Digital Marketing Social Media

Keys to Effective Social Media for Dentists

Another good article from my friends at TNT Dental.

The heart of social media is what dentists did years ago, long before dental marketing and social media. … years ago, dentists relied on networking and community outreach/involvement to gain patients.

Source: Keys to Effective Social Media for Dentists: The Fundamentals | Blog | Best Online Marketing Companies for Dentists | Custom Dental Websites | (877) 868-4932

A very important aspect of using social media is measuring success. Most of the time dentists do not do this. Tim Healy of TNT Dental makes the very good point that true success is new patients and added income not just activity. If 137 people “like” your post but no new patients or additional income results the post was not really a success.

Digital Marketing Internet

SEO or SEM? What’s the Difference?


At the most basic level SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the use of key words and other techniques to help get your website high in the “organic” results on Google. That was the big thing a few years ago when we first started to understand how the Internet and Google works. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the next step and uses paid ads PPC (Pay Per Click) and other techniques to get your site in front of potential customers.

Just like traditional marketing Internet marketing costs are determined by how large the market is and the potential return.

Dentists in a small town don’t need to spend much as they will show up on any search just because there aren’t a lot of dentists in town. All you need in a small town is a decent web site.

Dentists in a big city with thousands of dentists will need to spend big bucks to outbid the competition. In New York City a dentist is spending over $100,000 a year to stay on top. Is it worth it?

Mid-size towns of seventy-five thousand to several hundred thousand people and twenty to one hundred dentists seem to be the best fit for SEM. There are too many dentists in town for you to appear on page one by default yet the cost to get listed with SEO and SEM should be no more than $1,000 a month.

Beware of firms selling these services. I have seen and heard of dentists being taken advantage of by vendors who do not understand the dental business. Two of my favorites I am comfortable recommending are TNT Dental and Sesame Communications.


Resolutions for 2018

New Year's ResolutionAs you appease your guilty conscience with resolutions for self-improvement in the coming year here are six dental high tech resolutions to consider.

Do the HIPAA basics. The new HIPAA omnibus rules went into effect September of 2013. Full compliance is ideal but can be overwhelming. On the other hand you do have a professional obligation to protect patient privacy. Resolve to do at least these three things in the next two months. Assign a HIPAA compliance officer. Do a technology risk assessment and start encrypting your patient data.

Use the Internet more effectively. The first thing every dental office should do to improve their online presence is to claim their Google Business page. When people search you by name your Google Business page will appear on the top right of the first page. Resolve to create a Google Business page and then complete it by adding content.

Use what you have now. Most likely you already have some pretty sophisticated technology and you aren’t using it fully. Make a resolution to get more out of what you have. In order to do that resolve to schedule two training sessions in 2018 for both the team and the dentist.

Clean up your system. Redundant, out of date and just plain wrong information plagues most every dental computer system. For example, patients who have moved to South America and aren’t coming back; a single insurance company is listed three different times; patients with pop up medical alerts that no longer apply and hundreds of discarded alternative treatment plans that are still attached to patients and listed as incomplete. Resolve to tackle these problems one at a time. Set aside dedicated time to do it, at least an hour or two a week. Do not wait until you have some free time to start the clean up; that is what got you into this mess in the first place.

Reduce paper. A completely paperless record in 2018 would be great. However start with some easier goals. Evaluate every paper you now create. Is it still important? Can it be added to an electronic record? Is there a faster way to do this?

Just like last year. Lose ten pounds

New Year’s resolutions are all about envisioning and creating a preferred future. Whatever you resolve, the future is coming and it will be amazing!

Dental Speaker

Greater New York Dental Meeting

Source: Course: Google and Internet Presence: Juice for Dentists | Greater New York Dental Meeting

I am honored to be presenting three courses at the Greater New York Meeting November 28 and 29.

Social Media

Is Social Media Really Worth It For A Small Business?

facebook-thumbs-down-dislikeFrom B2C:

Social media platforms are a powerful tool that can help you market your business, but unless you know how to use it to generate tangible ROI for your business, is it really worth it?

Source: Is Social Media Really Worth It For A Small Business?

Most people think of social media as Facebook. If the question then becomes is Facebook worth, it the answer in most cases is no. The linked article gives details and advice on how to make your Social media pay off including these bullet points.

  • Strategically planning social media content in alignment with sales goals
  • Curate content on a regular basis
  • Promote LinkedIn Pulse and blog posts on social media
  • Interact with other social media pages and groups to attract new followers
  • Create and share social media graphics, photos, videos and infographics
  • Listen and respond to comments on your own social media posts
  • Engage in social listening and respond to those who mention you
  • Promote high engagement posts with social media ads

All are good advice. All will take time and commitment. That means money. Even though Facebook is famously “free” in order to have an impact business users will need to dedicate someone to curate the page which means you will be paying someone. In addition as time has passed Facebook has hidden most business posts. On average your business posts will reach only 6% of the people who have “liked” your business page. In other words if you have 175 people who like your practice on Facebook only 10 will see your creative posts.  BTW 175 is about average for most dental Facebook pages.

