It’s Spring – Can You Hear All the Tweeting?

More Reasons to Use the “Other” Social Platform

It’s easy to lose site of Twitter in your social marketing mix.

  • It doesn’t have the 2.32 Billion monthly active users of Facebook (Facebook 1/30/19)
  • It doesn’t have all the curated images and catchy #hashtags of Instagram
  • It’s not conveniently linked like those two – post once, see it twice!
twitter birds on a phone line
All the little birdies agree – You can say it on Twitter

Twitter also got a tough rap over the last couple of years as a place for “movements” and politics, which made some businesses think it wasn’t the place to market.  I’m here to tell you that Twitter is alive and well, and a necessary part of your social marketing mix.  Here’s the latest data from the folks at Twitter and Pew to see how well used the platform is every day:

  •  Twitter had 321 million monthly active users as of the end of 2018. (source: Twitter)
  •  21% of Twitter’s monthly active users are in the United States – that’s almost 70 million (source: Twitter)
  •  73% of Twitter users also use Instagram. (source: Pew Research Center)
  •  Approximately 46% of Twitter users are on the platform every day. (source: Pew Research Center)
  •  Twitter’s global average time per visit is just over 9 minutes.
  •  Tweets that include hashtags can result in as much as a 1,065% increase in engagement compared to a similar tweet without hashtags.
  •  The 😂 emoji is the most frequently used emoji on Twitter, having been used 2.3 billion times since 2013. Coming in 2nd is ❤️

Pictures Aren’t Just for Instagram

Yes, you only have 280 characters to be witty and wonderful, but what you also have is the ability to supplement your thoughts with images.  Tweets accompanied by a photo receive 89% more likes, and 35% of retweets come with a photo. Posts with photos stand out in a feed, so be sure that you don’t simply share from Instagram which only creates a link to your Insta account.  Either post separately with the image, or use a program like IfThisThenThat so that images are native in your feed.  When sharing a graph, statistic or table, the image can speak for you so that 280 character limit doesn’t cramp your message.

Remember, if it’s good enough for Instagram and Facebook, it should be on Twitter too!

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For more personalized help with your practice marketing, reach out to WorkingCat by clicking on “Talk”.

 

 

Uh-Oh! The Big 4-0!

Guess who’s turning 40.

For years I have asked clients and course attendees to describe their perfect patient.  Besides, “one who pays”, the biggest qualifier is age.  Typically practices are looking for someone between 35 and 55, which makes sense – someone who likely needs work and can pay for it.  Well guess what: that now includes a demographic we used to ignore as “too young” – Millennials!!

That’s right, defined as being born from 1980 to 1994, next year the oldest ones turn 40!  That means they are already our “ideal” patients, we just haven’t been marketing to them.

Let’s talk about what makes these folks, who I prefer to call Digital Natives, different from the prior generations.

I assume that if you’re reading this article you have already added digital and social marketing to your practice.  Let’s make sure that what you’re doing in those paces speaks to these folks.

  • 90% state that they trust recommendations over claims made by a business – How do your reviews look? Do you have more than 30? They need user generated “proof”
  • They are 3 times more likely to be influenced by blogs and social media sites – Are you keeping these up to date?
  • They make up 37% of adult consumers – this makes them a HUGE buying block!

It may seem crazy to still have to say this in 2019, but make sure your website is responsive across all devices and operating systems. Just because it looks good on YOUR iPhone, doesn’t mean it looks good on THEIR newer and way cooler Google Pixel.  And if they can’t see who you are and what you’re about on their favorite device (checked an average of 43 times per day), they’re never going to come see you.

Once they do call  – or text if you’re set up for that – get them in quickly.  They’re busy and used to “now”.  Remember that if they found you on line, and you can’t accommodate them, they’re one click away from finding your competition.

Still think you don’t need to worry about them?  Here’s the most compelling argument yet:  They spend.  In fact, it is estimated they will spend 1.4 trillion (with a T!) a year by 2020.

That’s one big 40th birthday bash!

To learn more about digital marketing and how to use the internet to advance your practice, click on “Talk”.  We’d love to hear from you.

Update to Google+ Sundown

Google+, we hardly used thee

Hey, Marketing Friends!

Just wanted to post a quick update to a previous article about Google’s decision to end Google+.  Back in October they told us to get our affairs in order because they would be ending the service for private users in October of 2019.

Well, those crazy kids issued a press release on January 30th to tell us “time’s up”.  Google+ will cease to be (outside of corporate environments) on April 2nd.

