This seems to be the big question. I meet more dentists/office managers who say, “We just can’t think of something to post on a daily or even a weekly basis.” So I’m going to give you a load of ideas that should get you flowing in a social way.
First, remember the purpose of your Facebook page is to give people a sense of what it’s like to visit your office. It’s not for clinical information, so any of that should be very subtly folded in to your posts. And whenever possible include imagery, often featuring the dentist and the team members. Now, in no particular order, here are my suggestions:
- Photos of happy patients. You don’t have to go into their case at all, just show the results. Or name them patient of the day. Whatever. You could also show a before-and-after series if you have their permission.
- Video reviews from patients. You can do this with a smart phone, a tablet or a video camera. (The first two make it easy to post, and the patient can do it themselves.)
- Contests. It doesn’t hurt to have occasional giveaways. They don’t have to be big items, but perhaps something that is specific to your town or neighborhood, or tickets to a musical or sport event.
- Sponsorships. Sponsoring local teams doesn’t get you that much in publicity, but it helps. But you can radically amplify the value of these sponsorships by posting on Facebook about them.
- Milestones for employees. New hires, births, marriages, work anniversaries, educational or training achievements–these all make great posts.
- Dental events in the news. The great thing about celebrities is you can use their pictures. Make comments on famous smiles, post anything someone has done that relates to teeth.
- Holiday wishes. There is some kind of holiday every month. And each month has at least one cause dedicated to it, such as Black History month, and there are many special days also, like “Take Your Daughter to Work” day. Capture or commemorate those.
- Your blog posts. Here’s your chance to sneak in something clinical. All you do is explain what is in your blog with a link to it.
- Cartoons and funny photos. If you come across something funny, even not related to dentistry, put it up on Facebook. Also, get in the habit of grabbing a picture with your phone when you see something unique or interesting. People tend to “share” these types of things, which gets your name out there even more. You can even have “Write a Caption” contests with some of the shots you’ve taken.
- Reviews from surveys. This has huge value, as people are looking for online reviews about you. If you use a digital communication tool such as PatientActivator, it surveys your patients, and when they write a review as part of their response you can post it to your Facebook page with one click.
In short, post whatever you find interesting. The idea is to show the personal side of you, your team, your practice. Have fun with it. Involve the whole team, and you’ll be amazed at how it becomes part of the way your operate. And how often your patients will comment.
If you want to see it done right, check out Romani Orthodontics’ Facebook Page, shown below, or Dr. Tiffany Lee’s. They are personal, fun, unique and just plain inspiring.
Always be mindful not to violate HIPAA. Do I need to tell you to get a release from every patient before you post something? It should have language that allows you to use their photographic and video images in all media, including social media, in perpetuity. If they won’t sign a release, don’t post any images of them. They, of course, can post anything they want themselves, if they’re using their phone or tablet in the office, let’s say. And they can’t violate HIPAA.
Lastly, if you really want to get the full SEO value of your posts, you should mirror your Facebook posts on Google+. I know, more work!
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You’ve made a pretty complete list there. If a practice keeps an open mind there are many opportunities in any given day for ideas to pop up.
A testimonial is waiting to happen at any time. I have my dental clients ready for the moment with their smart phones. Takes 60 seconds to shoot a quick video, then upload it to youtube, facebook, twitter and even pinterest.
Have professional facebook decals all over the practice reminding people to check in, and start engaging.
As always, great stuff Fred!
Since the name of the game is social, I tell clients “sharing” funny cartoons or news articles posted by other dentists outside their market area is actually a win-win for both offices. You’re giving their page more social clout and you get interesting ideas and the chance to lift up another practice doing a good job promoting life-long optimal oral health in the public eye.
Thanks for the interesting article!
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I’ve found that a lot of practices FB pages are overloaded with funny cartoons that only dentists think are funny. They get very few likes. Anything with staff or patients in them are great. Well written Fred.
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