important items every dental or clinical practice should know about social media marketing in 2015 and where to start – you’ll be surprised at what Jack has to say.
Dr. Hornrbook gets social in a dynamic interview with Jack Hadley (@Jack_Hadley) of MySocialPractice.com in this edition of Dental Up’s podcast.
Find out what you could be doing to grow your practice with some social strategy in 2015!
Listen to the whole conversation here:
For more on Jack Hadley:
Dr. Hornbrook: Hello. I’m Dr. David Hornbrook, the clinical director of education and technology here at Keating Dental Art in beautiful Irvine, California. As you know, we do our weekly podcast. We’re having so much fun with this. If you haven’t heard them in the past or this is your first experience, you can go to DentalUp, all one word, .xyz. We have videos, podcasts, product reviews, blogs. We’re having a lot of fun with this. This is our 11th podcast. A special treat today because I have Mr. Jack Hadley from My Social Practice. Thanks for being here.
Jack Hadley: Thanks for inviting me, David.
Dr. Hornbrook: Jack and I have known each other for, we decided, 10-plus years [crosstalk 00:00:35] we never like to admit that. That’s when we were both 18, which is nice.
Jack Hadley: That’s right. That’s right.
Dr. Hornbrook: I called him, and I said, “I got to have you on this podcast.” He said, “Okay, cool.” I said, “Is there any way you could do it on site? Because we have so much more fun face to face.” I appreciate you made a special trip, flew down from … he’s in Provo, Utah … made a special trip to spend an hour with us.
Jack Hadley: Hey, anytime you’d like me to spend an hour with you, I’m a plane, so anytime.
Dr. Hornbrook: Thanks. I appreciate that. You look sharp. We talked about the coat and the … I feel underdressed.
Jack Hadley: I didn’t wear a tie, though.
Dr. Hornbrook: I want a coat like that. I’ll take off my tie [crosstalk 00:01:06]. When we first met, you were part of an organization called [Seven 00:01:12] Media, which did marketing and websites and stuff for a lot of dental practices. Then I actually got involved with you in my clinical practice with [inaudible 00:01:23], a little bit. I know you work with some of the most successful dental practices, and now you’re into optometry, too, I saw from your website.
Jack Hadley: Yeah, we’re doing a little bit of work with optometrists these days, yep.
Dr. Hornbrook: The dental practices you work with, you can always tell. You’re involved with the Crown Council. You can also say, “That person is doing well. They’re doing the right things. They must be using Jack,” which [your new 00:01:44] is My Social Practice. You can go to MySocialPractice.com.
Jack Hadley: That’s correct.
Dr. Hornbrook: Yeah, which I did this morning. I had a while back, and I put it off. Then I did this morning when I had a little break before we met. That’s an incredible site.
Jack Hadley: Oh, thanks.
Dr. Hornbrook: It should be, because that’s what you do for a living, right?
Jack Hadley: [We have fun with it 00:01:59].
Dr. Hornbrook: The blogs are so well done, and the video. He speaks internationally. This whole social media and the marketing, it’s changed so much. Five years ago, especially dentists my age, they’d say, “Why would someone follow me on Facebook? Isn’t that to ask someone if you should buy a watermelon or cantaloupe in the grocery store, and is stupid for teenagers?” Today, the dentists are saying, “How can I utilize these more efficiently, and how can I make sure that people follow me on Facebook?” Let’s talk a little bit about that trend and why you think that occurred.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. As you mentioned, when we started My Social Practice five or six years ago, every time I had an opportunity to speak, that was the main thing I had to talk about, was just overcoming the perception that social media is a waste of time. Dental practice? Come on, how could a dentist practice ever use social media? There were very few people that were using social media. If I were in a room with 100 doctors and asked, “How many of you had a Facebook page?”, maybe 10 percent.
Dr. Hornbrook: Or, it was personal only.
Jack Hadley: Personal only. They didn’t know the difference between personal and business pages. Today, I’m guessing that 75, 80 percent of practices have a Facebook page. They may not be super effective using it yet, but the vast majority are using social media in some way. I think it’s interesting, your perception about what the questions are today, because I think that’s exactly what practices and doctors are asking today is, “We’re in social media now. We see the value. How do we become effective? What do we do to actually use social media to grow our business, to get new patients?” Those are the questions they’re asking today.