My guess is that most of you will never notice because really, a lack of users is what prompted the move. Do make sure though that you no longer have links on your site to your Google+ profile.  Also be aware that on February 7th they will cease to support links to reviews on the platform, so again – if your site has them, now’s the time to have your “web guy” clean that up.

As ever, if you have questions about this, or any of your practice marketing needs, WorkingCat is here to help.  Just click on “Talk”.

 

Does Your Blog Sing?

Are You Writing Music?

I know, I know – writing a blog every week or two can be a drag.

  • What to write about?
  • Who’s going to write it?
  • Who’s even reading it? (Is this thing on??)

As healthcare professionals we often think the main purpose of our blog is to educate.  I’ll give you that educating patients is a noble pursuit and definitely in the top 2-3 things your blog should do. But it’s main purpose is to engage.  I could have copied the text of this image and explained all the fun out of it, but Gary’s right, and music is better experienced first hand.

So yeah, MY word count is only 159, but Gary played for you so you could work to improve your writing, and engage your patients.  That’s good stuff.

If you need help with your blog or any area of practice marketing we’d love to hear from you.  Hailing frequencies open.

See you on the internet!

Less Artificial, More Intelligent, Please

I am a huge fan of working smarter not harder, but sometimes “intelligent” solutions leave me cold.  I’d like to talk about two places where automation is taking a strong hold in dental practices.  Having spent some time at the Autumn trade shows I got to interview a number of these service providers both old and new, and came away with a few thoughts and recommendations.

artificial intelligence

Patient Communication

This is one of the places where automation first took hold in our industry and it’s here to stay.  A number of studies have even suggested that patients prefer to get reminders via text or email rather than with a phone call – regardless of age.  We also know this frees up a huge amount of time spent by your admin team making those calls.

The good news is that most of these services are “plug and play” and the better ones fully integrate with your practice management software.  Were it my practice, I would definitely utilize one of these, with a few requirements:

  • The ability to customize my messages rather than some of the stock texts that are out there.
  • Anytime access to my schedule in case a patient contacts me
  • Excellent customer care and training for my team.

WorkingCat is happy to connect you with some of our preferred providers who have passed our tests and take care of our clients

Social Media

Here is where artificial gets in the way of intelligence.  Let’s first remember why we started social media feeds for our practice in the first place – to engage with patients.  If a company is posting generic content to your feeds, who are you engaging?  While automated social posting can be a big help if you and your team are just too harried/bored/uninterested, it can’t be your only source of content.  If you are going to use one of these services, you MUST participate in your social presence.

  • Make sure that you can steer the topics to match your messaging
  • Ask them to post YOUR pictures/events – or post those yourself
  • Remember to respond to patient comments in our feeds
  • Be sure that all password/logins/admin rights are YOURS – you don’t want to have to rebuild if you discontinue their service

As we head into the brave new world of 2019, let’s stay connected, stay engaged, and make smart choices in how we communicate our brand promise.

See you on the internet!

Happy Holidays!

I’m hoping that this finds each of you enjoying the season.  For some of my clients I know that means a “frigid” 70 degrees, while others are seeing the first snowflakes.  It’s one of the things I love about what I do: the diversity of the people I meet.  Though it would be nice to see everyday, I hope that in the spirit of this season we can all appreciate the magnificent patchwork of humanity.

So whatever it is you celebrate this time for year, I hope that you get to do it with those you love and treasure.  I also hope we can all make time to do something kind for someone who has not been as fortunate as we are.

WorkingCat will be taking the holidays off, so we will be back here on January 2nd ready to take on the next exciting year.  If you need us, you know where to reach us.

A very Happy New Year to everyone!!

Plan Your 2019 Social Now

I know, it’s that time of year. The stores have had their halls decked since October, and many of us will spend Friday in a food coma. It’s an easy time of year for social media posting because so many fun things are going on – gifts from specialists, holiday parties with the team, etc.  Suddenly it will be January, and our feeds will be as bare as the turkey case tomorrow night.

Since your social feeds are basically filling themselves for the next 6 weeks, now is a great time to start planning your quarterly themes for 2019.  As a reminder, try to structure your 3 quarterly themes as 2 “dentally” – service you want to promote, and one “non-dentally” – like a piece about something your team is doing in the community or a CE you’re taking.

Remember to reflect those themes in your weekly blog posts and videos that you post to YouTube. Then share those on FB, Insta and Twitter.  These should account for one third of your social feeds.  The rest should be the truly “social” posts:

  • Goofy Holidays – National Taco Day, anyone?
  • VIP patients
  • Surveys and contests – great for building FB engagement
  • Fun things you and the team are doing

Remember whenever you post for a goofy holiday to use the trending hashtag for that day to make your post visible to a wider audience.  And as always, include images with every post #PiscOrItDidn’tHappen.