Social Media is not just Facebook

On the other hand there are other social media sites that matter a great deal to dentists. The most important by far is Google Business and by extension Google user reviews. People searching for you as a dentist using either a keyword search or searching you by name are far more likely to use Google than Facebook. In fact almost no one uses Facebook as a primary search tool.

The time, effort and money needed to properly manage a business Facebook page will have much greater impact if it is used to claim your Google business page and then generate positive patient reviews.

Two other review sites dentists should claim are Yelp and Healthgrades.

Digital Marketing e-Services Internet Social Media

Google Results

When you Google some dentists by name you find a direct link to their web site at the top of the page. To the right is a big box with the address, phone number hours of operations and lots of patient testimonials.

This does not happen by accident. The big box is created by Google Business (was Google+). Reviews are generated by happy patients. But not just happy patients happy patients who have been asked to write a review.

Any dentist with a stellar online presence like the one described above created it with good planning, time and money. It is possible for a dentist or dental team member to create a positive online reputation using SEO (Search Engine Optimization), reviews and social media. However for most dentists it is much more effective and efficient to use a service such as Sesame Communications, Action Run or Lighthouse 360.

Internet Social Media

Amazon Sues 1,114 Individual Reviewers For Hire

4-starsTo make sure that the services offered were legit, Amazon dispatched investigators to buy reviews. This led to the rather surreal situation where sellers would explain their strategies for evading detection by Amazon to a representative of Amazon.

Source: Amazon Sues 1,114 Individual Reviewers For Hire – Consumerist

This is different. Most of the time it is the dentist or business owner suing Yelp for malicious content. Now Amazon is trying to crack down on services offering bogus Amazon reviews for a fee.

This is just another indication of how powerful online reviews have become, yet they are very poorly regulated and the system as it now stands is corrupt and too easy to scam.

One source estimated that as many as 1/3 of online reviews are bogus.

Digital Marketing Social Media

Billion Dollar Bully

General Internet Social Media

From ADA News

manage online ADA

Digital Marketing Internet

Removing a Google Review

As a business owner you can get Google to remove an online review. However you can not have a review taken down just because you disagree with it. Google has specific rules for removing reviews, which are copied below. Notice a review needs to be sexually explicit, obscene, spam or some other egregious violation. Just because a patient is upset and takes it out on you does not qualify the review for removal..Sorry.

We’ll remove content that violates any of the content policies below:

  • Advertising: Don’t use reviews for advertising, such as adding links to other websites or phone numbers. Reviews should be a genuine reflection of your experience with a place – don’t post reviews just to manipulate a place’s ratings.
  • Spam: Please don’t spam. Write a genuine report of your experience with the place. Don’t include promotional / commercial content, don’t post the same content multiple times and don’t write reviews for the same place from multiple accounts.
  • Phone numbers or URLs: To help prevent advertising and spammy reviews, we don’t allow phone numbers or links to other websites in reviews. If you want to add an updated number or URL for the business you’re reviewing, use the Report a problem link to report that information instead.
  • Off-topic reviews: Don’t post reviews based on someone else’s experience, or that are not about the specific place you’re reviewing. Reviews aren’t meant to be a forum for general political or social commentary or personal rants. Wrong location or the place is closed? Use the Report a problem link to report that information instead of writing a review.
  • Keep it clean: Don’t use obscene, profane, or offensive language. We’ll also remove reviews that represent personal attacks on others.
  • Conflict of interest: Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. If you own or work at a place, please don’t review your own business or employer. Don’t offer or accept money, products, or services to write reviews for a business or to write negative reviews about a competitor. If you’re a business owner, don’t set up review stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.
  • Illegal content: Don’t post reviews that contain or link to unlawful content, like links that facilitate the sale of prescription drugs without a prescription.
  • Copyrighted content: Don’t post reviews that infringe others’ rights – including copyright. For more information or to file a DMCA request, review our copyright procedures.
  • Sexually Explicit Material: We don’t allow reviews that contain sexually explicit material. Also, we absolutely don’t allow reviews that sexually exploit children or present them in a sexual manner. For this type of content, we’ll remove the review, shut down the account, and send a report to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and law enforcement.
  • Impersonation: Don’t post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or connection with the place you’re reviewing.
  • Personal and confidential information: Don’t post reviews that contain another person’s personal and confidential information, including credit card information, government identification number, driver’s license information, etc.
  • Hate Speech: We don’t allow reviews that advocate against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Digital Marketing Internet Social Media

Healthgrades Solutionreach

healthgradesHomepageLogoHealthgrades is where America finds a doctor.

Solutionreach and Healthgrades have formed a partnership to give our customers an unfair advantage on the nation’s number one resource for online provider listings and reviews.

via Healthgrades | Solutionreach.

Online reviews are powerful. In my opinion the three that really matter for dentistry are Google+, Yelp and Healthgrades. I like Healthgrades better than the others for many reasons. not the least of which is that user reviews are based on eight specific and consistent questions. Users cannot go off on a tirade.

