How To’s


If you want to grow your dental practice, social media is a great (and generally free) way to do it. However, with more social media platforms than ever before, it can be overwhelming to know where to spend your precious energy. That’s why we strongly suggest creating a social media calendar.

What is a social media calendar? It’s simply a document that helps you organize your strategy and plan for special occasions so you can coordinate your posts. This document can be “old school” paper and pen or it can be digital. It just needs to be easy to understand, update, and share with the people who are helping you manage your social feeds.

A good social media calendar will help you accomplish three specific goals:

Keeps You Organized

Social media can often get placed on the back burner when things get busy, but you don’t want to forget about it! I don’t know about you, but calendars help keep us accountable. By having everything laid out on one calendar or spreadsheet, it makes the tasks seem more manageable. If things get really busy, you can even use an automatic posting service to do the posting for you!

Keeps You Consistent

By planning everything out on a calendar in advance, you’re more likely to post consistently on all your profiles. Because everything is organized and ready, it makes it easy to post regularly. With social media, consistency is everything. If you’re posting consistently, you will stay in front of your audience even attract new followers. Remember, those followers can turn into customers!

Saves You Time

Setting aside some time to organize your entire social media calendar can save you time in the long run. It may take a little bit to get it up and running, but it will leave you feeling prepared and less stressed when it comes time to start posting. Now you’ll no longer try to frantically throw together social posts at the last minute!

Also, if you’re not the only one working on your business’ social media, a calendar can be a great way to share ideas and work with your colleagues. We all get stuck in a rut from time to time. If your calendar is available for others to work on, you can have some assistance with ideas, which will free you up to do the other things that are on your to do list!

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Chances are, you’ve heard some of the recent buzz around Instagram’s new video feature called IGTV. You can now create long-form, vertical video and upload it for your Instagram followers to watch right inside the app, or in the newly launched IGTV app.

It’s easy to have a “wait and see” mentality when it comes to new marketing platforms or social media features. However, the people that get the most benefit from a feature are often the early adapters. I want to make it super easy for you to jump aboard the IGTV wagon and use it to market your dental practice… and I want to make sure it doesn’t take up too much of your time! I know how busy you are right now and the last thing I want to do is overwhelm you with one more thing you have to do.

A Brief Overview of IGTV

IGTV is a lot like YouTube, except rather than being a standalone platform, it’s integrated into Instagram. This is great because you already have an audience on Instagram; you don’t have to start from zero and build followers all over again. IGTV is also different from YouTube because the videos are streamed vertically rather than horizontally. For some people, this is a big deal but it makes sense that they did it this way. It feels more intimate, and it is consistent with how their Stories feature works. Videos uploaded to IGTV can be anywhere from a minute or two all the way up to an hour long.

To access IGTV from the Instagram app, you can tap on the little television icon in the upper right corner. Videos from people you already follow on Instagram will automatically start playing, or you can switch between the For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching categories to find other IGTV videos you might like.

Using IGTV for Your Dental Practice

Being able to watch fun videos on Instagram is great, but ultimately, this tool was built for content creation. If you post content on Instagram with the goal to find new patients for your practice, IGTV is definitely something you should consider adding to your marketing plan!

It’s super easy to get started, especially since there’s a good chance you’re already on Instagram. You can use your smartphone to shoot videos, and there’s very little editing that needs to happen, unlike YouTube. While it can be intimidating to get in front of the camera and try something new, if you want to keep growing, you have to hang out where your dream patients are hanging out. Consider sitting down to film a video this week and see what happens! While you may not get the views you’re hoping for right out of the gate, you’ll probably realize it’s easier than you thought and hopefully, you’ll make it part of your consistent marketing strategy. When you’re consistent, you’ll start to see your numbers go up quickly. That’s pretty much the case with any platform.

We’re running an IGTV challenge this week and I hope you’ll join in on the fun! We’re going to have a great time learning our way around the platform together and sharing our success. Be sure to watch our Instagram page for details on the challenge!

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Does it feel like you’re always trying to come up with new ways to attract new patients to your practice? It isn’t easy to convince someone to try a new dentist, and just waiting for them to come to you is out of the question. So how do you find new dental patients?

You’re already on social media, posting about your services, your team, and your passions. This is great, but in order to attract NEW people to your social feeds (people that aren’t already following you) it’s going to take a little creativity.

We have one super fun strategy that you can try to not only connect with your followers in a more meaningful way, but also attract new followers… people that will hopefully turn into new patients for your practice!

Go Live with a Scheduled Q&A Session

Chances are, you have a Facebook or Instagram page for your network marketing business, but when’s the last time you hit that “live” button and connected with your followers in real time? If the answer is “never” or “I can’t remember the last time I did that” it’s about time you scheduled a live Q&A session!

I know it can be intimidating to hit that “live” button — especially at first — but it is so important to show up on your social media pages and interact in real time with the people that have chosen to follow you. These are your current patients, potential future patients, and your true supporters. They’ll be the ones to tell others about what you’re up to and encourage people to follow along, so you definitely need to nurture this audience! Setting aside a half an hour to answer their questions and really connect is a great way to do it.

