ONE OF THE COOL THINGS THAT DIFFERENTIATES many social media marketing efforts from traditional marketing efforts is their potential to “keep on giving” long after an event or a promotion has concluded.
For example, if you run a traditional billboard campaign, the billboard only works while it’s up—there’s no hyping it before it’s posted (i.e. “great billboard ad coming soon…”), nor is there any leverage after it comes down (i.e. “a great billboard used to be here…”).
In the same way, the $500 spent on a small newspaper ad has very little, if any, longer-term viral and/or branding equity.
Thoughtful social media marketing is different. Yes, getting people to participate in a promotion during the specified promotion time period is important. However a huge part (and some argue, the most important part) of a promotion takes place aside from the entries themselves.
Conversations Before And During A Promotion Matter
Visit each day with patients who come into your practice about your upcoming promotion. It is a great conversation starter in talking about your social media tools and their value! Take advantage of the opportunity! You have a captive audience—and, they are your friends. Do it in a simple, smiling, non-threatening way. You’ll be surprised how much people enjoy talking about it, and you can help them see the value of being connected to your practice culture.
Provide an easy way for patients to sign up while they are in your practice. Many of our clients use an iPad because they are so portable, and are still a bit of a novelty. Invest in one for your office. You will likely find it becomes one of your greatest marketing investments.
Conversations After A Promotion May Matter Even More
Have a plan for creating fanfare both before you pick your winner, AND when you actually pick your winner. It’s likely that nobody will ever know (or ask) how many entries you had in the contest or drawing. They’ll only see and remember how excited the winner was!
Take a look at this example of what one of our client practices, Hammond & Ellis, did when they recently gave away an iPad:
Although the video above represented a singular event, by using the integrated social media tools we’ve built for their practice, they continue to get traction, views, and smiles from patients and prospective patients months after the giveaway through links, and by simply showing it to patients on their office iPad. It always brings a smile and starts a conversation.
Beyond the obvious marketing benefits, videos like these speak volumes about the passion you feel for your practice and for your patients. Your practice culture is perceived as uplifting and engaging! Over time, patients sense it—and appreciate it. The progressive brand you’re building spills over into everything you do… Including perceptions about the dentistry you deliver.
Are you using your social media tools to lay the foundation for becoming “a social practice”? Hope so.