As digital dental marketing continues the tumultuous transition from blind leap dental social media monitoring to hyper-local online patient review amplification, the opportunity to capitalize on existing patient digital word of mouth is still hanging low on the local fruit tree.
Dental marketing is no longer a speakeasy dirty phrase best left to the most egotistical and shameless of local dental professionals.
Was that really ever the sentiment…isn’t marketing simply just communicating with your patients?
And doesn’t communication involve an exchange of information?
According to info aggregator Wikipedia, Communication has been derived from the Latin word “communis”, meaning to share.
Make it easy for your patients to share their opinions of your dental practice…they’re doing it whether you know it, like it, or not.
Don’t just take our word for it; here is a great article on addressing comments on a medical practice’s Facebook page.
If you still approach this digital word of mouth subject with fear, you are losing out on new local patients and you are being unfair to your loyal existing patients.
Get with the program.
Even if you have never been on Facebook, or you have no idea who Angie is and you couldn’t care less about what her list says about your dental practice; if you take the time to look at the local environment – both offline and online, you will start to see evidence of this digital word of mouth everywhere, from the local apothecary to the local haberdashery.
Never mind Best Buy, Amazon, and…Tempur-Pedic…
Here are 5 actionable ways to make it easy for your patients to share their view of your dental practice:
1. Ask carefully selected patients to leave a review on your Google Places profile (and your family, friends, and colleagues – they’re all patients too right…and they probably get a break or two on dental care right…pay it back then pay it forward!).
2. Add those hyper-local directories icons to your website…then ask patients to leave you a review.
3. Alert your patients to your Facebook (and Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+…) pages…then ask your patients to leave you a review.
4. Include a link to all of these online windows into your dental practice in regular patient communications (text msgs, bills, reminders, emails, newsletters, blog posts, press releases…)…then ask your patients to leave you a review within their chosen online environment.
5. Run a patient contest centered around the collection of online reviews.
It won’t be too much for your patients eager to share positive digital word of mouth about you and your dental practice. And it certainly isn’t too much for that shameless self-promoting egotistical dentist down the street.
Notice the most crucial link to successfully amplifying your dental dwom…you actually need to ask your patients to do so! (Maybe not you personally…but your ‘online review collection system.’)
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
The age of self-promotion has been upon us for some time; we need not buy in wholeheartedly, as nobody really cares what flavor coffee we had this morning, or how long we had to stand in line at the post office – generally speaking.
But local small business owners (dentists) do need to take advantage of new customer (patient) acquisition strategies and customer (patient) communications improvements as they become available.
And as local small business owners we do need to adapt to the shifting marketplace or watch our business die.
Our customers are now local brand ambassadors, and their collective voice is louder than ever.
It’s been said we should all have a good lawyer, a good mechanic, and a good bed; we all need a good dentist too – and a lot of us see our dentists more often than our primary physicians.
How are the people in your neighborhood going to find a good dentist?
They’re going to look online – & check you out, and then they’re going to talk to each other.
What are your patients going to say about their dental experience when someone asks them for a good dentist?
Wouldn’t you like to be the most highly recommended dentist in your neighborhood?
Any more exciting ways to amplify your dental practice digital word of mouth?