Dr. Hornbrook: Yeah. We’re going to talk a lot about that today, because … I have a very active Facebook page. You probably look at it and say that you’re not doing the job. It’s hard for a lot of dentists, because they want to take control. They have their dental assistant who has their personal party Facebook, what I call, and they say, “Oh, can you write some stuff? Can you write some stuff?” Then they have a birthday party picture, and three months later, they did a smile design on someone. You really need that if not daily, weekly, you need some interaction, whether it be a blog, or an article, or whatever.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. The concept of consistency is probably one of the top three concepts for really being effective. What typically happens is a doctor will assign someone to be the point person in the practice, the social media cheerleader. That person will have some great ideas for the first week, and then they run out of ideas. Because their time is so limited, they’ll sit down, they have 10 minutes to spare and won’t know what to publish, what to post. I think consistency. I think knowing what kinds of content are best and which ones work the best and get the most likes, comments, and shares on social media is important. Also, participation is really a big thing that practices really have to grasp. It’s been easy in the past for practices to write a check to the Yellow Pages, write a check to the billboard, check to the direct mail guys, and then forget about marketing. Social media requires some participation to really be effective.
Dr. Hornbrook: I think the average dentist says, “I don’t have time to write something.” That’s something you provide.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. That was the impetus for starting My Social Practice, was to not do it for practices but to really provide the content they need on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, to make them effective in just a very few minutes. We’re pretty much a content provider. We don’t do social media for the practice, really.
Dr. Hornbrook: Okay, so you’re providing content. We would pull that, stick it on our Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Let’s back up a little bit. Instantly, I think Facebook. We’ve got Facebook, a big one. We’ve got Twitter.
Jack Hadley: Twitter, yes.
Dr. Hornbrook: Okay. Is that good for a dental practice?
Jack Hadley: Yes, it can be. If a practice wraps their head around Twitter, it’s a little bit different animal than Facebook. If a practice is only using Twitter as an auto-post place, like to forward Facebook posts to Twitter, it’s not effective at all. If they’ll actually embrace it and have somebody own it, Twitter can be really powerful.
Dr. Hornbrook: What kind of things … You always see Lebron James, and all these people who are either saying intelligent things or stupid things. It’s all over SportsCenter. That’s the only show I watch. What things would a practice, [inaudible 00:06:31] say, “Jack, I need to start this Twitter account,” what kind of things should I be saying?
Jack Hadley: Yeah. Whenever I think about content, and our content team at My Social Practice thinks of it this way, is there are really five or six types of content that seem to do really well. Those are first content that engages people. It’s not meant to sell. It’s not meant to provide much value. It’s meant to get a smile, or a share, or a chuckle. That kind of content does really well. A lot of the times, that kind of content is content that’s personalized by a photograph. You take a photo of a team member with a patient, say, “Hey, it was so great to see Sally today,” that kind of engagement content does really well on social media.
The second one is really content that provides value. If a practice, instead of thinking about “How can we sell more dentistry? How can we talk about cosmetic dentistry or whatever, Invisalign, whatever, in such a way that we sell more?”, if they’ll take the audience perception and come from their perspective and provide value in some way, even if it’s not always related to dentistry, that kind of content does well.
Dr. Hornbrook: Like diet or menus, things like that.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. Sometimes local things. A dentist, it’s cool because they’re such an integral part of a localized community. It’s not like a dentist here in Irvine is talking to future patients in New York or Wisconsin, or wherever. They’re talking to people in this community. Having some social media content that revolves around things happening locally is interesting to people, and they’ll appreciate [crosstalk 00:08:10].
Dr. Hornbrook: I could do sporting events, like here [we’re going to 00:08:11] talk about the A’s or the Ducks last [time when they played hockey 00:08:13] things like that.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. Absolutely. The other kind of content that does really well is anything that shares the culture of the practice. I know sometimes practices think to themselves, “Culture. I don’t know what our culture is.” Every practice has a culture. It’s just sometimes you don’t think about how to talk about it and how to spread it. If you’re doing some kind of charity work, maybe you’re doing Smiles for Life, the Crown Council, maybe you’re doing Toys for Tots around the holidays or a food drive, that kind of content does really, really well, because people like doing business with people that they like and who do good things. It’s just human nature. That kind of content does really well. Then finally, any kind of content that strengthens relationships between team members and patients, because social media marketing, effective social media marketing, is really internal marketing, not external [crosstalk 00:09:10].
Dr. Hornbrook: That’s what I was going to … I know you brought that at one of your blogs, about is it internal or is it external. It would be internal.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. For any small business, not just a dental practice, in the beginning, it’s hard to think about marketing that way, because we’ve come up, especially guys our age, have come up through the ranks of you sell. Marketing is advertising. It’s selling. It’s buying billboard space. It’s all designed to talk to the masses and to bring in new patients. Social media marketing, on the other hand, that’s effective is really focused on what I like to call your alpha audience, which is your patients. They’re the people that already love you, who have come to you for years, who respect what you do. They’re the keepers in your practice. If you can talk to them and empower them and enable them to then spread the word among their trusted networks, that’s what I mean by internal marketing. It has external benefits, but it’s not designed externally as a first strategy.
Dr. Hornbrook: Those are the patients we want, right?
Jack Hadley: Yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Hornbrook: A good patient telling their friend that we’re good.
Jack Hadley: Absolutely.