Leading Up to Going Live

In order for your Q&A to be successful, you’ll want to do a little pre-planning. Let people know you’ll be doing a live stream by posting about it a few days before hand… and again a day before and again the day of. Trust me, people will appreciate the reminders!

Ask your followers to leave their questions in the comments section of your posts so you have time to prepare. Encourage them to tag anyone who has been looking for a new dentist. This is a great way to grow your following and hopefully find new dental patients for your practice!

When the time comes to do your live Q&A, just be authentic and don’t turn it into a “sales pitch” for your practice. People are so quickly turned off anything that sounds salesy. Instead, be likable, engaging, and helpful. This will keep them coming back to your Instagram (and Facebook) posts, Stories, and live videos in the future.

Be sure to thank everyone for coming, answer questions as they come in during the live stream, and save your video so people who weren’t able to attend live can view it. On Instagram, you can save it as a story, and it can be viewed for 24 hours afterward. Make sure you let people know it’s there. Do a “thank you” post and/or story and let people know they can still watch it if they missed out. The more hype you build around it, the more excited people will be, and they’ll feel like they can’t NOT tune in.

Going live on Instagram or Facebook can be scary the first few times you do it, but once you get over that initial nervousness, it’s no big deal! Watch our Instagram page because in the coming weeks, we’ll be doing a super fun Instagram Live challenge that you can participate in if you need more inspiration or ideas! 

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Chances are, you’ve run into a bot while using Facebook Messenger already. So many businesses are using bots to interact with both potential and current customers on Facebook and it makes sense. 80% of adults and 91% of teens using messaging apps every day, so it was only a matter of time before the traffic became too large to manage without some kind of automation.

Is this something you’ve considered implementing? Have you wondered whether bots can help grow your dental practice? Let’s dive in a little further…

How Facebook Messenger Bots Work

You might think you have to be one of those “techy” people to be able to successfully use a bot, but there are actually a lot of companies out there that create user-friendly tools and programs so people like you and me can easily get a bot set up and running.

Sometimes, bots are used to reach out to a targeted demographic to announce a sale or special offer. Sometimes, the bot acts more as like an assistant, helping people that have reached out via Messenger with a question or request.

For example, I’ve seen a hair salon use a Messenger bot to guide a potential customer through the process of booking an appointment. When I saw this, it clicked that this is definitely a great way for a dental practice to utilize this technology, too. Available dates and times are displayed for the customer (or patient), and once a time slot is selected, it would be removed from availability. The bot can even send an appointment reminder via Messenger. Pretty cool, right?

Share a Special Offer

One of the more popular bots out there, ManyChat, boasts an 80% open rate when it comes to their Facebook Messenger marketing service. If you want to promote a special offer or new service, this is definitely something to consider. It does take a little more effort to set something like this up, though.

You would need to have a list of people that are interested in hearing about your services, kind of like an email list. You would them put them into this bot “funnel” while of course giving them the option to opt out at any time. Unlike email, you don’t have to worry about your messages getting lost in a promotions or spam folder, and you don’t have to agonize over the perfect subject line. Just craft the message and let the bot handle everything else!

Will Bots Help Grow Your Dental Practice?

There are over 1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users (as of December 2017) and 30,000 bots already handling all kinds of tasks for businesses. There’s no reason why this tech can’t help you grow your dental practice, especially if you feel like you’re losing perspective patients because you’re too busy to respond to everyone’s inquiries.

Some have free trials of low monthly rates, so there’s little to no risk involved with trying it out. You never know, it could end up becoming a super effective part of your social media strategy!

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At Dental Soiree, we’re passionate about teaching best practices when it comes to social media marketing for dentists. As a dentist myself, I am well aware of the unique challenges that comes with getting people excited about oral care! We’re competing with celebrities, bloggers, and basically everyone online… so how do we stand out and attract followers to our practice?

Social media marketing for dentists is really no different than social media marketing in general, but you do have to know which tools are going to help you the most. You’re busy and there’s no way you could do all the things and still run your practice. This short list is perfect if you just want to know a handful of things you can do that will have the biggest payoff online.

Live Video

This one is huge. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, going “live” is one of the best things you can do to engage with your followers. As a dentist, you could give mini lessons each week where you talk to your followers for a few minutes about a new product, technique, or “pro tip” that will help them have a healthier smile. You could also do an office tour, a “meet the team” video, or something more fun, like an unboxing or “day in the life” video!

Micro-Influencer Marketing

The second trend to watch when it comes to social media marketing for dentists is micro-influencer marketing. This is just a fancy phrase that means paying someone with a good social media following a small amount of money to talk about your brand. You can also send them free stuff or give them a credit for services in exchange for a few posts about your practice. Micro-influencers typically have between 1,000 and 9,000 followers. Influencer marketing is also a thing, but those users generally have more than 10,000 followers. You might think the more followers the better, but research has shown that micro influencers have engagement rates that are 60% higher than “celebrity” influencers!

