By Sarah Pizzutelli
As a dental professional, you're already focused on delivering an excellent patient-centric experience within the walls of your office. But a lot happens online before your patients ever set foot in your practice—or even make the decision to do so.
In today's digitally-driven world, your online presence can make or break the success of your practice. It's crucial to dedicate the same level of effort and care to your virtual identity to ensure the right patients can find you—and once they do, they receive the best and most accurate impression of your practice.
Social media marketing has been steadily climbing for many years and shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to managing your reputation. Consumers—including your patients—turn to social media to share their experiences (both good and bad) and learn about their friends' experiences.
Too often practices don't take full advantage of social media. Never underestimate the power of your reputation, especially online. Many consumers search for reviews, including on social channels, before choosing a new healthcare provider. A good reputation can bring those patients in your door, while a poor one can have them steering clear.
Remember, positive reviews are a powerful marketing tool.
Managing your practice social media sites can be overwhelming and is time-consuming, so let the experts at Henry Schein One help you manage your online reputation and interact with your patients through social media services.
Accepting dental insurance is no longer the only way to reach new patients. There are additional options, such as dental savings plans, that encourage patients to obtain preventive and restorative care, improving both their oral health and your bottom line.
Dental savings plans are ideal for patients in your practice who cannot complete their treatment plan due to cost. Unlike traditional insurance, there are no health restrictions, annual limits, or caps on procedures, and plans activate quickly (usually the same day). The patient pays you at the time of service, based on the associated fee schedule of the plan they purchased.
This also eliminates paperwork hassles for your practice, as there are no claim forms to submit and no waiting for payment/reimbursement from network carriers. Patients can be presented with a treatment case and start to complete work the same or next day.
There are millions (46% of U.S. adults - or 84.2 million people to be exact) of uninsured and under-insured consumers who may be looking to purchase a dental savings plan. Participating in one or more of these plans increases your visibility to these prospective patients.
People Search for Everything. Why Not Your Business?
When you look for almost anything on a search engine, do you find yourself typing "near me" at the end of it? Each year this trend continues to increase, and it is now many consumers' preferred way to find everything from retail stores to health care providers. What does this mean for your practice? You must ensure your practice's profile is claimed on all free local directories and that you expand your online presence.
Managing your digital presence and reputation by leveraging offerings like local search, social media, and dental savings plans are cost-effective and easy ways to market your practice. You can help patients find and engage with your practice and easily access dental care. It's a win-win for everyone.
Sarah Pizzutelli is the Senior Manager, of Dentist Marketing & Operations at DentalPlans.com and has been with the organization for over 7 years. In her role, she helps practices reach new patients and retain existing ones by educating them on dental savings plans and the free marketing program DentalPlans.com offers for participating providers.
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