Dr. Hornbrook: I have a Facebook page. I’m not sure if we have a Twitter or not. Instagram?
Jack Hadley: Instagram is doing really, really well. I’m sure a lot of our audience has personal Instagram pages and may be thinking, “Wait a minute. How could that work in a dental practice?” A lot of the same principles I just talked about work exactly the same way on Instagram. If you can talk about things happening in the community. One of the nice things about Instagram is there’s no filtering, yet, anyway. Maybe there will be someday, but right now, if you publish and if they follow you on Instagram, they’ll see your stuff. It’ll be in their stream. It’s not like Instagram is filtering what goes there and what doesn’t. Someday it may. Because of that, it can be really effective. We have a lot of practices doing really well with Instagram.
Dr. Hornbrook: Do you write content for that, as well?
Jack Hadley: Yeah, we do. We do.
Dr. Hornbrook: Okay, so you don’t publish. I would say, “I want to do it every week. What in in your recommendations?” I would grab content from you, because I don’t know what’s important. I would then grab that and stick it in my Instagram or Twitter.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. We actually have a tool called the MSP Publisher. We send a daily email to the practice. They can click on that. It takes them right into this publishing tool, where all their accounts have already been hooked up. We pre-populate the information they need and then encourage them to personalize it, take one or two minutes, modify it, bring in a little personal touch, and then they can publish to all of those accounts from one place. That saves them a lot of time. Some content is designed to just be published quickly. We encourage a practice at least once a week to take a little bit of extra time, carve out maybe 20 minutes, a half hour somewhere in the week, to really use maybe one of our blog templates and actually create a blog post. We make blogging really easy. It’s that kind of content that really does well in terms of helping with the SEO for the practice, too.
Dr. Hornbrook: Right. Yeah. That’s something most of us dentists have no idea what people are talking about.
Jack Hadley: The thing about SEO, that term I think really sometimes confuses practices. It’s pretty simple today. It’s not like you have to hire some mystical SEO guy in some dark room and pay him [$2,000 a month 00:12:34].
Dr. Hornbrook: I think I’m doing that now.
Jack Hadley: For the most part, as Google becomes smarter and smarter, and the algorithms get more and more sophisticated, they’re just looking for real, honest content. As long as your site is structured the right way, that it’s responsive, it looks good on a cell phone, and the structure is such that Google can crawl it and find the information, if you’re publishing good content there, a lot of the SEO battle is just that simple. It didn’t used to be that way. That’s changed a lot.
Dr. Hornbrook: We talked Facebook, obviously. Twitter, Instagram. LinkedIn?
Jack Hadley: I think LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for the doctor. If the doctor is busy and there’s a sign somewhere in the practice to take care of things … Whoops. My phone went off.
Dr. Hornbrook: Probably my Twitter.
Jack Hadley: Yeah, that’s what it is.
Dr. Hornbrook: Probably not. It might be.
Jack Hadley: I encourage the doctor to really have a well-built-out LinkedIn profile. I like to compare … Let me turn this off.
Dr. Hornbrook: No worries. No worries.
Jack Hadley: I like to compare it to being a member of the Kiwanis Club or being a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Those kinds of higher-level connections with other business people in the community can be really, really powerful for a practice on LinkedIn. Again, it’s a localized strategy.
Dr. Hornbrook: It is like a Rotary Club or Kiwanis or Optimists. I know I have a LinkedIn. I hardly ever go on there, but it’s just a bunch of dental friends or other people within the industry, which really do me … It really doesn’t do me any good in my practice.
Jack Hadley: Right. Not for your practice, no.
Dr. Hornbrook: Yeah. That’s interesting.
Jack Hadley: If a doctor will concentrate on warming up to and connecting with people in the community, and LinkedIn’s a great tool for doing that, for searching out people that are local. Also, what’s neat about LinkedIn, too, is recently they’ve given people the ability to publish blog content on LinkedIn. We’re finding that a lot of practices will take some of the blog content that we provide, do a little twist on it, and publish it to LinkedIn. They get a lot of interaction, actually, on LinkedIn through these simple blog posts.
Dr. Hornbrook: Oh, really? Interesting.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. It’s something that’s fairly new, actually.
Dr. Hornbrook: You mentioned the cell phone. Yours went off from one of your LinkedIn contacts that are trying to get a hold of you. I know a lot of websites, when we redid our website, we struggle with, it looked good on a computer, it sucked on a phone. That was a big deal. The mobile phones and the smartphones, that’s changed, I know, what you do for a living and also these website designers.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. Early on, there was a interim solution to making websites mobile friendly. They were often called mobile websites. Since then, really the trend is towards what are called responsive sites. It’s one website, not two. There’s not a cell phone website, and then your other website. The new sites are being built as responsive sites, which means no matter what you’re … You’re looking on a iPad, you’re looking on a phone, you’re looking on a desktop, it responds to where it’s being viewed. Those are really the best kinds of sites right now. Google loves those kinds of sites because they load quickly and they look good. Google’s interested in providing the best information they can, so they love those kind of sites. In fact, you may be penalized, as of, it was a couple months ago when they had Mobile-geddon, I think it was called, when Google said, “Hey, if your site is not responsive or not optimized to be seen on mobile, we may start penalizing your site, actually.”
