Social Proof And Dentistry
What is it and why is it important for your dental practice marketing?
There is a lot of jargon and hype in the world of marketing, much of it developed to make common sense principles sound clever, so consequently best ignored. However, once in a while, ideas and concepts arise which are useful and need to be understood by anyone who is undertaking on-line marketing for their business, which of course includes the dental community. One such concept is “social proof”.
Over the last 18 months or so, leveraging “social proof” has become increasingly important for businesses, so today we will take a quick look at what it is, why it’s so useful and how to incorporate it in your dental marketing.
What is “social proof”?
When something is influenced in a positive way by the actions or comments of others, “social proof” has taken effect. So for example, if our decision to purchase has been swayed by the positive reviews of others, we have fallen under the influence of social proof.
In dentistry, it can be quite hard to empathise with potential new patients and illustrate how good you are, particularly when visiting the dentist isn’t at the top of their list of favourite pastimes. Consequently you need to broadcast messages which put people at ease and, right from the outset, illustrate that your services are the perfect match for them.
For example, if we see a review which suggests that a friend, loved-one or simply just members of the local community have had a positive experience at a particular local dentist, chances are that we might make enquiries there too. Research suggests that over 60% of all people purchasing new products or services do so after seeking out reviews on-line – consequently it’s a “must” to incorporate systems to demonstrate this type of “social proof” within your dental marketing plan.
Integrating social proof into your marketing tool-kit
Demonstrating that you are the best dentist in town requires making a buzz online about yourself. A good website is a great starting point, but these days most progressive dentists have that covered. Unless you are integrating elements of social proof as well, you will be far less attractive to potential new patients than the guy down the road who is.
So what can you do to build social proof into your marketing plan?
- include patient testimonials in prominent places on the website – don’t just restrict them to a “reviews” page.
- really try hard to encourage you patients to review you on-line – Google is extremely important but remember that there are others too, such as Yelp and the better quality dental directories. Remember that Google is able to track and aggregate these reviews so it will help your search ranking as well as encouraging those seeking out new dental services.
- consider referral programs – offering rewards to existing clients when they refer a new patient to you will get them talking to friends and family. This week alone I’ve seen several delighted patients extolling the virtues of their dentist on social media after receiving such a referral reward.
- build a professional social media presence and then develop it. When people see your content being shared and commented upon by others, it demonstrates that you are delivering value for them. This is becoming a “must have” – people now expect to see businesses engaging in this type of social media activity. Integrate your social feeds into your website and make sure that your patients know where to find you online.
Social proof is an increasingly important part of the dental marketing tool-kit and should be actively pursued to help differentiate your services from the practice across the road.
Be sure to encourage your patients to tell the stories and leave the reviews demonstrating the excellent experience they had when visiting your practice. Engineer your website and social media channels to capture those reviews and demonstrate your value through their voices.
If you need help to develop the tools and to get the ball rolling, why not give the Dental Media team a call on 01332 672548? We’ll be pleased to help.Google+