Don’t be afraid of online reviews

Today more than ever, people are turning to search engines such as Google, along with other trustworthy review sources to find everything from local restaurants and florists to hair stylists and auto repair shops.  The internet is the new phone book, and that means even a person’s choice of a dentist or dental sleep medicine specialist is highly influenced by where your practice ranks on search engines and what other patients are saying about your practice.

While you can’t prevent patients from reviewing your practice, you can increase the number of positive reviews you acquire through proper online reputation management.

Patients use reviews

By the time a patient begins looking at reviews online, they have already decided they need or want a service related to your practice. From looking at reviews, patients are attempting to see if your practice will fit into what they are in search of.

According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, about 85% of consumers report reading online reviews. But how many do they read before making a decision? Well, the survey also pointed out that about 67% of consumers will read six reviews or less before forming an opinion and making a decision.

And in another survey, about 90% said they made a decision based on good reviews, while 85% made their decision based on negative reviews. So, while you might think positive reviews are the deciding factor, think again. For this reason it is important to respond to negative reviews offline to provide a better experience for that patient.

Start asking patients for reviews

If you haven’t begun to ask your patients to review your practice, what is holding you back? All you need to do is ask your patients. It is important to get your front desk staff on the same page with what they are saying to patients as they check out.

Try asking your staff to share a review card or directing patients to the right area for finding further information about your practice. By asking your patients for reviews, you are generating loyalty, which not only looks good for potential patients, it helps keep patients too.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and begin your online reputation management to further advance your reach for your dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain practice.

Embrace millennials’ technology obsession

Let’s face it; millennials love the internet. From easy searches to social media, technology is their latest obsession and it is showing no signs of stopping. By now you should have your social network up and running.

With an active social network, you can continue to reach your patients and even medical professionals with important information. From sharing educational blog posts to statuses about your practice, and even articles from around the Internet, your social network stands as a vital go-between you and your patients. Let’s take a look at how you can re-examine your social network.

Be consistent with postings

Think about this: When do your patients go online? Or, better yet, when do you or your staff go online? By understanding when people are utilizing the Internet, you can plan out your sharing and posting.

For example, most people will go on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram when they first wake up in the morning, at lunch time, after work and then again before bed. If you stick to a time around those indicated, you can further improve your outreach to your patients.

Share important information

Pay close attention to what you are sharing on your social network. Is the information you are posting relatable for your patients? Is it something they really want to know? Think about questions that your patients frequently ask you and utilize information that answers those questions.

Help to educate your patients in dental sleep medicine by:

  • Answering questions
  • Providing resources
  • Sharing images
  • Giving tips

The purpose of social media is to educate your patients on your specific area of interest. From articles to your own educational blogs, these social channels are available for you to further reach your patients in any way possible so they know you are available and are listening.

Your practice is missing content

Dental school teaches you everything you need to know. And after graduation, you might even advance your areas of focus by seeking further education. But what about learning how to properly write for marketing your practice? Bet you weren’t taught that in school.

It might seem like knowing how to write a blog, website content, press releases, educational content, and marketing materials is that important. Your priority is treating patients, right? Yes, that is right, but you need to fulfill marketing efforts to reach those patients. Whether you, a member of your team or a freelance writer works on content marketing for your practice, it is key to establishing your brand. From social media management to blogging and other options, it’s time to get started.  

Maintain an up-to-date blog

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out as a general dentist or you are an established dental sleep medicine practice, it is important to blog on your website as soon as you can. I am aware of how busy you are and how hard it is to juggle multiple projects, but that is why you will need to get a member of your staff or a freelance writer to help. The extra help with writing will eliminate the stress of needing to think of topics to write about in a weekly blog.

So how do you think of topics? It’s actually quite simple, so try not to overthink it. Begin with the services you offer and explain them for your patients. A better understanding of those services is helpful. From there you can dive deeper into topics based on the initial services. And once your writer knows what you want, the easier it will get! The availability of weekly blogs can help to reach your patients while developing trust because you are showing you are an expert in your field.

Be Social

While you may already have your own personal Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram, but does your practice? And if your practice is already on social media, are you using it to your advantage? Your writer can keep your social network up-to-date with important information, while also sharing your blog posts each week.

Share important articles, updates on your practice, photos and blog posts so your patients are constantly in-the-know for important information. The number of times you should be posting varies from each network and how often you want your patients to be updated. Try for at least once a week and increase posting with each special message you want to share.

It is important to become an expert in your field not just at your practice, but online as well. Working with a writer can help you reach your patients and other doctors. It takes the stress off of you and allows you to have creative, up-to-date content for easy access in all areas.