Dr. Hornbrook: Isn’t that interesting? It just fascinates me that Google has so much control.
Jack Hadley: Yeah, they do.
Dr. Hornbrook: It’s interesting that the blogs, and your site again, I looked over it, and being able to personalize it, because I think a lot of dentists, and I know you address this, is they’re afraid they’re going to lose their brand or they can’t control their brand. It’s a sophisticated office. I consider my office, it’s an aesthetic [inaudible 00:16:41]. I’ve got a little thing that some company puts in, and it’s a dinosaur, and you should use your floss. It’s like, “Oh, wait a minute. That’s not my brand.” It gives them an opportunity to take your information, or professional copywriters and people that are researching, and they can customize that.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. When you mention the term “branding,” I think that’s another topic that practices are really trying to wrap their head around. It’s because, for decades, we’ve talked about the brand of a practice, and how important that is, and how, for the most part, up until the last few years, a practice can control their own brand, really, through great imagery, and the right colors, and a great logo, and all those things that come to mind when you say branding.
The thing is, though, what social media, how that’s changed branding, is that practices are no longer in 100 percent control of their brand. It’s as much about what other people say, talk about on social media, the reviews that they write, they control the brand as much as the practice does. Not being aware of that and not being concerned about that can really hurt your brand, no matter how beautiful your logo is or how great your colors are. That, combined with the experience they have in their practice.
I always like to talk about the three corners of this triangle: who you actually are when somebody comes into your practice, what’s the experience they have; what you say you are, which is the branding that you control, the things that you publish, how your site looks, and that; and then what other people say, which is reviews or social media, the things they say online. If any of those three pieces are out of whack, it could really affect the other two. I think practices really need to think in that comprehensive way.
Dr. Hornbrook: I want to talk about reviews, because I learn so much from you as I’m listening to this. You look at Yelp, where a restaurant review, or a hotel, or a bed and breakfast … The bed and breakfast thing is absolutely incredible. They get a couple Yelp reviews, and they’re a pretty bad bed and breakfast. Yelp, how does that play into it at all? I have people that come in and say, “Every patient that leaves, say, ‘Can you give us a Yelp review or a Google …'” Let’s talk a little bit about the reviews, how that can … because that is a third of the triangle that could dwarf the other two in a bad way or a good way.
Jack Hadley: It really can. We could spend a whole hour talking about Yelp.
Dr. Hornbrook: We can have you back.
Jack Hadley: Okay, good. We won’t talk about all of the opinions out there and all the pros and cons about Yelp. That’s a whole nother discussion. The bottom line is that Yelp is powerful. Yelp comes up more and more in page one of search engine results than it ever has before. If a practice has got a bad feeling about Yelp, because maybe they had a bad experience or whatever, they really need to get over that and recognize the importance of it. If you have a few bad reviews here and there, people are forgiving. People expect that you can’t please every human being every single time. The problem is is if you only have maybe five or six Yelp reviews, and one or two of them are bad, that’s not a good reflection. If you have 25 or 30 or 50 Yelp reviews, and you have two or three unsatisfied people, hey, everybody understands that’s just part of doing business. Yelp’s an important part of the strategy.
Dr. Hornbrook: Would you recommend that we as a dental practice ask our patients to review us on Yelp?
Jack Hadley: Yes, I would. We actually have released a little product that has made it much easier to get Google and Yelp reviews, which are the hardest ones to really get inside the practice while the patient is still in the practice. There are lots of third-party review programs and solutions that send an email, a follow-up email, after the patient leaves that says, “Would you mind reviewing us?” If it’s a great review, then they get another email that says, “Would you now go log into Google and copy and paste?” The problem is that the success rate of getting people to do that is extremely low.
We’ve actually released a little product that lets you ask somebody in the practice, it sends a link to their cell phone. Right there, when they touch the link, if they’re willing to leave a review, they touch the link, the software looks at the person’s phone and determines what apps they have on the phone, and then opens to your page, and they can just leave a review right there, right inside the practice. It’s immediately published, so that you’re not asking them to do something later. It’s been a lot more effective. We have practices that are getting five, 10 Yelp reviews a week, and 15 or 20 new Google reviews a month, because they’re just doing it while the patient’s in the practice. They just have to ask.
