Whenever I set up a call with a dentist, I take the time to search the Internet for all of the reviews on the doctor and the office. The majority of offices have two things that pop up. They have some very embarrassing negative reviews or they have no reviews at all. That basically translates into being invisible, or you have a tag attached to you and your practice that tells everyone to avoid you. The biggest problem is that none of them had any idea what others were saying about them.
When 75 percent of consumers say social messages directly influence their buying decisions, this kind of marketing can be pure gold. We don’t want to kill this golden goose by either not fixing the negative reviews or making sure that potential patients actually read something good about us from their friends.
Encouraging employees to share your practice’s message over their personal social media networks can provide a quick, easy boost and is the key to an employee amplification strategy. If you follow management magazines written for large companies you will find that their biggest social media asset is already on the payroll. With this in mind, when you do have important news you want to get out and you want a signal boost, you need to make it as simple as possible for your employees to help you. You should alert them directly, through email, with pre-approved sample Tweets or Facebook posts. Think about it: If an average office has 5-6 employees and each of them has 100 followers, that translates to instant access to 500-600 people.
On a different note, if you don’t have any reviews on the more common review networks like Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals, Angie’s list, etc., or you have poor ones, use your friends and staff to amplify your reviews by taking the time to rate you and the office from various IP addresses during the next month or two. In this way you will populate these random review sites with good reviews, or push poor ones off the front page while increasing your over-all rating. Word of warning: Each posting should be original in content, placed over a couple of months time frame, with a variety of comments and ratings.
These two down and dirty ways of staging your web reviews and social media presence have to be absolutely voluntary and must be used judicially. So reserve this strategy for messages that deserve it so that your employees’ followers will continue to trust them. If a particular post or Tweet seems disingenuous, alarm bells start ringing in their heads, and the faith is lost. The take away is for you to go to the computer right now and type in a search for: Reviews for Dr. (Your Name), DDS, in (Your Town). You will quickly find out where you stand when potential clients do an organic search for a dentist in your geographic location.
Don’t forget that we are presenting strategies here to build your production and lower your overhead. This will only work if you act the same week your receive the information. Wait and you miss the opportunity to compound the strategy before the end of the year. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
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