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How this dentist boosted his social media presence with a dental mascot

Dec. 11, 2017
This dental practice found a fun way to engage its young patients and their parents—with a dental mascot and photo opportunities. Social media engagement is boosted when parents post pics of their kids in the "No Sugar Bugs Club."

This article originally appeared in the Principles of Practice Management e-newsletter. Subscribe to this informative twice monthly practice management ENL here.

We’re always looking for inexpensive, easily implemented marketing options that give us a large return. CREATING A CHILDREN'S DENTAL CLUB AND A MASCOT can be a simple and cost-effective strategy to enhance your practice brand and kick your social media presence into high gear. As a dentist/owner of a comprehensive care practice, I can share some insight into how we use our practice mascot and children’s dental club to promote our practice branding and social media marketing.

Make it official with a clever name

It’s important that you give your mascot and children’s club memorable names and styles. When thinking of fun mascot names, let something like silly dad jokes lead your brainstorming session. As adults, we might overlook puns as being too obvious. However, as a father of three young daughters, I know children like simple jokes.

Our team noticed that when they heard my name, children often expected to meet a doctor who was an actual bear. We also noticed that some children bring their favorite stuffed animals to their appointments as reassurance. I’m not cool enough to be a bear that can perform dentistry, and I’m not as comforting as a cuddly stuffed animal. However, I realized we could create a creative mascot that embodies these fun traits. So, we simply dressed a teddy bear in scrubs, squeezed my first and last names—Jeremy Bayer—into Dr. Bearemy, and our mascot was born.

Devote a section of office space for your club

Setting up a small section of wall space with a fun backdrop and an interactive component for children will create a wonderful photo opportunity for your practice. We named our club for children who have no cavities the “No Sugar Bugs Club” and placed a large decal silhouette of a green tree surrounded by fun monster sugar bugs on the wall. Children with no cavities get to add their names on a seasonal cut-out to the giant tree, then we offer to take their photo next to it.

Parents love to share posts about their children

After creating a memorable experience for your little patients and their parents, another goal is to share that experience with as many potential new patients as possible. While posting new and original content on social media sites is important, it is more important that those postings reach as many people as possible beyond your followers. Parents love to share posts about their children doing well and will gladly share photos of their children joining your cavity-free club or hugging your mascot.

Always incorporate your office branding

It’s important to include your branding within your children’s club and mascot. The tree silhouette in our “No Sugar Bugs Club” wall backdrop matches the tree silhouette in our practice logo. Also, Dr. Bearemy’s scrub top includes a custom name tag with our practice logo.

Create a website page for your club

Include a page in your website that promotes your children’s dental club and practice mascot. Website search engine optimization (SEO) is driven by new and original content. Photos from children with your mascot or becoming members of your children’s dental club provide a constantly updated supply of content to rotate into your website page. We include a section titled Dr. Bearemy’s Children Corner on our website.

Keep it fun

No matter what internal marketing strategies you use, find areas where you have a passion. Many dentists are creative and passionate about our profession. Let that creativity and passion shine in what we do because most patients want to spend time in a caring and fun dental setting.

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Dr. Jeremy Bayer graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and completed a GPR at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine. He owns Cedar Bluff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He enjoys creating silly stories about dentist bears and sugar bugs to entertain his daughters when he’s not busy continually improving his dental practice. Contact Dr. Bayer at [email protected].