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.

Marketing to a New Generation of Patients: Millennials

The millennials are taking over. Making up a large portion of the U.S. population, millennials require unique marketing in order to develop a long-term patient base for your dental practice. Think the way they think–digitally. Patients are always on their phones, computers or tablets, which means you need to cater your marketing to their needs.

Improve Your Online Presence

The American Press Institute has shown that 51% of millennials are mostly or almost always online. That means they are using their smartphones, desktops, laptops or tablets for the information they need. Our patients want up-to-date information, photos, directions, addresses and other information to ensure your practice stands out from the rest.  

What these patients need is a well-designed, easy-to-use, fast loading website. When creating a website, make sure it is bright, good looking and easy to navigate. This will help to get you noticed online, but don’t forget to keep your website and practice in good standing on review sites such as Yelp and Google. And, if anyone leaves a review, make sure to respond to each person in a reasonable manner–whether it is a good or bad review.

Increase Mobility and Simplicity

Mobile, mobile, mobile. Say it with me, “be mobile friendly.” This is key for success. Google’s criteria to determine your website’s ranking is based on how mobile friendly it is. If your website has long load times and is hard to navigate while on a mobile device, Google will place your website at a lower ranking.

And, to go with mobile-friendly websites, it is important to keep it simple. You want a website that is modern, efficient and easy to read. Remember to also ensure there is a feature that allows online booking for appointments and a way to download patient forms–it allows for that instant gratification that millennials are looking for.

Be Socially Active

Everyone seems to be social these days. From Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat, millennials are always connected in some way. This means you need to make sure your social media pages include contact information, photos of your office and your team, as well as up-to-date information.

Get your marketing plan up to par with the needs of millennials and you will see a significant improvement in your dental practice. If you need any further guidance or help, please feel free to contact me.

Lymphatic System’s Connection with Migraines and Sleep

In a study posted by the Washington Post, scientists studied lymphatic vessels for more than two decades. For more than 300 years it was accepted that the lymphatic vessels stopped at the brain. However, this recent study by scientists found new answers. Utilizing mice with glowing lymphatic systems, Kari Alitalo found that the heads of the mice glowed, which showed a link between the lymphatic system and the head. This is where migraines and sleep come into play.

A Migraine Connection

Harvard University researchers found that glymphatic flow (is a functional waste clearance pathway for the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS)) significantly decreases in the period just before a migraine. The intense pain of migraines is caused by inflamed nerves in the tissue that surrounds the brain. As a result of faulty clearance of molecular waste from the brain, it can trigger inflammation in these pain fibers, which leads to disturbingly painful headaches.

Sleep’s Role

Another link with the glymphatic flow is sleep–the system appears to process twice as much fluid during sleep as it does during the time awake. In this situation, the lymphatic system removed more of the protein when the mice were asleep than when they were awake. As suggested, over time sleep dysfunction may also contribute to Alzheimer’s and even brain illnesses. While you are sleeping, you clean your brain, so when you can’t sleep, your brain suffers–you need that time for housekeeping.

Sleep position is also important. When a person sleeps in an upright position, waste is not removed properly. Sleeping on your stomach is also not effective with the back being somewhat better. When laying on your side, it appears to show much better results. Sleep might not be the only way to improve glymphatic flow, but it is one of the better ways.

We need to continue to take these advancements and improve our services to our patients. With a connection between the lymphatic system, migraines and sleep, we can keep offering our patients the care they need to remain healthy and happy. Let’s take these advancements and work toward an improved understanding of the migraine and sleep connection with the lymphatic system.