Social media goes beyond trying to get a first date; it’s about developing a relationship that leads to a brand marriage. In a successful relationship, they won’t go to another doctor – because their conscience won’t allow them to go to another dentist. They LIKE you.
We all have “that” friend who talks about business at every opportunity… and we learn right away not to invite him to any more of our parties. I’m gonna be the bad guy and break it to you. You are that guy, if your Facebook page is all about dentistry. I’m trying to be careful as I write this not to step on any toes here, but I really think that most dentists and healthcare practitioners are using Facebook in the wrong way.
What’s going wrong? 99% of the posts I see are about gums, teeth, broken teeth, restoring teeth, dental implants, veneers, tooth decay, x rays of ugly mouths, ugly retracted photos… Then there are the posts about discounts – win a free this or that, like me, vote for me….me, me, me. Where’s the relationship? Where’s the social part? There is no relationship and there’s nothing social about it. Some of us need to go to Social Media Relationship Counseling.
As I spent time on the Facebook business page of one of the most successful dentists in the world, it struck me that his page is about his life and the importance of a smile. He’s not selling anything. Or at least you could say he doesn’t get caught selling. His page gives you a chance to get to know him. To the public, his page reveals that he knows some very cool people, has a great family, is committed to dentistry and is involved with various charities. He’s famous you might say. He can get away with that. Another person (ME) might say that’s why he’s famous. How many times do you get a notification from your dermatologist’s office about skin care, laser resurfacing specials, vote for me for best dermatologist, before and after photos, before you block their notifications? How many “today only” special offer emails do you get from that department store before you unsubscribe?
Consider these three types of people at a10 year high school reunion. Who do you most closely resemble on your Facebook business page?
1. Shy guy or girl in the corner, worried about what everybody is thinking about them.
2. The loud mouth passing out business cards and asking people to buy life insurance.
3. The person smiling, listening, sharing and asking people to dance.
Unless you are #3 above, the good news is that you can change your approach today. If your goal is to build your practice’s brand, your personal brand, get new patients, and establish lasting relationships, then Facebook is a great place to get this message out there.
Change Your Image on Facebook
1. Share personal stories. I went fly-fishing or bowling or whatever you do for fun (within reason). Post an action shot of you riding a bike, playing cards or watching football.
2. Share family photos – A birthday, an anniversary, a family reunion, a funny family dental story, a dog, a new baby in the family. Not every day certainly, but when you are in the mood and have something fun or interesting to share.
3. Ask your happy patients (or have your team ask your happy patients) to share their positive story or experience on your business page.
4. Ask your happy patients to click the Recommend button on the top right of the Facebook page.
5. Have an iPad in your waiting room and ask them to like your business page.
6. Videos! Have a video camera in your office with a tripod and let happy patients talk about how happy they are. Post it on YouTube and link to it on your page. Make the content about their life improvements, not about how great you are. A weekly video that’s about happy patients is fun!
7. Share your own philosophy or quotes about the importance of a smile.
8. Post pictures of your patients standing next to you and you tell their story. Of course you have to get their permission. Patients will start asking to be on your page with their story eventually.
9. Post pictures of people you meet at dental meetings and pictures of you and your team having fun, enjoying dinner or joking with patients.
10. Share a dental joke or anecdote.
One of the keys to building a relationship is giving the other person a chance to get to know you. Now go out and make your page a fun and interesting place to visit and when the need arises, they will go to the dentist that they know.