology to connect with your dental practice in a more convenient way.
Did we mention this technology is also incredibly popular…like cell phone popular.
QR codes not only afford you another avenue to open communication with your patients and local community; properly implemented QR codes can also allow your increasingly mobile patient constituency to digitally connect with each other.
And then connect that all back to your digital dental practice footprint…and ultimately your comfy office chair.
How to Get One?
By simply downloading a (FREE) reader application onto our mobile phones, we can then scan any QR code and see the quick results.
So, as a dental patient we need a reader to view the info stored in our favorite dental practice’s QR code.
As a favorite local dental practice owner, you need to generate a code so that you can communicate whatever message it is you’re looking to send.
New patient specials, elective services discounts…whatever message you’re looking to send.
To generate a QR code for your dental practice, you can search for any QR code reader online, hook up with one free by confirming your Bing Local listing, or check out this site that supposedly ranks some of the best QR readers.
Here’s a quick easy (FREE) site you can at least play around with to generate your own personal dental practice QR code: qrcode.kaywa.com – you can get a free reader there too.
Now go read this: (there’s a special message inside)
What can you do with it?
QR codes can communicate your website URL, social media identities, geo-location coordinates, even dental discounts and promotions. Basically the code can communicate whatever message you wish to send to your existing or new patients.
Just like you’d use direct mail or a radio spot to broadcast your dental practice information to the local community, a QR code enables you to do the same thing.
The goal is connecting and communicating better with your existing patients to improve patient retention, and reach new members of your local community to increase new patient acquisition response.
Unless of course you don’t lose any patients, and you have all the new ones you can handle.
If that is the case – in this economy, keep your secrets to yourself. And forget about silly little QR codes, the lecture circuit awaits!
If you’re not that lucky dental practice, whatever message you wish to send through your practice QR codes will probably evolve, change, or expire.
That’s ok, and all part of the process. Getting your hands dirty by first doing the research then generating the code, your mind will already be spinning with ideas to incorporate into your social local mobile digital dental practice marketing plan.
Everything. Or nothing.
OK now go retweet this, then be sure to like, share, and recommend this article – and associated website, blog, newsletter, e-book, and business – on Facebook. And if you would be so kind as to Digg it after you Reddit, and help us StumbleUpon some additional readership by broadcasting the message to your virtual social dental rolodex, we’d certainly be obliged to Sphinn some local digital dental goodwill your way.
Enter Google’s new +1 social sharing functionality.
Google is the 500 pound gorilla, or elephant in the room, or whatever other images conjure up thoughts of BIG.
We know you know that they know you know they want you to know that we all know this.
The question that matters most to your dental practice digital marketing is how effective Google’s new +1 social sharing functionality will be for the average dentist?
For the average dental practice, probably not too effective…because only the above-average dental practices across the nation even recognize the opportunity of socially sharing local dentistry, let alone partnering with their patients to amplify their digital practice word of mouth!
Examinations of the digital dental marketing stratum aside, the answers to the effectiveness question of Google’s +1 social sharing tool can range from unbelievably successful, to not a darn thing changed.
The big reason, we surmise, is participation. Will we (as internet users) become more inclined to all go run out and pimp our Google Profiles in order to more accurately communicate our likes according to Google?
You see, in order for us (as Internet users…and dental patients) to actually “+1” anything, we all need to have a functional Google Profile. Note that this online identification card is totally different from a Gmail account or Google Account.
That’s probably not such a big deal breaker with most of us as far as applying the +1 functionality goes, but only time will tell. Things seem pretty positive thus far, +1 officially launched a couple of weeks ago after some months of various testing in different markets.
Place your bets if you think +1 will become an effective digital dental marketing tool for your practice.
Not to answer a question with a question or anything…but how will your dental practice apply Google’s new +1 social sharing functionality toward your overall digital dental practice marketing plan?
That’s the more telling question that will save you heaps of time in reaching an answer to determine effectiveness. If you’re not going to incorporate the +1 button into your digital marketing scheme than you can rest assured nothing will happen.
Inaction begets nothing. Or is nothingness the result of inaction…is this all this sarcasm too philosophically confusing?
+1s and digital marketing.
What’s it all for anyway, who cares…how does that possibly help you acquire more new patients?
And it’s not like a simple digital social sharing tool can improve existing patient communication better than any newsletter or direct mail piece could ever hope to achieve…
We’ll promise to be more analytical and informative with more +1 dental specific news in the future. Things are just starting to roll out of the Google garage in their efforts to penetrate the social media sector.
Do you think Google will compete with Facebook for our social supremacy?
For right now at least we’ll try to reserve judgment and just present the facts as they pertain to your local dental practice.
And we’ll keep it simple. Or stupid…
Too bad they don’t have a -1 button huh?
In our ongoing efforts to promote effective social, local, and mobile digital dental marketing, we’re going highlight three specific examples of mainstream television advertising that can have a significant impact on your local dental practice.
Technology is merging with user habits, allowing us to instantly connect with your practice and even see what others have to say about their dental experience.
Dentists are getting a lot of attention lately.
Where will Angie lead us from here?
Dentistry hasn’t just gone social; it’s been that way since before the kick drill and chloroform occupied the dental dungeons of the Middle Ages. As far as we know people always had teeth, and back through history we always needed someone to tend to them.
We’re social animals. Whether we got a mule kick to remove that pesky third molar or just underwent conscious sedation, we always talk about our dental experience with others.
We share all the details and even offer opinions on things we have zero idea of what we’re talking about. But that doesn’t stop us…you can’t stop progress, right?
Don’t let your digital practice identity gather more metaphorical moss. Get social, think local, and go mobile.
Local knowledge rules
When we search for products or services online, the search engines generally know where we are searching from…and they provide results accordingly.
Hence the virtual land rush that is local search for the dental practice. As with all opportunity, it’s better to get listed sooner rather than later.
How can you secure your dental practice homestead on the local search prairie?
Google Places, Yahoo Local, & Bing Local.
The gold rush is on; stake your dental practice claim while the resources are bountiful – and cost-effective.
Confirm your listings, populate your profiles, and pursue local search optimization. The time to adapt is now or you will slowly watch production drop, and new patient flow stop.
What’s most important about all of this digital dental marketing buzz is probably the most fundamental reason for success. Social media, local search, and mobile web applications aren’t just for the techie practices out there offering video games and virtual reality in the dental chair.
Digital dental marketing is an essential ingredient to overall practice success. If your practice is not taking advantage of these online visibility channels you are missing out on increasing your gross production, plain and simple.
Mobile internet access is growing at an exponential rate, and will soon be our chosen method for connecting to the internet. How is your practice planning to capitalize on this opportunity?
Verizon® kinda puts it all into perspective in one thirty-second TV spot:
Digital dental practice marketing has gone mainstream…like prime time big network, huge ad spend mainstream.
Is your practice prepared to communicate with your patients and surrounding community using social media?
Is your practice visible in the most popular local search environments?
Is your digital practice identity accessible through mobile web access?