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Social Media and Your Practice

Posted September 7, 2017 by Alexa S.

Social Media is everywhere, and the best part is it’s free! But before you dive into these powerful platforms, it is important to determine your objective. It’s too easy to get lost in the sea of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others. Some reasons to start up a social media strategy include:Social Media Smartphone

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) so new patients can find your practice.
  • Patient education (to boost treatment case acceptance).
  • Improve referral business.

There are a variety of social media tools or platforms you can use depending on your strategy. It’s easy to start small and add additional platforms as time allows, or you can try all at once to get your name out there quickly.

To start, the most common or perhaps frequently used, is Facebook. Facebook has become a platform for all types of individuals to connect both on a personal and professional basis. This social media tool makes it easy for a business to share photos and videos, post updates, and keep customers (patients) up to date on the latest news with the office. Facebook is also a great tool for prospective new patients to see a more personal side of your office, and can help them start thinking about becoming a patient. This is a chance for you to show some personality while still keeping your Facebook business page professional.

But, wait – you don’t have an audience yet. In order for a Facebook page to be successful in helping you grow your practice, people have to see it. Start by building your audience on Facebook, this can be done by simply asking people to “like” your page. When checking out patients, have your front desk team remind patients that you’re on Facebook and to give you a “like”. You could also add your social media links to your appointment reminders. If you are not getting “likes” fast enough, try doing a simple contest to boost awareness. This could be a guessing game like how many packs of dental floss are in a jar, to make it interesting for your patients and prospective ones.

Another social media tool is adding a blog to your website. A blog is an excellent outlet to share information about your practice whether it be news, events, or new employee photos. Keeping a regularly updated blog is a great way to promote your brand and share some of your expertise with patients and for others to learn more about you and your practice.

Twitter! We have seen a lot of mention of Twitter in recent weeks and it is a powerful tool if used properly. This is a much shorter way to get your message out since you are limited to 140 characters per post. However, it is relatively quick and easy to post which makes it a great option for quick or on the go messages or updates, when you may not have time to write a full blog. Similar to Facebook, this is a great tool for your patients to see more of your personality. Keep an eye on your newsfeed and follow your industry peers and even other local businesses so you can retweet as desired.

YouTube is a social media tool that will take a little more time and effort if you want to be sure you are posting quality and fun video content. However, don’t give up on it yet! You can use YouTube to post a video tour of your office, do regular “meet our staff” videos, and even film patients or procedures to share on your social media platforms listed above. You don’t need to make a movie masterpiece to have fun and post on YouTube. Give it a shot and see if it is a hit with your patients.

Now that you have your strategy, and a quick snapshot of the tools available for you to develop your social media strategy – here are a few tips for how to get off on the right foot.

  • Make sure this is a mix of topics and interest. Try to keep your content industry specific, but don’t be afraid to share local events or information, weather, or even an update on your favorite sports team. Don’t forget people love pictures of family, even your fur family – who doesn’t love a puppy picture?
  • Referral focus. Work to build your audience in hopes of boosting your visibility which will ultimately lead to more referrals. When a patient interacts on your page, that activity will show up in their friends’ feed. This is free advertising! Keep your practice top of mind for your patients, and their friends and family will be able to see that. This is another reason to keep your content industry-specific while throwing in fun, personal, and local posts.
  • Contests and campaigns. If you feel like your audience isn’t growing the way you’d like, generate buzz by starting a contest. You can also look into campaigns to target specific patients, while this isn’t free, it could give your page a boost and be money well-spent.
  • Keep an eye on your metrics. Facebook has a great insights tool that gives you a snapshot of how effective your social media strategy is, including your reach and engagement. This can help you see what posts are getting the most traction so you can focus your efforts on delivering more of that content.

If you aren’t already following XLDent on the social front, start now by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, connecting with us on Google+ and LinkedIn, and watching us on YouTube. Happy sharing!

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Dental Technology, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
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Energize Your Reactivations

Posted July 25, 2017 by Natalie L.

One of the best ways to grow your active patient base is to create a plan for reactivating your inactive patients. These are patients who have already visited your practice and, for various reasons, have not scheduled their next preventative or treatment appointment. How can you let your patients know that you care about their dental healthcare needs and show them you understand how busy life can be?

Reactivations fill empty chairs1.  Creating a plan for Reactivation is key to making sure there is a consistent designation of “who is doing what” in this process. It’s a good idea to assign someone the task of making sure that the process is being followed, and the calls are steadily completed and communications are being generated and sent regularly. Part of this planning must include gathering accurate data to show where the practice is at, and what goals can be laid out for the next several months. XLDent Reports like the Scheduled Recall, Recall Due, and the Production Analysis Report can make this simple and quick.

75% of the practices’ treatment plans are created from a patient’s hygiene visit

2.  Automation simplifies all aspects of Reactivation. Lighthouse 360 helps reduce the amount of time office staff is spending on calling patients by 94% on average, with 90% of offices seeing an increase in reactivations of 25% or more. Lighthouse is fully integrated with XLDent, and can be customized with your message preferences, style, and frequency.

