Leveraging Social Proof in Marketing
As a dentist, perhaps the biggest challenge is marketing to a population of people who are simply afraid of the idea of a dental visit. Without question, most folks do not enjoy going to the dentist, and certainly not one who isn't a good match for them. Fortunately, there is a host of marketing techniques that improve your ability to demonstrate peace of mind to potential clients.
Social proof is potentially one of the most powerful tools we have in dental marketing. According to Social Proof Creative, "social proof is the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something." In other words, social proof is the validation we need to make a choice as a consumer - the modern word of mouth. Marketing studies articulate clearly the powers found within the recommendations of family, friends, and coworkers in the decisions we make.
The power of social proof is found within its ability to ease the minds and calm the worries of patients seeking out dental services. When we know that a friend or loved one had a positive experience with a certain dental provider, we are more prone to seek out that professional to care for us as well. In fact, PowerReviews.com reports that over 70% of Americans read customer reviews prior to seeking out the services they end up with. From a marketing standpoint, social proof should then be a no-brainer in your marketing plan.
Integrating Social Proof in Marketing
This is all good news, but how do we apply it? The application of such a powerful marketing tool has never been easier with today's social web and the tools that are available. The predominance of social media and local marketing techniques create a framework that makes it simple for us to execute. We must be proactive in creating a "social buzz" about our existence online. Here are some actionable tips to increase the proof you are the best dentist on the block:
- Social Media Engagement: Engagement is demonstrated by likes, shares, comments, etc. on your social media pages. Simply put, a high level of engagement demonstrates you are delivering value to your audience. Make certain your social media accounts look professional and have consistent branding images. Also, be sure your patients know you are online and where to find you.
- Yelp: More and more people are jumping on Yelp to read and write reviews for everything from what they ate for dinner to their experience in the dentist chair. Encourage your patients to write reviews for you on Yelp.
- Google+: Arguably the most important platform for local internet marketing right now is Google+. Google+ pages need to first be "verified" before anyone can write a review. Once this is done, encourage your happy customers to jump on and write you a review! Google recognizes these review tidbits and will rank your homepage accordingly.
- On-Page Testimonials: Ever have that perfect client visit your office who was pleased with every aspect of their experience? Take advantage of this and have them write you a testimonial that you can post on your website. Including a photo of the patient will drive home your social proof even further.
- Referral Programs: Get people talking and provide them a reward for each new patient they refer. This will encourage them to talk to family and friends about their experience at your office, which is a significant leveraging tool for social proof.
Today's internet is the new playground for marketing. Make sure you are not behind the curve and step up your social proof! Demonstrate your value through the voices of your clientele who loved their visit to the dentist. Social media and internet marketing are the ways we tell stories today; make certain people are telling the best story they can about your business, and you will drive in new customers with ease.
Author: Austin Miller
Position: SEO Account Manager
Being a native to Utah, Austin Miller has a love for the outdoors. However, not being much of an enthusiast for cold weather, he enjoys an addictive amount of reading during the colder months. When not behind a book, Austin enjoys writing and developing ideas that can later be translated into businesses. With an inherent love for making the world a better place, he aspires to create businesses in a third-world country to provide jobs and economic development in poverty-stricken areas