User-Generated Content

This is similar to micro-influencer marketing in a way because you’re asking people to talk about your practice (or waiting for them to do it on their own) but rather than just letting that content reach your influencer’s audience only, you’re going to take that content and share it on your own social media channel. We see this a lot in Instagram Stories especially. You can share someone’s post really easily (photo or video posts can be shared) and you can tag them in your story and thank them for their review or mention. Be sure to follow your happy patients online so you’ll know right away if they’re talking about you!

Messaging

Did you know that 56% of consumers would rather message than call a business for customer service? Social media messaging is making it very convenient for our patients to reach us, so we need to be active enough online to answer their messages in a timely manner. On Facebook, you can set up an automated response to let them know you’ll be with them shortly, but there’s nothing like this integrated into Instagram yet, so you may need an assistant or front office person to check for messages on a regular basis to keep your patients happy.

Social Media Advertising

If you’re used to spending money on print ads, radio and television spots, and billboards, the game may be changing for you. Social media advertising is only getting more popular — in fact, it’s been growing about 20% annually. You don’t have to spend as much as traditional ads to get the same reach, and you can target your ads to reach only your desired demographic. Just make sure you spend time on the copy and the graphics. These things become especially important in social media advertising because they’re the two main ways you’re going to grab people’s attention.

We hope these five tips on social media marketing for dentists is helpful and if you’re not already doing these things, we hope you’ll consider at least giving them a shot. We know it can be scary to try new things, but in order to attract new patients, we believe dental practices must embrace the new options social media brings to the table. If you need help or want some expert advice from the Dental Soiree team, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to talk about the packages we offer! We also have courses if you want to DIY your social media. You can check them out here!

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Long gone are the days of radio promotions and newspaper advertisements. Our world has gotten much more visual and as a result, we have to focus so much energy on making our practices look good. Even though you aren’t selling a visual product, your imagery has to be polished and professional. This can be really hard for dental professionals that don’t have a background in photography or graphic design!

No matter what your branding looks like, you need great imagery to entice people and build trust. If you’ve been getting by with iPhone shots that are getting lost in a sea of expert photography, it’s time to think about a visual brand makeover. You don’t have to do a full re-brand, but investing in a few visual elements can really go a long way when it comes to standing out online and even being able to attract the kinds of patients you want to serve.

The All-Important Logo

Your logo. If thinking about it gives you a mild case of the hives, it’s probably time to give it a little attention. There are so many DIY logos out there, some good and some not-so-good. Templates make it so easy for anyone to whip up a logo in minutes, but there’s something to be said about a professionally designed logo. You can almost always tell the difference.

The logo for your dental practice is something that you should invest in. Please avoid hiring someone from Fiverr or looking for the cheapest option on the message boards. A great logo takes time, and a good designer should get paid a fair price for their time and experience. This is something that you’re going to use constantly, and for a long time, so spending a little bit of money on it just makes sense. Work with someone whose work you love and be sure to let them know what you like. This will cut down on the back and forth and the expensive revisions that sometimes come when you don’t have clear communication with your designer.

Your Fonts and Colors

In a recent blog post, we talked all about color psychology when it comes to branding and social media images. If you’re creating a new practice or re-branding an existing one, be sure to think about the colors you’re using and the psychology behind them. You may need to do a visual brand makeover – focusing especially on the color scheme – in order to attract the right people and communicate your messaging in the most effective way possible.

Similarly, the fonts you use help tell the story of your dental practice. If you haven’t given much thought to your font choice, chances are you’re not sticking with one or two fonts. Using too many different fonts can make your branding look sloppy and confusing. The key with effective visual branding is consistency and uniformity. You might think people will get bored of seeing the same thing all the time, but the truth is, there are lots of things vying for people’s attention. You’ll see it more than anyone else, and the trust you build with your consistent visual style will help people a) instantly recognize you in a crowded market and b) instantly know who you are and what you’re about.

The Content You Share

The images you share online matters when it comes to your visual branding. This is why it is so important to have a digital marketing strategy. Make a list of a handful of content “categories” that represent you and your brand. When you map out a month’s worth of social media content (yes, you should be doing this) you will simply rotate between the content categories. This will create a mix that is both fresh and cohesive for your brand.

For example, at my dental practice, we share images featuring our team, funny or inspirational quotes related to dentistry, graphics of smiles and lips, and images of candy. We love rotating between these categories and by doing so, we’re always telling our unique story. People expect to see this content from us, and when they see something on their feed that fits into one of these categories, they think of us. It’s all about brand recognition!

We love to create libraries of styled stock photography that dental practices and other small businesses can use to promote themselves online. That’s why we created Soiree Stock, our sister business. We created numerous libraries of gorgeous photos, and we’re always adding new content to keep things fresh. If you are thinking about a visual brand makeover, check out our membership options and save yourself some time and energy on your social media marketing.

If you’re serious about your visual branding, we also offer a custom branded photography option. We can use your products, brand, logo, and preferred props to create photography that’s fully customized just for your practice. No more struggling to take photos yourself or hiring an expensive photographer every time you need new images. Our team can get you everything you need to have a polished and professional presence online!

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