How To’s


Instagram Stories don’t look like they’re going anywhere soon, that’s for sure! They’ve already taken a huge bite out of Snapchat’s numbers by offering what they do… but better (in our opinion, at least). In fact, we’ve fully made the switch from Snapchat to Instagram Stories and we’ve seen some serious growth in the last few months when it comes to our story viewers. 

Flipping the camera around and talking to your audience is still the best way to use Instagram Stories, but creating branded graphics to promote your practice, upcoming events, specials, and new services is also a great strategy. In a previous blog post, we taught you how to use Canva to create Instagram Story templates. In this blog post, we’re going to show you how you can also do it inside of our favorite scheduling platform: Planoly!

What is Planoly?

Planoly is a visual planner for Instagram. That means, you can see what your grid will look like once your content posts to your feed. You can rearrange your posts within Planoly to get the exact look and feel you want for your feed, and then you can add your captions and hashtags right inside of the app.

Planoly will also automatically post the content for you! This is perfect for busy dentists who sometimes don’t have a few extra minutes to log into Instagram and post content. We love to sit down once a month and plan out all of our content at once. Then, we don’t have to think about it at all. We’re posting consistent content without having to be tied to our phones. That’s a HUGE win!

Making Instagram Story Templates

Another cool feature that Planoly offers its users is StoriesEdit, which offers the ability to design and schedule Instagram Stories! This feature is integrated right in the Planoly app; you can use it on your mobile device or on the web-based app.

Here’s how it works:

First, choose an Instagram Story template from the StoriesEdit library. These can be customized, but all the design work has already been done for you! 

Once you’ve selected your favorite design, you can customize it by tapping on the Add (+) icon to add images, text, shapes, and a custom background color.

When you tap on the Text (T) icon, you’ll find all your text editing tools. You can choose your font, font style, alignment, spacing, height, and color options. Make sure you set it up to match your existing brand as much as possible to keep everything cohesive! 

The Shape tool allows you to add borders, footers, and other shapes to your stories. You can change the size and color of your shape, and choose whether you want the shapes to be filled in. 

All colors, including the background color, can be customized. They have a bunch of pre-set colors that they’ve determined will look good with the specific template, but you can also use the dropper icon to get an exact color match to your brand (far left option on mobile only). 

Follow these steps to create a standalone post, or make a series of coordinating stories that you can post in order to tell a longer story!

Posting Your Story

Once you’re happy with your Instagram Story templates, save them by tapping the download icon on the top right corner of your template. You can choose to save your template to your phone, send to Planoly, or share to Instagram. 

If you want to post it right away, go ahead and share to Instagram. If you want to schedule it to post in the future, you can save it to your phone (if you want to post it manually yourself) or send to Planoly. If you do this, you can choose the date and time you want it to post and let the app handle everything for you. 

If you’re using the desktop app, you’ll see the download and share options on the bottom left of the screen.

In our opinion, any tool that helps you create more beautiful content while spending less time managing it throughout the day is a HUGE win! We absolutely love Planoly, and while it does take a little bit of time to fully understand, it can be a game-changer for your practice. If you have any questions, let us know! We’re always happy to help!

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Are you sending emails to your patients as part of your dental marketing strategy? If not, it should be! Social media is great, but there are algorithms that prevent people from seeing your content. Not to mention, there’s so much NOISE online. Your posts are competing with posts from Hollywood celebrities and your follower’s best friends. 

Your emails, on the other hand, will be delivered directly to the people you want to see it. As long as people have given you their email address and consented to receive messages from you, you’re good to go!

However, it takes a little bit of thought and effort to create emails that actually get the results you want. Anyone can send an email, but to send an email that makes you money and fills your appointment book, you need a few pointers. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

First, You Need a Catchy Subject Line!

The number one way you’re going to get people to open your emails is a great subject line. I’m sure you’ve opened emails before based entirely on that little snippet of copy. If it’s enticing, funny, appealing, or unexpected, your email will stand out and get opened. Easier said than done, though, right?