If you need help managing your social media, or want to learn how to use it more effectively, contact WorkingCat.  We’d love to get to know you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cost Per Click (It’s Not All About Your Bid!)

It’s that time of year when we all start (really) thinking about next year’s budget, and the smart ones are planning their 2019 marketing spend by now.

I get so many questions at lectures and from clients about  SEM, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC), Google AdWords, and paid search.  Done correctly SEM is VERY effective in driving traffic to your site, and eventually your practice.

I started this with thoughts on budget because SEM is frankly, not cheap when done effectively. One click for “Cosmetic Dentist” in Indianapolis can cost $30! Let’s talk about how you can impact your cost per click (CPC).

First a few terms:

Ad Rank

Google wants its users to have a good experience, so they consider the words in your ads and the content of the page on your site that people land on to score the relevance of your ad to the term or phrase that was searched.

The more your ad matches with what’s on that page, the higher your ad rank will be.  This means you’ll show up higher in the search results and pay less for the click.

This Ad Rank is determined by multiplying your Quality Score by your bid.  Then you CPC is calculated as illustrated here:

Image credit: Netsertive

Quality Score – based on ad copy and landing page relevance to the search

That’s why landing pages on your website for each of your key services are so important.  Sending clicks to these pages will increase your relevance, and your quality score, lowering your costs dramatically.

As Google says, be relevant, be compelling and drive traffic to pages that match what you promise in your ad.

Also, keep an eye on your hosting service.  If your landing pages are taking ages to load, that’s hurting you – again looking for that “good experience”

The great news here is that the top spot doesn’t go to the practice that wants to pay the most – quality is rewarded!

Remember:

  • Fresh, relevant content
  • Ad copy that matches the search
  • Pages that deliver on what the ad says

To learn more about Digital Marketing for your practice or to connect with some of the best people in SEM, contact us.

The Increasing Influence of Instagram

The Photo Sharing App Exceeds Facebook for Engagement

Instagram has become the most engaged social platform for brands, with more than 7% percent of users interacting with each post. Twitter is the least engaged platform, with less than two out of one thousand followers (<.2%) engaging with each post. Facebook falls between the two, and continues to decline after a year of bad PR.  7% may not seem like a lot, but in our world of constant stimuli, it’s a huge share.

For many years, Facebook had been the primary platform for social media marketing.

In 2018, Instagram not only caught up to it’s parent company, but has sped right past mom and dad to capture the attention of an even broader audience.

Instagram ad placement is also increasing, reaching 43% of dollars spent with the company in March 2018. This means that out of all the ads businesses placed on Facebook and Instagram, almost HALF were on Instagram.

So what has made Instagram the go-to location for marketers?

The answer is  simple – Instagram engagement.

Instagram might not have the biggest audience size (in terms of monthly users) or highest activity volume (in terms of daily posts), but it is the biggest major interactions driver for businesses.

According to Instagram, 80% of users say they follow at least one business on the app, with 60% hearing about a product or service through their feed. As of March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, called a business, emailed or direct messaged a business.

More importantly, at least 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product or service they first discovered on Instagram.

Every one of these activities shows a level of interest, so in many ways, these Instagram “interactors” should be considered as prospective patients.

 

How Important is Video in My Marketing Mix?

If you want to be found, it’s becoming the MOST important part.

Video, and especially using it on YouTube, is one of the biggest topics we talk to clients about.  Some people love the idea, a larger group would rather avoid it, and many just don’t see the point.  They ask, “How does having videos actually help my practice?”  We’d like to share some data to show just how relevant video is to ANY marketing strategy.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, released some interesting stats last month.

There are more than 66,000 Google searches every second throughout the world. That’s a whole lot of searching. Can you guess how many YouTube Videos are watched every second? Even more – 74,000.  In addition to that being a HUGE number, here’s how that translates to engagement:

  • Video keeps them on your site longer. The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
  • Video inspires action. Of the 80% of internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad. (Source: Video Brewer)
  • Video sparks interest. About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a service after seeing it in an online video. (Source: Eloqua)
  • Video improves your ranking. Having a video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google SEO. (Source: Mist Media)

Tackling your first videos may seem daunting, but once you get a few “in the can” you and your team will find that you really are natural movie stars!

If you need help with your marketing or more information about how to handle producing, posting and tagging our videos, contact us at WorkingCat.  Better business together – it’s what we do.