Sometimes your dental marketing hits a plateau. You have several months where you’re not seeing any increase in new patients. The phone’s not ringing as much as you’d like in spite of your local advertising. You’re putting out good content on your social media but not gaining many followers or getting many comments.
If that’s happened or is happening to your practice, you can gain considerable ground by thinking outside dentistry.
All dentistry is local, and the patients you hope to attract live within or near your community. Local matters, matter. Devoting a portion of your social media to local, non-dental interests may bring you renewed interest. Or you could make it a regular column.
For instance, you could begin a series of articles on things unique to your area. That might be your local festivals (seasonal or otherwise), little-known hole-in-the-wall dining delights, local superstitions and folklore, your personal guide to the area’s allegedly haunted houses, the exploits of your favorite high school sports team, or almost anything else that your readers might find interesting.
You may find that your patients are your best source of ideas. When someone mentions that a friend proposed in front of a local historic monument, take note. That family picnic or reunion in a local park or recreation area might spark an idea. Your patients who are local history buffs can be a treasure trove of useful information. And your local authority on a high school football team can provide you with anecdotes that are easily turned into posts.
Or, you can be more topical. National and state trends eventually affect the cities and towns where people live. You’ll want to exercise due caution in handling current issues, but they do tend to spark a lot of interest and comments on both the pro and con sides. For current topics, consider doing an overview of the issue and how it might affect your community, without taking sides. The idea is to get people reading, commenting, and sharing.
There are a number of benefits to getting away from your professional persona. Writing about local interests provides your readers with a broader view of you as a person and can help make you more relatable. Your column or posts may be widely shared or even picked up and back-linked by your local news sources. That helps increase your position in local search engine results pages. It might also just be fun to do, which is always good.
Finally, if nothing else, writing about local interests will help fill those awkward gaps in the chairside conversation.
Be sure have a spot for your local writing on your website, and cross-promote your article or post on all your social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, or wherever else you have a presence.
Who knows? You just might go viral. And that will get you many more followers, a lot more recognition, and – if you include some links to your website – more new patient butts in chairs.