THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Emotion and the demographics of social media

An interesting statistical analysis here that shows the age distribution of social media users globally at the end of last year. Perhaps the most significant data here is that over 40% of Facebook users are 35 and older. The good news is that more of the dentists I meet are accepting the fact that their patients: 1. are connected 2. carrying smartphones, tablets and laptops 3. use social media 4. have an email address Next time you are in an airport lounge, at a station or in a queue, clock how many folks are staring at a device. So much effort and expense is directed at attracting strangers towards your website and, ultimately, your practice. So little effort and expense is directed at making your recall, reactivation and word of mouth systems the main thrust of your marketing activity. Working with one client recently, we designed and implemented a short sequence of emails that were sent to prospective patients who had taken a treatment plan away in the preceding 24 months but had ever taken up the plan. In one month, we generated £38,000 of new sales from this small community, simply be e-nudging them in a compelling way using our Artisan CRM software. Working with another client, we re-wrote their existing recall letters, changing the predictable and impersonal reminder to a personal letter from the treatment co-ordinator, pointing out the needs, benefits, features and outcomes of regular attendance. Most recall systems only get as far as needs.

“We note from our records that you are due for your regular dental review – please contact us to make an appointment.”

Shrug. What are the benefits of regular attendance? What are the features of your review procedure or your practice that differentiate you from the competition? What outcome from attendance makes visiting you more attractive than simply ignoring you or spending my time and money elsewhere? All the money that you need for the rest of your career is in the pockets of the patients you already know and the people that they can introduce you to. Stop throwing most of your marketing budget at paid media to attract strangers – you don’t even know what the geeks are doing with your money or if it’s working. Start throwing time, money and people at using social media to engage with your existing patients. Plenty of patients across the age spectrum are connected – so connect.

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