Word-of-mouth carries a lot of marketing weight. But as a dentist, we probably don’t have to tell you that. It seems that no matter how pretty or clever an advertisement is, or how dynamic a website can be, people still trust the advice of their friends and family more than anything else. Whether it’s through traditional word-of-mouth conversations or online patient reviews on Yelp.com, Google and other review sites, positive recommendations are powerful marketing for a dentist.
As of this week, we can now add Facebook to the list of ways your potential patients can find out which dentists and dental specialists that their friends recommend and like. It’s called “Graph Search” and it’s a new feature that was released to English-speaking Facebook users this past Monday. Now, Facebook users can conduct search queries without leaving their Facebook page; like, “Photos of my husband and I before 2003” or “Restaurants in Chicago my friends visited in the last year” or “Photos taken in New York City of the Empire State Building.” The search will bring up whatever you ask it, as long as it’s within the confines of Facebook…and it can be amazingly precise. This new feature will even narrow your results by relationship status, hometown, education or religious and political views. So potentially, a Facebook Graph Search could be something like, “Hair Salons that Married Women in Boston, Massachusetts have liked this year.”
Technology never ceases to be truly amazing, does it? But, BusinessInsider.com says not to label Facebook’s Graph Search as the new “Google” web search-it’s something completely different. We agree; the new tool won’t search the entire web like Google does, but rather, makes it easier to find and search for specific people, photos or businesses within the Facebook platform.
Using Facebook’s Graph Search to Search for Recommended Dentists
So, how does it affect you and your dental practice? How is it a part of the new word-of-mouth? In addition to searching for specific photos or places your friends have checked into or visited, Facebook users can also conduct searches for business or services that their friends have “liked,” including dentists. Since a Facebook “like” is fairly equivalent to a positive recommendation, you can see how Facebook Graph Search is transforming word-of-mouth marketing. Need a visual?
Here is what it looks like when you search “Dentist Offices My Friends Like” in Facebook’s Graph Search:
Then, once the search displays, here is what the results look like:
As you can see, the search brings up a tailored list of dentists and dental specialists that my friends have officially “liked” on Facebook. For a potential patient, it’s an easy way to find products and services that their friends recommend with a simple click and search within their favorite social network.
How Should Dentists Do Next?
As we’ve said in previous blog posts, social media is becoming very important for successful online marketing. Facebook’s graph search, much like their new hashtags system, is providing dentists with even more opportunities to connect with their patients and potential patients; but your practice must have a Facebook page to reap the benefits. Here is what our social media team recommends:
- Make sure your Facebook profile information is 100% complete and accurate; including a great cover photo and “About” section.
- Post once a day with a mix of 80% social content and 20% promotional or clinical content.
- Make sure people can “check-in” to your practice on their Facebook page. This is important to graph searches and sends signals to Google to help verify your address, which is important for SEO purposes.
- Urge your patients to “like” your Facebook page whenever possible.
Want your practice to reap the many online marketing benefits that social media offers but not sure where to start? Contact our social media team today to learn more about our comprehensive social media program for dentists. You don’t have the time, so let us do it for you.
Stay tuned for our latest eBook, “The Dentist’s Definitive Guide to Social Media: Compelling Content Strategies that Work for Any Practice” and learn more about crafting the right content strategy for your practice by contacting us today.