Capitalizing on social media doesn't have to be hard. Sesame Communications — a WSDA-endorsed company and valued member of THE SOURCE — has five ways that you can grow your practice's likes on Facebook. The five suggestions aren't difficult to implement and won't eat up staff hours, and could help build your business — using systems you already have in place.
1. Create Signs in the Office
Design a simple page with a Facebook logo and Facebook QR code, and print and place it within picture frames. Place each frame in highly visible areas including the front desk, bathroom and beside each patient chair. Place a sticker on your window promoting your Facebook page. Websites like Speedysigns.com sells these types of decals for a few dollars each.
2. Provide an iPad or an iPod Touch Chairside
One of my doctors told me recently that he grew his practice’s Facebook Likes by one thousand in one month by having an iPad in the office for patients to play with. The practice explained they were able to drive such significant growth to their page by only allowing patients to use the device if they first liked the practice’s Facebook page.
3. Run a contest on Facebook
Contests are a fantastic way to leverage the network effect of social media as your patients recruit their friends and family to vote or even enter your contest. Unfortunately contests aren’t quite as simple as one might hope. To be in compliance with Facebook, specific rules must be followed. Since a contest is required to be run within the applications section on Facebook; it’s not an easy Do-It-Yourself (DIY)project that can simply be posted to your timeline. Contests must include a release for Facebook from any liability and be in compliance with state and federal laws. The contest cannot require a consumer to Like your Facebook page, a wall comment or a picture/ video to be entered to win. There are services available to manage your practices’ contests ensuring guidelines are met. Sesame Communications has a contest platform that includes robust reporting and captures entrant information allowing you access to contact potential patients drawn to your page. For the most up-to-date Facebook guidelines visit www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php.
4. Include Facebook links within Email and Forum Signatures
When sending emails to anyone, whether they are a current patient, prospective patient, friend, family, or even mom, be sure to include a signature line with a link to your Facebook page. This same practice works nicely on online forums as well. When replying to a thread, for example, on dentaltown.com, include your Facebook URL in your signature. To update your signature on dentaltown.com, go to “My Profile,” and click “Signature/ Avatar” under “Public Profile.”
5. Incentivize Your Team
Everyone likes a contest, especially if there is a prize at stake. Set a goal in your office to increase the number of Facebook likes by X in a month. Some practices will put a dollar per Like in a pool for the entire team to split at the end of the month. Other practices will incentivize with a pizza party. Create a poster or sign in a visible place in your office to track results, just as you would for a food drive. Setting a goal with a specific target and timeline will get everyone talking.
About THE SOURCE:
A year ago we rolled out an ambitous project: THE SOURCE, a new, branded web site, where our members could find the services, products and tools they needed to run their practices smoothly — each with discounts or services available exclusively to WSDA members. We’ve done the leg work for you — vetting companies, securing deals — so you don’t have to. This blog post is an example of the kind of information we're providing to our members, free of charge, on the site. Check it out today — THE SOURCE has a tremendous amount of information vital to making your practice run efficiently!