Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter….oh my! These social networking sites and others like Pinterest and Google+, have all become an increasingly popular outlet for business both large and small to connect with customers. If it isn’t already, social media should be playing an important role in the marketing and overall strategy of your dental laboratory or dental practice.
Social media gives you the ability to easily and effectively promote your business while engaging your customers (current and potential) in a way traditional marketing is unable to do. The best part about social media is that it's FREE, and I know, we all love free things. Here are 4 ways you can easily grow your dental laboratory or practice using social media:
Promote products and/or services
Social media sites like Facebook & Twitter are great ways to promote the products and services you offer. It allows you the ability to reach people you may not have been able to reach until now. Here are some of the many ways you can use social media sites to promote your products/services:
- Sharing pictures of your work, like before and after’s
- Offer exclusive promotions and/or specials to fans and encourage them to share
- Showcase your office or lab space
Engage current & potential customers
Social media allows businesses to interact with its customers and potential customers. Be sure to post content that your fans and followers find relevant. All of your posts don't have to promote your products or services, be sure to post industry news and events and encourage comments, sharing/re-tweeting and liking.
Another great way to engage your fans or followers is by asking questions. This is a great way to do a little research if you are thinking about introducing a new service or creating promotions. This will enable to gage the acceptance before you implement it.
However, the most important thing to remember is, don't feel like you have to be formal all the time, show your personality and have fun with it. The more interesting and relevant the content you share the more engaged your followers will be.
Build your brand
As I said before, creating an online presence enables you to interact with your customers and potential customers in ways traditional marketing is unable to do which further helps build your brand. Social media enables you to strengthen your relationships with customers through the content you post, build a community around your brand creating promoters and positive word of mouth. Social media also enables you to be proactive when things go wrong - you have the ability in real-time to turn the situation around, turning a detractor into a promoter and fan.
In addition you should treat your social media sites like they are an extension of your website - it may be the first time a potential customer has seen or visited your website or business page. Make sure that the look and feel of your website carries over to your social media sites to create consistency.
Drive website traffic
Social media is an extremely effective way to drive traffic to your website. The most obvious way is to include your website in your profile. However, the most popular and most effective way is through the content you post. If you have a blog, be sure to promote the content on your social media sites and include a link to the full article. If you have any promotions or sales include a link back to your site for them to see the full details. Another effective way to drive traffic is thorough comments. If someone asks a question - when possible share a link that will drive them to a page on your site that answers the question.
Sarah Brom is a Sr. Marketing Specialist at Whip Mix. She manages Whip Mix's social media, whipmix.com, shop.whipmix.com and digital communications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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