blog·o·sphere: noun – Personal websites and blogs collectively. Google Search
Or, the blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections. The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities) or as a social network in which everyday authors can publish their opinions. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blogosphere
Still yet, the term blogosphere describes the information available on blogs and/or the sub-culture of those who create and use blogs. By its nature, the blogosphere tends to be democratic, inclusive, and encourages two-way communication between its participants. batchblue.com/glossary.html
Whatever this blogosphere deal means to you personally, is of zero significance.
What it means to your patients, family, friends, colleagues, constituents, and local community, is what really matters – a great deal.
We’re not here to debate the need for a dental practice blog, that argument already passed. The bums have lost Lebowski!
And if you’re sitting there reading dental-centric blog posts on how to improve your practice communications, enhance online visibility, and increase new patient recruitment; well, the bell tolls for thee.
BTW if you didn’t hear, we landed on the moon.
Trite remarks aside, let’s examine the top five reasons why your dental practice needs to be part of the blogosphere. We’ll knock out the remaining five of our Top Ten Dental Blog list in next week’s installment; we know the anticipation is killing you.
Why does the average dental practice need a blog?
1. You Are a Community Dental Health Expert in Your Local Area, Start Acting Like One.
Or hang up the drill and go fly fishing or golfing, or whatever it is out of work or retired dentists do.
You need to communicate beneficial dental (or systemic) health related information to your patients and your local community when they are not in your chair or office.
Your dental practice blog will broadcast this info, in a consistent and relevant manner. Your dental blog will also act as a ‘content engine’ for your practice website.
How’s that going…how’s your Google Page Rank…how many incoming links…???
OK, one mountain at a time. But, simply adding a blog to your website will immediately improve performance – IF you utilize the tool correctly and consistently. Bottom line is; your dental practice has something to say…your blog allows this message to be heard.
What’s your message?
2. You Are Concerned with Marketing your Practice Online.
That much is clear, no matter how much you’d like to think you don’t need digital marketing. If that wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t be here and most likely you won’t be practicing dentistry too much longer.
That’s OK, there’s plenty of fish to catch and many divots to replace.
Blogging is a great way to help market or promote your personal achievements, your practice civic efforts, dental products, or just plain ‘ol neighborly service.
If you’re concerned at all with expanding your online scope of influence, giving your dental practice a digital representation within the blogosphere is prerequisite number one.
Remember, your dental practice blog is the content engine – feed it to your website, social media, newsletters, patient communications…etc.
3. To Help Your Local Community.
It’s all about giving, and your dental practice needs to give more!
The dental public around your office is in dire need of some beneficial health related info. We, as dental patients, want the info, we crave it – it helps us achieve and maintain optimal oral (and systemic health).
Example of a win-win situation that should become commonplace: diabetes testing in the dentist chair.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your local community doesn’t care about the info you publish on your blog. Don’t for one second think housewives, new moms, and even kids, won’t share your content within their social circles.
Give your local community this beneficial health related info, or they will get it from other sources.
4. Make a Difference.
Lots of people have taken the blogosphere to spout off, give unwanted opinion, or simply just rant.
Don’t be that guy…or girl. Entertain us for a minute here with a gender based aside:
We know all the above average dental practices around the country already employ some incarnation of a dental blog. And generally speaking, women are (generally) more communicative than men.
So is it only average dentists of the male persuasion that happen to be missing the boat here on dental practice blogs?
A question for a different blog post, for sure.
Some blogs are written by people who are trying to make a difference, you are that person.
The differences you aim to make only start with the transmission of beneficial health related info, you ultimately want to capture the hearts and minds of your local community.
Your endgame is total domination of your local online landscape, and complete eradication of the cavity creeps!
5. Connect with Your Patients & Local Community
Yes, acting like an expert, helping people, and making a difference are all ways to connect with your community and existing or potential patients.
Your blog acts as the town crier for your practice message; this will allow others to connect with you, your practice, your patients, and your local community.
Simply publishing beneficial content, news, stories, patient testimonials, specials, philanthropic causes, or even just New Yorker type conundrums of dental humor, will immediately offer people another way to connect with your practice.
As Americans, we all like choices right…isn’t it best to offer your constituents the power of choice on how they’d like to consume your dental-centric content?
Tune in next week for Part 2 of our tirade into why your dental practice needs a blog!
Click the link to read Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2010 – see if you notice any trends or changes over the past year.
Discuss amongst yourselves, or within your own personal social dental stratosphere…