Not really. It might take a little bit of time to brainstorm a winning subject line, but here are a few tips that will make it easier for you:

  • Use words like “Free” or “Urgent” to entice people to open right away.
  • Pique their curiosity with subject lines like “You really want to open this email.”
  • Keep it under 50 characters so it doesn’t get cut off on mobile devices.
  • Personalize the subject line with the recipient’s name. Many email marketing programs make this SUPER easy. 
  • Don’t use clickbait. Be honest about what’s inside the email.
  • Add an emoji once in a while so your email stands out in their inbox. 

Spending a little extra time on the subject line is never a bad idea. Come up with a few options you like, then ask a team member to help you narrow it down!

Now, Make it Look Good

Now that you’ve enticed people to open your email, you need it to look good! Sure, you could just sent a text-based email, but you really want to “wow” people, don’t you? 

It’s super easy to create a branded email header in Canva using some beautiful styled stock photography. We have tons and tons of dental-themed images over at Soiree Stock, and you can find some awesome seasonal options in your brand colors. They’re perfect for emails!

At the bottom of the email, include a headshot of you or a team photo to really connect with people! Use your preferred font and brand colors throughout the email. Make it fun to look at and fun to read, and people will be so much more eager to open your emails in the future. 

Growing Your List

Of course, you can send emails to your patients (as long as they say it’s okay) but you want to work to add non-patients to your list as well. But how do you do that?

First, you need to give people something VALUABLE in exchange for their email list. Maybe you want to create a checklist or eBook or discount in exchange for people’s email address. Add an opt-in form to your website and Facebook page. Doing this isn’t too difficult, but if you’re not tech savvy, ask your website designer for help. 

Don’t forget about in-person events! The next time you attend a Chamber of Commerce event or fundraiser, put out a clipboard and collect email addresses! Make sure you entice people with a giveaway or coupon. 

There’s lots of ways to get new email subscribers, and if you send those people GREAT emails, there’s a good chance you can turn them into patients. You got this!

Want to get some email templates that you can customize and use for your own practice? Check out our “Three of the Most Useful Email Templates for Dentists” blog post. In just an hour or so, you can have three effective messages to send to your patients. Just make sure they’ve consented to receive emails from you and you’re good to go!

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If you’re like any other dental professional ever, one of your main goals when it comes to online marketing is ranking higher in Google. It’s no secret that most patients will choose one of the top few results they see when they type “family dentist near me” or something into their search bar. If you’re not already rocking one of the top three spots, you’re probably wondering how you can bump your practice up in the local SEO ranking.

There’s lots of ways you can improve your position in Google, but in this blog post, we’re going to discuss three very simple ways you can positively impact your local SEO ranking. These are things you could start doing today! Ready? Let’s go!

Get a Google Business Page

If you don’t already have a Google Business Page, it’s time to set one up. It only takes 10-15 minutes to do it, and it’s the best way to get included in local searches. What is a Google Business Page? You probably see them all the time when you search for a restaurant or store in your city. It shows up on the top of the page underneath a Google Map, before the actual search results.

This is prime real estate because there’s no scrolling required! If you can show up here, there’s a good chance you’re going to get lots of calls from new perspective patients. In fact, 15% of users searching for a local business click on these listings.

Getting set up is easy. Just click here and follow the instructions to set up a free business profile with Google that you can customize with photos, special offers, and important details like your business hours.

Ask Your Patients for Reviews

Once you have your Google Business Page, you need to fill it up with positive reviews from your patients! These reviews will be what sets you apart from all of the other listings that appear alongside yours. If you have an average review of close to five stars but your local competitor has a 3 or 4 star average, there’s a really good chance your practice will be the one chosen.

So, how do you get those positive reviews? Well, aside from delivering amazing service (which you already do, anyway!) you just have to ask. Plain and simple. There are people who will go out of their way to leave a positive review all on their own, but most of us are so busy we just either don’t think to do it or we forget.

Start by having your receptionists ask patients to leave a review for you when they check them out. Then, if you send out a post-appointment email, remind them again and be sure to give them a hyperlink so all they have to do is click and leave their review. Make it easy! Then, be sure to respond to each review with a personalized thank you message.

Share Your Reviews Online

Now that you have all of these fabulous reviews on your Google listing, you want to make sure people see them! They’re the “social proof” that will keep you front of mind among people who haven’t even searched for you online yet. That’s powerful stuff!