I recommend that they identify in the morning the three or four alpha audience guys that are coming in and say, “You know, John, you’ve been a patient for a long time. We love you, and we know you love us. We’re just so happy you’re our patient. We’re trying to build our business by improving our reviews online. Would you consider writing us a little Google or Yelp review?” Ninety-nine times out of 100, they say, “I’d love to.” You send them the little link. They sit there for two minutes while they’re waiting to get numb or whatever they’re doing, and they just write you a nice review. If they don’t write a good review, then it gets archived on a place where it doesn’t get published there so that you can review it, because the feedback is important. If somebody’s not happy, you just don’t want that being published.
Dr. Hornbrook: I guess the other option is you have them write the review, and you put the topical in. Then you read it real quick, and if it’s bad, then you make sure they feel the injection.
Jack Hadley: I like that. He didn’t say that. He didn’t say that.
Dr. Hornbrook: That’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking ahead.
Jack Hadley: [Crosstalk 00:22:30].
Dr. Hornbrook: No way. That’s not going to happen. That’s not going to happen. [Inaudible 00:22:33] dentists traditionally are afraid to ask for things in the chair. Dentists don’t like to talk about it. Team members usually are a little better. That fits right in, what you just said, about asking the patient. My favorite quote is a Wayne Gretzky quote that he says, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
Jack Hadley: I love that. [Crosstalk 00:22:53].
Dr. Hornbrook: The goalie doesn’t come in and grab the puck, and throw it in the net, and say, “Oh, the Great One scored on me.” I think just asking your patients. They’re the ones that you feel comfortable enough that … You’re not going to ask a patient that is begruntled and doesn’t like you, anyway.
Jack Hadley: No, or a brand-new patient who you don’t really know yet, and they don’t really know you. Every practice can identify those couple of people each day. If my dentist said to me, “You know, Jack, I don’t ask every person that comes through the door to write a review, because I feel uncomfortable asking them, but we’ve been friends for a long time. You’ve been part of my practice for a long time. Would you consider taking five … It’ll take you five minutes just to do that for me.” If you ask it in that way, nobody says no.
Dr. Hornbrook: Why would you say no?
Jack Hadley: They don’t feel put on, like you’re trying to twist their arm or anything.
Dr. Hornbrook: Yeah, and it’s easy. It’s easy there, because I think the difficulty … Your personality’s probably like mine. I’m A type personality. If you said, “Oh, I’m going to send you a link, and it’ll be [inaudible 00:23:54],” it’s like, “Dude, it’s not going to happen, as much as I love you.” I’d rather say, “Can you just write it and put my name underneath it?”, because that’s just who I am.
Jack Hadley: That’s true.
Dr. Hornbrook: We talked about a lot of things. I know you have an e-book or a book that you’ve … Five Things That Every Dental Practice Should Know About Social Media, or how to get new patients in … I don’t know if we’ve addressed those five yet, but let’s talk a little bit about that.
Jack Hadley: Let me list them real quick. That e-book is really good for a practice that’s just getting started in social media. If a practice is well on its way, it may not be as applicable. If a practice is just starting to open accounts, or just has had accounts but has never really felt like they know how to use them, people can download that from our site.
Dr. Hornbrook: You just go to your site, and you go …
Jack Hadley: Yeah, it’s a 30-page you just download as a PDF and can read it.
Dr. Hornbrook: That’s free?
Jack Hadley: Yep.
Dr. Hornbrook: Oh, nice.
Jack Hadley: It’s free. Those five things are [inaudible 00:24:48] are, social media marketing starts inside your practice, not online. Number two is participation. You’ve got to get your team to participate in some way. Number three is content. We talked a little bit about content and what makes for good content. Number four is tools. Tools are important but always secondary, is what I always say.
Dr. Hornbrook: What do you mean by tools?
Jack Hadley: Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, website. I think what happens is, practices that don’t first think right about this and get the mindset right, it doesn’t matter what the tools are. It’s not going to work. I always say tools are important but always secondary to thinking about marketing in the right way. Then finally, the fifth thing is consistency. We’ve talked a little bit about that [crosstalk 00:25:36].
Dr. Hornbrook: Again, I see this where you go on a Facebook, and they’ll write every week for four months. Then three years later, they put a post. It’s like, “Really? Are they even paying attention?” You go on a Facebook … I’m going to use Facebook, because I do go on Facebook … where they haven’t added anything to their site since 2012. It’s like, “Really? Are they even paying attention?” I think that’s a problem. I would envision that as a problem.
Jack Hadley: It is a problem, because if you’re not consistent, people just lose interest. They absolutely do. One of the biggest problems with Facebook, and most practices will know this when I say this, because it’s been such a big deal, but as of about the first of this year, Facebook has changed the way content is filtered in such a way that if you had 100 followers on Facebook for your practice, before January of this year, typically 15 to 40 percent of those fans would see your content. Facebook has moved to a pay-to-play model, big time, in the last six months. Now, typically, only one to three or four percent of your fans will see your content, unless you boost that content.