3.  Make it a team effort! Get everyone involved in making sure every patient is pre-appointed for their next visit, whether that is hygiene recall or for necessary treatment. Have a goal of making a certain number of calls per day, and let everyone know about progress toward that number. Offer a team reward, such as having lunch brought in once per quarter (or sooner), or closing a couple hours early one day, if the reactivation/recall goals are met.

4.  Social Media goes hand in hand with Reactivation! Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have been called a “Loyalty Platform”, and for good reason. For the most part, advertisers on these sites are “preaching to the choir”, in that people generally “Like” or “Follow” pages for products they themselves are currently using. The Lighthouse solution can help simplify the task of getting patient reviews and helps get those great ones published to all the top social media sites, attracting new patients to your office.

5.  Focus on your mission of caring and make it personal. Have the doctor hand-sign reactivation letters and use words like “The doctor asked me to call you…” when making phone calls, especially those calls meant to re-engage an inactive patient.

Start energizing your reactivations today! Check out how XLDent and Lighthouse can boost your active patient numbers.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Electronic Dental Records, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
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Practice Marketing: Measure Your Results

Posted July 12, 2016 by Danielle H

With so manPractice Marketingy marketing opportunities available to dental practices, it’s important to know which campaigns are effective. Many practices fail to follow through on this key component of marketing: Tracking Patient Referrals!

If you’re not sure what to track or how to measure success, read on for some great tips to get you started.

What to Measure

New Patients by Referral Source vs. Total New Patients

Compare the number of new patients that came from a specific referral source or marketing campaign to the total number of new patients over a given time frame. This information helps you determine what percentage of your new patients came to the office from each referral source.

Cost Per Patient Acquisition

To determine the cost per patient acquisition use this formula: Ad Cost/# New Patients. Compare the Cost Per Patient Acquisition of each marketing campaign to see where you get the greatest ROI.

Production Value by Referral Source

Examine each Referral Source or Marketing Campaign and determine the total production value you’ve generated. This comparison provides the greatest value when the report is run over longer periods of time (6-12 months or longer). In doing so, you will gain insight into whether or not patients visited your practice more than once. If your campaign offered a discounted rate for the patient’s first visit, use this information to determine if your strategy paid off.

Ready to get started? Here’s How…

Step 1:

Create a list of the most common ways patients are referred to your practice. Include things like paid advertising campaigns, referring providers, website, google ads and insurance listings.

Step 2:

Add each of these referral sources to XLDent or your dental software.

Step 3:

Ask every new patient who they were referred by or where they heard about your practice. Enter this into the referral tracking area of your software. Create a script to help team members use consistent language and make sure that everyone has an understanding of the referral sources that pertain to your practice.

Step 4:

Establish an office policy for generating reports. Determine what information will be gathered and how you will measure your results.

Step 5:

Use this information to make marketing decisions that generate the greatest ROI.

Want to learn more about how XLDent Dental Management Software tracks referral information? Get in touch with us today!

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Technology, Dental Web-based Solutions, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
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6 Ways to Attract Patients with Social Media

Posted June 15, 2016 by Dawn

Social Media Marketing, XLDent Dental SoftwareLooking to expand your flock of social media followers? While many dental practices are active on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, attracting patients via social media takes creativity, devotion and patience.

Gaining traction isn’t easy, but social media marketing done right can bolster your community presence and forge lasting connections with your patients. Here are six quick tips to help you rake in the favorites and likes.

  • Variety is the Spice of Life.

Keep things fresh with a compelling mix of text, photo and video. From educational blog posts and promotional YouTube videos to company news and photo galleries of staff outings, stay well-rounded with a combination of fun and serious content. Running out of ideas? Not every post has to be explicitly work-related. Share milestones like staff birthdays, anniversaries and special achievements.

  • Stay Consistent and Active.

No one wants to follow a social media account that never posts. Schedule high-quality content several times a week to keep your practice on the minds of your patients. Plan in advance to prevent last-minute scrambling and keep your camera at the ready for anything photo-worthy. Be sure to respond to customer reviews and answer their questions!

  • Everyone Loves the Holidays.

Holiday celebrations are a goldmine for social media love. Halloween costumes, Christmas decorations and Fourth of July Festivities offer great photo opportunities and blog post topics. Plan a graphic to honor and remember for Memorial Day, Veterans Day and September 11.

  • Hit Every Social Media Channel.

Don’t miss out on any demographic of your target market. Cross-promote social media posts to capture the moms on Facebook and the teens on Instagram. Sound time-consuming? Use a tool like Hootsuite to publish and schedule across multiple platforms with a single click.

  • Giveaways and Promotions.

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Generate some buzz by having your followers like, comment and share your post to be entered to win free tickets to a ball game or a gift card to a trendy restaurant. All the activity on your page will promote your practice and entice new patients.

  • Pay for Awareness.

Boosting Facebook posts and paying for ads on Twitter and Instagram can be a cost-effective way to tap into new markets and connect with new patients. Consider boosting your most compelling posts to grow your audience and turn social media followers into regular patients.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Technology, Dental Web-based Solutions, Recare System, Social Media Marketing, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
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