Turn your reviews into graphics and post them on social media and on your website. In the accompanying copy, ask people to leave you a review if they haven’t done so — and don’t forget to hyperlink it for them! This will help you capture any of your current patients who maybe haven’t seen you recently so you can gather their positive reviews and help bolster that local SEO ranking even more!

Do you have questions about how to turn browsers into patients… or even how to get browsers in the first place? Dental Soiree specializes in dental marketing and helping dentists like you tell their story online. We’d love to chat more about your needs and how we can help!

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Hashtags. They’re the bane of many social media user’s existence! It seems like the rules are constantly changing around how to use hashtags. We often get asked if they’re really worth all the extra effort. In our opinion, they absolutely are!

We know the process of finding and adding hashtags to your posts can add more time to your already busy schedule, but they’re the most effective way to get your content in front of the right people. In fact, on channels like Instagram, it’s one of the only ways to show up in new people’s feeds.

If you’re investing in social media marketing or spending a good amount of time doing it yourself, a good hashtag strategy needs to be a part of it.

Where and When to Use Hashtags

If you’re on social media, you need hashtags. However, they’re more effective on some platforms than others. As we said above, they’re absolutely necessary for Instagram. It’s also a good idea to use a few (2-3) hashtags on Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook doesn’t really support hashtags, so you don’t need to worry about using them on that platform (as of right now, who knows what the future will hold!)

Instagram hashtags connected to your photo will be added to their highly targeted tag page, where other people with the identical hashtag will be able to find the photo more easily. On Twitter and LinkedIn, the pound sign turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords.

For example, if you’re posting a before and after photo of a whitening treatment, you could use the hashtags #teethwhitening or #whiteteeth so people can easily find your post.

An Effective Dental Marketing Hashtag Strategy

The most complicated part about building an effective hashtag strategy is choosing the right hashtags for your content. After all, what good is throwing a hashtag on your post if no one ever searches for that hashtag?

Unfortunately, there’s no centralized list of good hashtags to use. That would be amazing! The truth is, hashtags are influenced by trends and change all the time. Certain hashtags surge in popularity while others fade into obscurity. You have to put in a little work upfront to come up with a list of hashtags that are timely, popular, and relevant to your content.

In a past blog post, we discussed a few ways you can research hashtags. We strongly encourage you to pop on over and read the post.

Dental Soiree Can Help!

Developing a good hashtag strategy isn’t overly complicated, but it can be time consuming. However, we urge you not to skip hashtags. They’re so effective and helpful when it comes to broadening your reach on social media. If it seems like something you don’t have time to do, hiring a social media management team is a great idea. They can do all the work for you, and you can focus on the day-to-day demands of running your dental practice.

If you decide to go this route, we would love to discuss our packages with you! You can contact us anytime and we can chat. We promise, there’s never any pressure or obligation.

Happy hashtagging!

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Did you buy yourself a new planner for 2019? There’s nothing like the possibilities that hide in those clean pages, the year just waiting for you to take it by storm. If you’re a person who is naturally drawn to organization, you’d probably really love using a dental marketing content calendar to plan out your social media content for the year!

It might seem like a big task to plan everything out in advance, but you don’t have to do the whole year… you can just take it one month at a time. You’ll be amazed at how much more intentional you can be with your marketing. This almost always translates to better results and a more strategic approach. It helps you use social media as a tool rather than just a place you hurriedly upload photos and updates to.

What is a Dental Marketing Content Calendar?

You’re probably wondering what exactly we mean by a dental marketing content calendar. There are no hard and fast rules about what this has to be. It can be any kind of calendar, planner, or even a spreadsheet that you use to plan out your social media content.

First, you’ll want to decide how often you want to post. A lot of dental practices find the most success by posting daily, but if that’s overwhelming for you to start with, consider posting three times a week (maybe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

Next, take a look at upcoming holidays and special events. Plan content around those things first. Then, think about services you want to highlight. Then, fill in the gaps with educational content, behind the scenes photos, or just some fun, lighthearted posts that will make people want to follow your feed.

Creating the Content

Once you have everything planned out for the month, you’ll need to actually create the content. You’ll need eye-catching imagery and some great copy to go with it. This is by far the most time-consuming part, and you’ll want to do your best to stay on top of the social media trends that come and go so you can see the biggest return on your efforts. We have some super fun courses that specifically made for dentists over at The Soiree Suite. They will help you get all the information you need quickly so you can start rocking your social media!