Boosting is super powerful, and it’s not expensive. It’s just you’ve got to start thinking that way, which is, Facebook built a network that has one-point-whatever, six billion people in it, and now it’s time for them to make money. For five dollars, you can actually go back and reach what you used to be able to reach, which is 30, 40 percent of your audience, if you just boost the posts. You want to make sure the content’s good, because you don’t want to boost stuff that’s crappy. If you have good content and you spend a couple of bucks boosting it, your fans will see it, and they’ll share it. That’s been frustrating for a lot of practices.
Dr. Hornbrook: Would you boost only recent … If I did a post, Toys for Tots, let’s say, something that’s good for the community, a year and a half ago, would it be beneficial for me to go back and boost a post that … or just new posts?
Jack Hadley: I’m trying to think whether or not you can go back that far. I’m not the guy that handles this at My Social Practice. Blake would know the answer to that. I don’t know if you can go back a year and half and boost an old post. Maybe you can.
Dr. Hornbrook: Yeah, I don’t know.
Jack Hadley: I’ve never tried it.
Dr. Hornbrook: I don’t know. You’ve talked to me about all these awesome things that you should be putting on your Facebook. Let’s talk a little bit about some things that should not be on your professional … I have some young team members, and they’re young. They’re in their 20s, and they like to have a good time. They’re partying. We had to write some rules, even on their personal page. If you’re going to Facebook-friend one of my patients on your personal side, there’s going to be some rules now, whether it be alcohol related, whatever it is, doing stupid things. Let’s just talk about our business Facebook, so the Hornbrook Center for Dentistry. What posts could potentially hurt me?
Jack Hadley: First, taking a little broader answer to that question, I think it’s really important that a practice, when they get started on social media, is to have a little simple policy in place and make sure that everyone on the team understands what’s appropriate and what isn’t, because you’d be surprised how many practices don’t really think about that until it’s a problem. There are lots of resources out there. If somebody has a question where to find them, just send me an email, whatever, and I’ll send you some links. There’s lots of places you can get …
Dr. Hornbrook: What’s your email address, by the way?
Jack Hadley: Just firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Hornbrook: Okay, jack@mysocial, all one word.
Jack Hadley: Yeah. Because there are free resources out there, little template that you can then modify and put your name in and stuff, and at least go over with your team what’s appropriate and what isn’t. Obviously, you have to be careful about HIPAA compliance. One of the most important things about that is never practice dentistry in any way online. That’s the general rule. Anything that refers to people’s treatment, or whatever, just don’t talk about that.
Make sure that you get a little initial form. We have all of our clients have a stack of little cards in every treatment room and in every room in the practice. If they ever take a photo with a patient, it’s just a little one-sentence thing that says, “I don’t mind you using my image on your social media.” They initial it, and you keep track of that. It’s really important to ask permission. Going back to what you were asking, about what’s content that could hurt you, that’s the first content, anything that is related to treatment. “We’re so glad John come in and had nine veneers put on.” No.
Dr. Hornbrook: Because you see that all the time.
Jack Hadley: Yeah, you see it. No, that’s not a good place to …
Dr. Hornbrook: Even if you get the signature …
Jack Hadley: Even if you have permission. I think there are plenty of ways to be effective with imagery like that and with posts like that without talking about the dentistry.
Dr. Hornbrook: The treatment.
Jack Hadley: You talk about, “We’re so happy when Joan comes in to see us. She’s one of our favorite people.” That’s all you have to say. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail. If they want to, they could re-post it or they could share it. If they want to write nine paragraphs about their treatment, that’s their stuff. Yeah, I recommend practices don’t do that. That kind of content.
I think any kind of content where you actually try to argue out a point with someone online can really hurt you. Anytime, if there’s ever something that people are dissatisfied with or they have strong opinions about, even if they’re not complaining but they’re expressing strong opinions about something political or whatever, I think it’s always best to acknowledge, say, “Thank you for your comment,” but don’t engage at that level online. Take the conversation offline if you want. Say, “Hey, give me a call, John. I’d love to visit with you about it.” If you start debating online, you open yourself to …
Dr. Hornbrook: You never win.
Jack Hadley: You never win. Yeah, you really don’t. Everybody else sees that, and then everybody else piles in. You never know where that’s going to go, that kind of stuff.
Dr. Hornbrook: Good. We’re going to wrap up, but I do want to end … We have listeners of all demographics, small towns, big towns, new practitioners. Let’s say someone’s been in practice 20 years and wants to be more social media [savage 00:31:43], versus a young practitioner, just like Lincoln Parker, who you work with. He’s doing unbelievably. He was in our first podcast, and he’s doing unbelievably well. He’s young. He’s 30 years old and using social media like crazy, 50 new patients a month, which is crazy. What different information would you give me as a 30-year-old opening a practice versus me as a 50-year-old saying, “I need to boost this, Jack”?
