Making your dental practice’s marketing and patient loyalty efforts work together

It's important to reflect a consistent brand for your dental practice. There are several ways to do this, including social media efforts.

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While many practices in the dental industry are investing in marketing and social media to help get the word out and attract new patients, many don't think to link their marketing efforts to patient loyalty, retention, and referrals. These are often disconnected efforts, when they should be two sides of the same coin. But how do you take that next step? Reflect a consistent brand Patients have the ability to interact with you across various platforms – your website, social media, phone, email – so it’s important that your brand is consistent across each. Many "off the shelf" patient loyalty programs don’t allow you to use your own branding, which creates an inconsistent and disconnected experience for your patients. Take your program mobile Marketing and social media are already mobile, with patients constantly engaged on their smartphones. Taking your patient loyalty program mobile allows you to tap into this movement and gives you a way of tying all of your efforts together. It also provides you with an opportunity for real-time interaction with your patients, helping you develop even stronger relationships. Reward patients for social media engagement Today’s practices are exploring how social media can be leveraged to grow business and increase patient interaction. The best loyalty programs understand this, and not only encourage your patients to interact with you on social media, but they also track patient engagement and award points for those behaviors.

Keep it fresh
You’ll be more likely to receive referrals by keeping your program fresh and engaging for patients. Switch it up with seasonal or themed contests, trivia games, and quizzes that both educate and entertain, and update your prizes so that patients can always choose from a great selection. You'll learn over time what works best for your practice and patients.

Analyze your results
Various tools are available to help you analyze the performance of your marketing and social media efforts. However, loyalty programs are often deficient in this area because they operate in isolation. A good program should offer detailed reports and insights into your efforts, as well as social media integration to track your patients’ interactions online.

Most importantly, make it personal
Many loyalty programs allow patients to pick from a library of prizes and, in the interest of convenience, the prizes are sent in the mail. However, by doing this, practices lose that facetime with patients, which removes the opportunity to make the interaction personal. Having your practice staff personally thank patients for a referral and giving them their prize is a much more individual experience that leaves a longer-lasting impression.

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Jason JonesJason Jones is the founder of eTrove, the first patient appreciation, referral and retention solution for the dental industry with a mobile app and social media integration. He has experience in graphic design, web development, usability, enterprise integration, online marketing, custom development and project management. @eTrove. He is also the President of Vertical Motion.

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