If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you probably know that we spend a lot of time preaching about the benefits of social media for your business. And, dear reader, you probably also know that we have a bit of a bias for social media because of our vested interest in it. So, you may wonder, what can social media REALLY do for your business.
Meet Dr. Anissa Holmes. She is a global leader in dental social media and the owner of Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Services, and an innovator in creating “Wow Experiences” for her customers. She has been voted one of the “Top 25 Women in Dentistry” in 2013 by the U.S.-based “Dental Products Report” and enjoys a Facebook following of over 43,000 fans. She now also helps dentists and small-business owners achieve massive growth through developing their culture, systems, and brand.
Most relevant to the first paragraph though, Dr. Holmes was an early adopter of social media and her story inspires what we try to do for businesses everywhere. We sat down with her recently to ask her about what social media did for her business.
What inspired you to start your journey towards social media excellence?
I started my social media journey in 2010. I recognized that social media would be an excellent tool to share my business culture and to reach thousands of potential new customers.
Many dentists talk about the power of word-of-mouth referrals. But when I was starting out, I also figured that if I posted interesting content and shared great stories, people would follow us. And they did. What happened was that social media took word of mouth to a totally different level. Now we sit back and watch our followers share our posts with all their social media communities.
In my company, we currently receive over 50 new patients per month from social media. This is huge. The most amazing thing is that when the new patients come in, they already know us. They’ve been to our website and seen before-and-after pictures of the work we’ve done for others. They feel they are already a part of our “Think Big and Have Fun” company culture. They know that we are committed to building stronger communities. They have seen video testimonials. They know that they will be “wowed”.
What differences did you see after you started the journey?
Before using social media, we used other forms of traditional marketing to help grow the business. This included Yellow Pages ads, newspaper advertising, and word of mouth. We noticed that these strategies helped our practice grow. However, because these strategies did not allow us to speak directly to our target audience, we did not get the best ROI (return on investment.) We saw a very linear trend in business growth.
Once we implemented and focused on our social media presence, we were able to multiply our growth. We learned strategies such as using custom and lookalike audiences, and started to target by demographics.
Our custom audience allowed us to upload our patient list, so posts we wanted to be seen by patients were visible in their feeds. One example of using this strategy is when we announced our latest “Wow” Service: complimentary arm and hand massages.
We used lookalike audiences to create groups that had interests similar to those of our custom audience (or patients). We targeted this lookalike audience to boost (or pay for) posts we thought might interest them. This strategy allowed us to grow our Facebook community.
Next, we started to create ads to display in the feeds of people who were not current customers and who weren’t following our page.
Our first ad was boosted by demographics to “Engaged Women between the ages of 18-35” for a teeth-whitening promotion. We paid $1.00 to boost the post per day for 30 days. Needless to say, at the end of the month, we had several hundred new followers and had scheduled 20 additional whitenings that month. What a great ROI!
After testing, measuring and seeing the benefits of Social Media for our practice, we have dropped all forms of traditional media and increased our social-media budget from $50.00 to $500.00 per month. We currently have over 43,000 Facebook followers who are engaging and sharing our posts, and many are “Raving Fans”.
What do you think is the one thing most practices are missing from their social strategy?
Unfortunately, most practices don’t understand the amazing benefits of social media, so they don’t invest enough time in it. They share the wrong things, and post too infrequently. They also think too small and don’t benefit from the amazing ROI that they can achieve from allocating a portion of their marketing budget to social media.
What’s your ‘secret sauce’ to social success?
Our success has come from three areas: sharing the right posts; engaging and being responsive; and being consistent in our delivery.
Our posts show us having fun. They show us building stronger communities. We share videos of patient testimonials. We share before- and-after pictures of our services. We share our culture.
When deciding to be part of the social space, it’s also very important to be responsive. This means that if someone asks a question, it should be answered in a timely manner. We have several team members who share this task, so most of our posts receive a response with 30 minutes.
A great feature that Facebook has recently implemented for private messages is one that allows you to customize and save your responses. We created responses to the most commonly asked questions. With two clicks, followers get a response to their specific question and a video of the procedure that they are enquiring about. We also include a call to action and a link to our website to create an online appointment.
How often do you post to your social channels, and why?
Our goal is to create at least one post daily. This allows us to stay top-of-mind among our followers. Because of Facebook’s algorithm, all followers do not see all of our posts. However, if there is something of particular interest that we want more followers to see, we make sure to pay to boost it.
Want to learn more about social media content for dentists? Check out the 10 Commandments of Content Creation, Dentists' 2nd Edition. Download the eBook for free by clicking below!