Jack Hadley: I think that the initial thought is that the strategy or the mindset would be different. I think even young doctors who grew up with the internet and grew up with social media don’t have … They think of social media in the way that they’ve always used social media, which is not as a marketing tool in a dental practice. I don’t know that even young doctors who are super savvy would have any different goals or objectives or strategies than a doctor who isn’t familiar with social media at all.
The only thing that might be different is that in the younger doctor’s case, they may want to have more hands-on than maybe an older doctor, who just doesn’t really want to deal with it, in which case they just need to have a couple people that they can count on to take care of it inside the practice. They don’t have to do it all, but it does need boots on the ground. You can’t think that just because you don’t want to do it that somehow you’re going to outsource it to someone in some other state, who’s going to figure out how to warm up to your patients. It needs to be someone in the practice. If you don’t do it yourself, find someone in the practice that can champion it.
Dr. Hornbrook: Okay. Good. Anything else? You want to share anything that I didn’t address? Again, we covered so much [crosstalk 00:33:24].
Jack Hadley: I know. This was great.
Dr. Hornbrook: We’re going to have you back, for sure. Is there anything else that …
Jack Hadley: No, I think those are the main things. I really think if practices will just remember those three main points, which is participate. Great social media does not start on the internet, which is counterintuitive. It starts inside the practice. How many businesses have a captive audience that walks through their door, and they’re sitting there, and you have this great personal … There aren’t that many businesses that enjoy that kind of relationship. Participate.
Number two, use great content. If you’re trying to figure out, “What should we post?”, whether you have someone like us help you do that or not, even if you’re doing it on your own, think about those five or six things that I said. Does this engage? Does it strengthen relationships? Does it improve the [clout 00:34:13] of what we’re doing? Those four or five, six things that I mentioned, great content has one or more of those kinds of characteristics. Number two is content.
Participate is one. Great content is number two. Number three is be consistent. Whatever you need to do. Don’t start down the road and then, “If we can’t think of any ideas, we’ll stop,” because really, it’s almost better not to start if you can’t at least keep it consistent. That doesn’t mean it has to consume all of your time. If you have the right mindset, it doesn’t need to take all your time.
Dr. Hornbrook: Let me ask you one more question, because this is fascinating to me as a marketer and what we’re doing at Keating now with of all of this and just seeing how all of this works.
Jack Hadley: You’re doing some amazing things here. All the stuff you showed me this morning that you’re doing online, it’s fantastic.
Dr. Hornbrook: Oh, good. Thanks for saying that.
Jack Hadley: When I’m around a lot of practices and get to talk to practices, they are hungry for the kind of content that you and Keating are delivering. I can see why you’re enjoying so much success with it. [It’s fun 00:35:16].
Dr. Hornbrook: I’m having some fun with it, which is …
Jack Hadley: I can tell.
Dr. Hornbrook: You know me. You’ve known me a long time. I always have a lot of energy and always optimistic about everything, but this has been a lot of fun. The thing we didn’t talk about, and we’ll do it very briefly as we wrap up, is the whole website. All right, so we got social media. Those are really two different things, right? My Facebook, my Instagram, my Twitter, my LinkedIn, is one thing, and my website is another. How much interlinking is between the two, and how consistent … Where does that fall in?
Jack Hadley: The main thing to remember about that is, in days gone by, websites could really be more independent, because again, to make a website effective, you weren’t publishing a lot of fresh content there. If you had some keyword-optimized pages that listed Invisalign 27 times, then you felt like your site was fine. Those two things are really coming together into what needs to be a comprehensive digital strategy, which is that your social media content, in particular, say, a blog post that’s published on your website and then shared out to your social channels really drives traffic back.
In fact, there was a recent Searchmetrics survey about the correlation between social media and SEO that listed seven of the top 10 correlation factors related to social media. Google doesn’t care how many likes you have on your Facebook page. You could have 100,000 or 100, and that’s not going to give you any more search love. People clicking on your content, Google notices every what they call “social signal,” which is a like, a share, how long you stay on the pages. All that stuff is stuff that Google watches.
If your content is engaging and people are clicking on it and sharing it, all it’s doing is creating more social signals for Google, and it’s driving traffic back to your website. Website is a hub. These channels or social channels are great places to distribute content and to publish original content, both of which drive traffic back to the site. They’re no longer independent discussions. There’s no bolt-on social strategy to a website strategy. They’re really integrated today.
Dr. Hornbrook: I know there’s a lot of listeners here, and I know that because we went back and looked at a lot of doctors’ websites. There’s a lot of really crummy, they’re just generic websites. If you create this big social media that’s all about your brand and your culture and all this cool stuff, then you go back to a site that is all stock pictures and all looks like [crosstalk 00:37:56] at Walmart or something, that’s a problem.