Also, if you need help with imagery, you might want to check out Soiree Stock. This is our styled stock photography membership site that is loaded with gorgeous images that are ideal for dental practices. All you have to do is download the images you like, write a caption to go with them, and post. We have seasonal and holiday-themed images, dental images, and a whole bunch of other categories that will make setting up your dental marketing content calendar a breeze!

Staying On Track

Probably the most difficult part of all of this will be staying on track. As a dentist myself, I know how busy life can get and if we’re honest, social media is probably the first thing to get tossed to the side — especially if you’re also raising a family and have a busy schedule outside the office!

The dental marketing content calendar will help you streamline your work, but using tools like Planoly or Later to upload content ahead of time and schedule it in advance is a great way to be more hands off with your marketing. Your content will still stream when you want it to, but you won’t have to be there hitting the “post” button every single time.

We also think it’s ideal to sit down once a month and batch out all your work for the next month. It might take a few hours, but then you don’t have to think about your social media content again for a whole month! Batch working is honestly the most efficient way to work, and we believe social media is important enough to dedicate a few hours per month to.

No Time? You Can Outsource!

Does this all seem impossible? If your schedule simply doesn’t allow for regular social media updates, you can absolutely outsource it! If you decide to go this route, we encourage you to choose someone who understands the dental industry. This will be a major advantage when it comes to turning followers into patients.

The Dental Soiree team is experienced when it comes to getting you a gorgeous and effective social media presence that perfectly fits your brand and personality. We have several packages based on the services you need help with the most! You can contact us by filling out this short form and we will be in contact with you shortly to discuss details and answer your questions!

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Every day, it seems like there’s some news story about Millennials “killing” another industry or brand. It might be easy to say this generation is hard to please or ruthless, but we know there is FAR more to the story than that. Understanding the full story (and knowing how to attract Millennials rather than repel them) is vital if you own or run any kind of business… dental practices included.

Millennials are the people who were born between 1982 and 2000, and as of today, there are about 80 million in the United States. That’s a lot of buying power! If your dental practice is still struggling to attract younger adults, it’s time to reflect on your marketing strategy. After all, Millennials often have young children, so if you also offer pediatric dentistry, you could be looking at A LOT of potential new patients.

What Millennials Want

Recently, an article came out in Dental Economics that claimed Millennials are shying away from private practice dentistry. There’s a few reasons the author of this article believes this is happening. Surprisingly, very few of his reasons have anything to do with actual dentistry. Instead, it’s more about the experience and how easy it is for them to interact with your practice when they need to.

The truth is, Millennials need things to be EASY! They’re working more hours than any other generation, they have less “downtime” and a lot of them are parents. They simply don’t have time to call and make an appointment. They want to be able to do it online, from their smartphone, on the go. In fact, according to the article and a Lincoln Financial Group Dental study, “40% of millennials cite a dentist’s website as “very important” as opposed to 14% of baby boomers.”

Do you have a website that works well on mobile? Do you allow patients to book their appointments online? Making it easy is the name of the game if you want to win over this huge chunk of the population!

It’s Time to Get Social

For a dental practice to attract Millennial patients, you have to show up where they hang out. In this day and age, that means online! Your website must look good and be discoverable through search engines, which means spending a little time and energy on SEO (consistent blogging, keyword research, and website optimization).

In addition to a great website, you need to be active on social media. Just posting once in awhile isn’t enough. Daily conversations with your followers is mandatory, and making your content fun, engaging, and informative is key. It should not be about YOU and how great YOU are. It should be about your followers. Solve their problems, give them helpful tips, and get to know them though actual conversations online. This is how you win over the younger crowd.

Some Key Takeaways

At the end of the day, your goal should be to create content that shows exactly why your practice is the best one for your potential and current patients. Showcase your personality, your skills, your equipment, and your services. Use attention-catching imagery and short videos to really “wow” your followers. Be consistent on social media and have a great website. It can seem like a lot, but if you take it one step at a time and outsource when you can, we guarantee you can grow your audience, not only with Millennials, but across the board.

Do you need help with social media management, content strategy, or do you need to schedule a photoshoot so you have tons of on-brand imagery and video to share online? We are here for you! Feel free to contact us anytime.

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