By ERNIE WRIGHT
Everyone knows that Twitter has been a game changer in the way we talk to each other and consume news.
Hard pressed journalists, narcissistic celebrities and top level politicians can’t go more than a few minutes without it these days.
Just why they are so addicted is a question many of them probably couldn’t answer with much clarity, they just know it’s something they ought to be doing because it helps to keep them in touch with what everyone is saying, and it helps build their brand.
Which is a bit like where most businesses are at on the matter. A lot of businesses set up a Twitter account because they didn’t want to be seen as backward, but didn’t really know what approach to take. You will have probably seen the result; endless self-promotional tweets in dull, formal tones that completely alienate followers.
Many dentists don’t have the time to suggest content for social media and understandably get very twitchy about letting someone else do it who may not be au fait with CQC definitions about when you are allowed to refer to a dentist as a ‘specialist’, and countless other perceived legal minefields.
But there’s no doubt dental businesses are slowly getting better at social media. They are learning to be informal, spontaneous and helpful, to display their values through opinions, and, above all, not to take themselves too seriously. After a while many realise they don’t need to talk about specialisms anyway as no one really cares…
But, still, what’s the point? What’s the point of having 2,000 followers and 50 retweets a day if you don’t make any sales? Isn’t it a waste of time that could be better spent developing real leads?
The answer from our guys at Breathe Online Marketing is no, social media isn’t a waste of time but yes, it can seem like it…
Have a look at these figures for 2014 from one of our clients, a dental practice in England. You’ll see enquiries from social media is woefully small compared to enquiries arising from pay per click (pay per click is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which advertisers only pay the publisher when the ad is clicked).
|Pay per click||17648||798||4.52%|
Social media delivers just 1.8 per cent of the enquiries pay per click does, and potential patients are nearly four per cent less likely to respond to social media than a pay per click ad.
Stewart Roode at Breathe Online Marketing said: “Social will always drive brand recognition, but will do less in terms of patient sign-ups.
“The cheapest and most popular social media plans we provide for dental practices provide a daily tweet and at least one Facebook post a week to keep social lines active, mainly for organic search benefits, as social has indirect impacts on Google’s ranking algorithm.
“As you can see from this report, which is typical, organic search delivers the second highest number of enquiries. Anything that helps organic search is worthwhile because it really affects your new patient numbers.
“Nevertheless much, much more is possible with in-depth, extensive social campaigns where clients are willing to increase their budget.”
So, there you have it; social media affects your bottom line. It might not deliver loads of leads unless you invest in a campaign, but a little bit will deliver a few leads, build your brand and, crucially, improve your search rankings.
If you’d like to talk to Breathe Online Marketing about your social media give Stewart a ring on 07901 020300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breathe Business CPD at the BDA
Dr Simon Hocken is hosting a BDA Training course titled:
Grow your dental practice using effective retail strategies
By the end of the course you will:
- understand what large retailers such as John Lewis can teach you about running a successful practice
- know how to break through your practice’s glass ceiling
- understand the life cycle of your practice
- discover how to take your team with you when implementing change
- know when the bell has rung and it’s time to sell your practice
- gain tips on how to exit your practice well
When: Friday 27 March 2015, 10:00-16:00
Where: BDA, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS
Buy a ticket: visit https://www.bda.org/events/Pages/Grow-your-dental-practice-using-effective-retail-strategies.aspx or call 020 7563 4175.
This training course meets the educational criteria set by the GDC for 4 1/2 hours of verifiable CPD and is certified by the British Dental Association.