Is Facebook The New Barometer For Referrals?

by on 12/03/10 at 10:00 am

Your Facebook success is a reflection of how much you talk about it. It’s important to note that Facebook is not a “build it and they will come” marketing tactic—social media marketing is more like a garden that requires continuous nurturing.  With that said, the number of fans you get, and the testimonials and comments you receive on your Facebook page are often a direct result of invitations and promotion done within the dental practice.

One doctor recently said, “Asking patients to become my Facebook fan is just as hard as asking for referrals.”  (Over the years, asking for referrals is one of the most common roadblocks I hear practitioners and teams complain about.)  Once the shiny newness of having a Facebook page wears off, it’s time to consider how you can keep the momentum going.  Here are a few tips to help boost your Facebook participation.

  1. Will the doctor invite patients to join your Facebook community, or will it be another team member? Whoever is talking to patients about Facebook should be intimate with your page, and the page’s activity.  Discuss this with your team in advance and decide who is best to handle this.
  2. Plan what to say when you talk about Facebook. I’m a fan of scripts. Many years ago, I resisted scripts and thought they’d make you sound like a robot.  However with personalization, scripts can be customized to your authentic voice and they can prove invaluable.
  3. Determine what you want the “purpose” of your page to be. Will you put root canal videos in your patient’s newsfeeds every week? Or will you be sharing fun news about you and your team, such as the photos of your recent team outing.  When you feel good about your posts, it’s a lot easier to invite patients to join you.

An additional benefit of a Facebook page is to use it as a barometer to show how well you are promoting the page offline (talking about it with patients in your office).  If your page has no recent activity and the fan base is flat, chances are you need to step up the conversation in your practice.  Now, if only there were a measurement tool to determine how often doctors and teams were inviting patients to refer as well: )

Rita Zamora is a relationship-focused dental marketer, specializing in referral marketing, patient relations, case acceptance and social media for general and specialty practices.  Rita developed her referral marketing expertise working hands-on in specialty and general dentistry practices.

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