Going Live by Dr. Cyndi Blalock

Categories: Marketing;
Going Live 

Facebook Live appearances can build your practice’s reach and reputation

by Dr. Cyndi Blalock

Do you want to grow your dental practice? If so, Facebook Live might be the answer.

Facebook Live is an easy-to-use, affordable method to connect with potential patients in a personal, interactive way—without costing you any money. It’s a great medium for connecting quickly and easily to people who are looking for dental care but haven’t found the right dentist yet.

This article will walk you through what you need to know about Facebook Live, as well as provide some tips on how best to use it to reach more potential patients.

The fastest way to grow on social media
Facebook has created a feature that is highly underused by the dental community—one that I’d encourage dentists to start using right away. Live video ranks very well on the Facebook algorithm, and you can reach many people without spending a dime on advertising.1,2 Every time I go live on Facebook, I get at least three to five new patient phone calls organically (which means without spending any money on ads).

To create an exceptional video, a dentist needs to have three things: a great topic, good audio and flattering lighting.

Pick your topic
Dentists just getting started with live video always wonder exactly what to say when they push the Go Live button. A lot of strategy goes into making these videos, but I recommend that novice broadcasters get started by answering the most frequently asked questions patients ask you in your day-to-day practice. You say the same things so often that you should have no problem talking naturally about these questions! Two of the highest-performing videos I’ve done were “How To Care for Toddler Teeth” and “What Happens When a Tooth Gets a Crack.”

Providing valuable content to your audience does several things:

  • It helps your video reach more people because of Facebook’s algorithm.
  • It helps your audience learn something that could benefit them in their life, so they end up coming back to you for more.
  • It helps your audience get to know you better, so they end up liking and trusting you sooner. This helps patients say “yes” to your treatment plans faster, and you get to do more dentistry.
Where to do your video
Two main things will kill your video: bad sound and bad lighting. If you don’t have video equipment yet, finding a quiet place in your office that has a window that is away from a functioning operatory is crucial. Hearing the sound of a high-speed drill in the background of your video could cause more fear and anxiety for your viewers!

For the best lighting, sitting with the light in front of you, and your phone or webcam between you and the window, is your best bet. Let all of the natural light illuminate your face! It will absolutely make the difference between someone stopping their scroll to hear what you have to say and just scrolling on by.

The video reach doesn’t stop when the video ends
Once your live video has ended, the reach of the video will continue. From that one piece of custom content you just created, you can extract shorter video clips, quotes and content for longer posts that you can use for the rest of the week. The idea is to flood the news feeds of people within five miles of your practice with quality posts, so your practice becomes the place people think of when they need a dentist. On average, a person has to hear something seven times before they commit it to memory. The more often you post, the better!

Creating a library of different video topics is very important. These videos will constantly market for you, because different messages will resonate with different people. For example, a mom may see your video about caring for toddler teeth, then come to you as a new patient because she’s so glad that you were able to help her solve that problem. Now she brings the whole family to you—all from one video of you explaining something that you explain to parents every day in your practice.

When you have a video that you feel is really good, you can increase the number of people who will have the opportunity to see it by using Facebook ads. This can be done for just a few dollars a day. In my practice, I’m currently sending traffic to a live video, a post about my amazing hygienist and video testimonials. This strategy is considered to be an inorganic strategy of marketing, because you’re paying for video views.

The types of posts that get the most attention are posts that involve photos of the dentist and the team, community events that the practice participated in, and before and after photos. Remember, the goal is to get the most attention and get potential patients to know, like and trust you faster.

What I love about these ads is that they are “set it and forget it.” I update my ads only after I’ve created another really great piece of content or when engagement on a specific post has really gone down. Usually, every three to six months is a good rule of thumb to change out ads. I usually spend about $2 per day on each post.

The thought of setting up ads may be a bit daunting to some dentists who don’t consider themselves very “techy.” But the truth is, if you can set up Gmail on your smartphone, you can run Facebook ads. A proper ad strategy can cost you less than a Starbucks coffee per day and be highly effective.

While going live on Facebook is a great way to get your dental practice out there, the most important thing you can do is create quality videos. Your potential patients need to know they are in good hands with you before they commit, which means showing them who you are and what sets your practice apart from others.

On Dentistry Uncensored: Practice options for new grads

Dr. Cyndi Blalock appeared on an episode of Dr. Howard Farran’s podcast Dentistry Uncensored to discuss practice options for new dental school graduates. Click here to stream the interview.

1. https://99firms.com/blog/facebook-live-stats/#gref
2. https://review.content-science.com/millennial-content-consumption-fact-sheet/

Author Bio
Dr. Cyndi Blalock Dr. Cyndi Blalock leads a group of more than 2,500 entrepreneur dentists in her Facebook group, Practice Owner’s Marketing Secrets: Understanding Patients & Profits. A graduate of the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry, Blalock also runs Cardinal Dental in St. Peters, Missouri.
In her group, Blalock teaches systems for practice growth and marketing and coaches private practice owners to discover what makes them and their practices so special and how to get that message out through authentic marketing. She has been featured in USA Today and on Fox News. Website: thelivedentist.com

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