Chapter 13: Blogs and Other Social Media
Where are you most likely to find prospective users who are not actively searching specifically for a dentist? According to new research, Internet users spend an average of 1.72 hours per day on social platforms. That makes social sites ideal places to find potential customers before they even think about searching for a dentist. They might know they have dental problems or be interested in new dental treatments. Seeing your blogs, Facebook posts or Tweets can pique their interest even more and prompt them to contact you sooner than they would otherwise.
Blogs Help Internet Users Find You
Blogs are very search-engine friendly in most cases. If they contain valuable information, It is best to have a narrow focus with each blog post. Then, Google is more likely to rank the blog posts higher than more general web content because of their relevance to searches about the specific topic of the blog post. Search engines also love fresh content, so posting new blog regularly can make it easier for potential patients to find your content. Place a link on each blog you post that goes back to your dental clinic website with a call to action to click on the link to learn more.
Why Narrowly-Focused Blog Posts Are Most Effective
First and foremost, the blog post needs to be informative. By necessity, your main web pages need to be somewhat general to cover everything you want to relay about each service you offer. You can describe a procedure in greater detail in a blog post because you can concentrate on a very narrow focus in the blog post. So, if someone Googles “cost of dentures,” you can focus solely on the factors involved in denture pricing. The scope of the page becomes deeper at the same time it becomes narrower. And, you answer the specific questions Internet users want to know about your services.
Shareable Content Broadens Your Reach
The more people share your blog post, the more additional people it will reach. But, what makes content shareable? Aside from being informative about an interesting topic, it might have beautiful photos or unique content that is not available elsewhere. Humorous content is also very shareable, so if you can write a funny blog post about dentistry without offending potential patients, do it. If it is funny enough, it can go viral and propel your practice into the limelight.
Aim for Appealing Visual Effect
Blogs are more than just words on a web page. They are visual fields that can attract blog visitors or send them back to the search engine results page for a better result. You need the blog to contain some kind of visual content, whether that is a graphic representation of a tooth, a photo of you dentistry team in action, or before and after photos of a reconstructive process. You also need to use whitespace to make it easy on the reader’s’ eyes and to draw them from the top of the page all the way down to your clickable link.
Use Video Content to Keep Users Engaged
What do you do for your readers once you have them on your blog? The easiest way you can satisfy them is to give them good information about a topic they are interested in learning about. And, often the most powerful way to do that and keep them engaged with your content is to show them rather than tell them. A professionally-made video can keep potential patients on your blog page long enough to think about the services you offer and make a more informed decision about whether to click the link to visit your main site.
Your videos need to be visually clear and have excellent sound quality. They need to be appealing to the eye, the ear and the mind – all at the same time. They also need to offer something unique that users will want to see. Draw them in with an intriguing caption, and then follow through with a fascinating video.
Write about New Research on Dental Topics
When new dental treatments become available, people want to know more about them. The research studies are often hard to read and comprehend for people who are not scientists themselves. However, that information can be valuable for finding prospective patients who are interested in more than routine and emergency treatments. Simply summarize the research studies and relate them to your dental practice. Show how the research affects patients now and how it will affect them in the future. New research is not only interesting to you and your patients, but search engines like it too.
Become a Trusted Source for Reliable Information
One important point about blog content – and this goes for posts on Facebook and Twitter as well – is that it needs to be accurate. When you consistently post accurate information, you can become a trusted source of reliable information on dental treatments in your local area. People who want to know about a specific dental treatment will click on your link rather than on another site without your reputation for high quality content. This can be true even if your link is not the top one on the search engine results page.
Show How Your Call to Action Benefits the Reader
As mentioned before, every piece of content needs to have a call to action. In the case of dental websites and blogs, the call to action needs to be subtle to promote your professional image and keep from sounding too pushy. Instead of focusing on what you want your blog readers to do for you, create a call to action that prompts the reader to do something that will help them in their quest for high-quality, affordable dental care.
Answer Blog Post Comments
A blog post is only considered social media if you enable comments to allow interaction with your readers. You can provide more information and become an authority faster is you keep up with the comments on your blog. Turn a critical comment into an opportunity to give more detailed information or to correct mistaken views of the dental profession. Thank commenters who praise the blog. This is how you create a loyal following for your blog and share the knowledge readers want to know about dental treatments and providers.
How Are Facebook and Twitter Different from Blogs?
with Facebook and Twitter, you want to keep your posts as brief and pointed as possible. You want to encourage likes and shares for your content so your posts will have more traction on the web. Say something interesting, post an intriguing question or add a visually appealing photo. Say something funny or thought-provoking. Ask for comments and offer sincere and informative replies. Show you care about people in need of good dental care. If you want to share more than a few sentences, share a link to a blog post that goes into greater detail. Facebook and Twitter are different from blogs in that users tend read posts and make decisions on what to do about it very quickly. Most of all in social media marketing for dentists, you want potential patients to see you as a comforting, caring and knowledgeable presence on their favorite social media site.
Do You Have to Write the Blogs and Social Media Posts Yourself?
While your expertise in dentistry is extremely valuable, you probably do not have time to compose regular blogs yourself on a regular basis. However, you can relay the information you want to be covered in the blog to a professional blogger who can do the work for you. Someone who understands how blogging works and how to write an effective blog post can even do extensive research to find out about the subjects you want to cover in the blog.If you hire the right company to ghostwrite your blog posts, you may not have to do anything more than provide simple one-line titles.
You can also contract with someone to write Facebook posts and Tweets to engage patients and potential patients with your practice. When you are starting out, you may want to write them yourself. The posts do not need to be long, so you could write one on a short 10-minute break. Eventually, though, you might want to hire someone who knows enough about dentistry and enough about your practice to engage with your target audience in the same way you would.