In the past Healthgrades worked exclusively with Sesame. Now you can get an upgraded Healthgrades profile from Solutionreach as well.

Social Media

Is Twitter coming to an end?

twitter_logoFrom Daily Mail:

The once invincible Twitter doesn’t want to face up to the truth. It’s not just teens and hipsters who are fed up with tweeting. So are middle-class, middle-aged folk who, five years ago, were constantly checking their Twitter feeds during dinner parties.

Why? The novelty has worn off, as you’d expect. Also, Twitter is becoming seriously annoying. For lots of reasons.

Although Twitter is no longer cool, it’s infested with people who think they are.

via Is the infantile obsession with Twitter coming to an end? by DAMIAN THOMPSON | Daily Mail Online.

This s an interesting review of both the financial and social factors that are threatening twitter. Personally I tried to become a twitter fan but never found it engaging. Obviously many others do (or did) find it engaging. However I have never found a practice that had a consistent benefit from twitter.

Digital Marketing Internet Social Media

Online Reviews

healthgradesHomepageLogoFrom Sesame:

An astounding 70% of patients state that online reviews are as important as the dentist’s credentials when making a decision to choose a practice.

People think of online reviews in much the same way as they do a recommendation from a friend. It is a third party review that can be trusted far more than paid advertising.

The important thing is to have easy to find reviews on these three major sites:

  • Google+
  • Yelp
  • Healthgrades

These are the ones that show up in a typical search. The prospective patient will see the reviews glance at the average score and possibly read one or two.

If you have no reviews that is OK but is not a plus. If you have bad reviews then the potential new patient is likely to seek someone else.

Dental Speaker

CDA San Francisco September 4-6

I am very excited to be presenting two hands on Internet programs next week for the CDA San Francisco Meeting.



Lawrence Emmott

Lawrence Emmott, DDS

Dr. Emmott is one of the most entertaining speakers in dentistry. He is a leading dental high-tech authority with more than 30 years of experience as a practicing general dentist.


  • Just Do It: Hands-on Social Media, Thursday, September 4, 2014, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Social Media)
  • Just Do It: Hands-on Social Media, Thursday, September 4, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Social Media)

Speaker List.

Digital Marketing Social Media

Facebook Fraud Video

WOW very interesting and a must watch for any dentist using Facebook

Dental Speaker Digital Marketing Internet

Online ADA CE Course


This course will show you how to use Google, Web pages and social media to generate positive user reviews and safeguard your online reputation.

via ADA CE Course Overview.

Dental Speaker Digital Marketing Internet Social Media

Reminder Webinar – The Truth About Online Reviews – Tuesday June 24

4-starsThere is still time to register for the Webinar tomorrow June 24, 10:00 am PDT

The Truth About Online Reviews (and why no one can publish your surveys on Google!) | Sesame Communications.

In this Webinar Dr. Larry Emmott shares practical advice and direction on how to use online reviews to energize practice growth and profitability. Dr. Emmott will discuss the rules of the road when it comes to online reviews, dispel some common myths on review placement and guide you to the review sites that will most benefit your practice. Sponsored by Sesame Communications.

Management Social Media

Social Media Policies for Dentists

The ADA had published a sample social media policy for dental offices. If you are an ADA member you can access it at the link below.

If you put in place a carefully drafted social media policy for your dental practice, your employees will likely have a better understanding of what’s permitted and what is prohibited, which may help avoid legal problems down the road.

via Social Media Policies for Dentists | American Dental Association | Center for Professional Success.

The primary message from the article is to be cautious. There are many laws that protect staff members free speech and restrictive office policies may be in violation of these rules.

Internet Management Social Media


econexisA new patient communication system:

eConnexis breaks down most barriers to communication by allowing your patients to contact you at their convenience, using the method they prefer. Whether they’re making an appointment online or text messaging a cancellation, we make sure the two of you get and stay in touch.

via eConnexis|HealthCare Features.

eConnexis is similar to Smile Reminder or Demand Force. It integrates with your practice management system to send reminders and generate user reviews. It is feature rich and offers reporting options that the others do not. Two features which set it apart from the others.

Quick synchronization: With some systems when a patient confirms an appointment using text or e-mail it takes hours for the information to get back to your office. With eConnexis it happens in minutes.

Text Reply: When a patient gets a text from you using eConnexsis it comes from a number specific to you. The patient can text you back or call with a single click. Other systems use a generic number and patients can not respond.

At this time the system works with Dentrix and Eaglesoft other systems and additional features are planned for the future.

Digital Marketing Social Media

Facebook Tip

If you want your Facebook followers to pay attention to your postings include pictures. Posts with pictures and videos in them are more likely to catch your followers’ eyes, plus pictures and videos rank higher on Facebook’s newsfeed. In other words Facebook will choose to display your post to more people if it includes a picture or video.

Here is a sample screen shot from Pediatric dentist Dr. Mark Bayless.