Jack Hadley: Not only is it a problem in terms of the brand, but it’s a problem in terms of Google’s ability to crawl the site. It won’t load quickly anymore if it’s a 20-year-old site or whatever. It won’t load well. It won’t look good on a phone. There’s a lot of very practical reasons beyond branding why those kind of sites really ought to be looked at and redone. There’s another … if we have one more second …
Dr. Hornbrook: We have. There’s another second, absolutely. This is awesome. [Crosstalk 00:38:29] 20 more minutes.
Jack Hadley: When you think about websites, there’s the group that you just mentioned, which are all of those old legacy sites that we just talked about. Then there’s the new responsive sites that are great. There’s this big middle ground of people that maybe five, or eight, or 10 years ago spent some money putting together a pretty decent site. One of the hard things, and it’s hard to swallow because of the investment you made in a site like that, is that if you have had some SEO help with that, in some cases, they have built that site based on what Google used to believe. You’ve probably heard of things like link farms, building 10,000 sites in India with links back, trying to fool Google into thinking there was more traffic to your site than what there really is. A lot of those sites have a lot of baggage attached to them.
Today, Google comes and says, “You know what? We don’t like that anymore, because we’re smart enough that we can see what real content is and what phony content is. We’re going to start penalizing you.” Here you guys invested years and tons of money to try to get it to be found with Google, and now they’re saying, “Not only do we not like it, we might start penalizing you.” That’s been frustrating. In some cases, those sites can be cleaned up. It’s a little expensive to clean them up. In some cases, we’re finding lots of practices just start over. It’s just almost better to start over doing it the way Google wants to do it, than to try to repair some of those sites. Yeah, websites are all over the map and [crosstalk 00:40:01].
Dr. Hornbrook: That hits home for me, because about 12, 15 years ago, I had the site. The pictures were good, because I actually took slides, because this was pre-digital, I took slides, scanned them in at high resolution where … All these before-and-afters looked like fuzzy crap. Mine were great. I thought, “This is a great site.” Of course, there’s no video, because there was no …
Jack Hadley: It was a great site. For that time period, it was an amazing site.
Dr. Hornbrook: Every time my team members would say, “You know, we need a new site,” I’d think, “Oh, do I want to spend another 10 to 20 grand on this?” We did this two and a half years ago, and I’ll tell you, it’s the best investment we ever made. It was a big investment. It was 20-some-odd thousand dollars. I’ll tell you that we’ve had more action on our site, big cases, good patients finding us, and all we did was invest a little bit of money. Still, you’re absolutely right. We need that.
Jack Hadley: Yeah, it’s an important foundation to any digital marketing strategy.
Dr. Hornbrook: Yeah. Awesome. This has been great.
Jack Hadley: Thanks, Dave. It’s been fun.
Dr. Hornbrook: Really great. I so appreciate you coming down here.
Jack Hadley: Anytime. I’d love to …
Dr. Hornbrook: The listeners are on the edge of their seats saying, “Crap, I’m not doing that,” or “I am doing that” to the bad things.
Jack Hadley: Don’t be overwhelmed. Don’t be overwhelmed. [Crosstalk 00:41:09].
Dr. Hornbrook: You have a great resource here in Jack and his company, MySocialPractice.com, whether you invest in his expertise or use some of the free tools they have. The blogs are awesome. I listened to three or three of them this morning. Your book that …
Jack Hadley: We have a lot of content that, if you want to do all these things yourself, we try to give you the tools to understand and to do it. If you want our help, we have some great programs to help you. Yeah. Anyone that has questions, just email@example.com. I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has.
Dr. Hornbrook: It still amazes me how people don’t use quote-unquote “coaches” for [inaudible 00:41:49]. They have a coach golf. They have a coach for swimming. Little League, you have coaches. You have a practice management consultant that comes in. You have dental educators, [mentors 00:42:00] like me that teach you how to veneers. It’s like, “Oh, what are we going to do with social media? Susie has a Facebook account. Let her do it, because she has 400 friends. She’s our new expert.” You’re a coach. You’re a coach on social media, which can break or make, I think, a practice.
Jack Hadley: We have a good time.
Dr. Hornbrook: Yeah, good. Again, thank you so much. We’re going to go ahead and wrap it up. I hope you enjoyed this. I did. I always say this is one of my favorite, but this is favorite. No offense to the other ones. It was great. He’s real involved with Crown Council, which is giving back to dentistry. We have a lot of mutual friends.
Jack Hadley: Yes, we do.
Dr. Hornbrook: This has been fun. Check out our other podcasts, if this is your first experience with us. You go to DentalUp, all one word, .xyz. We are doing some fun things. Come visit us out in Irvine. We’re about five minutes from Disneyland here at KeatingDentalArts.com, is our website, or Keating Dental Arts. Google us, because I think we have good SEO.
Jack Hadley: I bet you show up great.
Dr. Hornbrook: Hopefully, you’ll come visit us soon. Looking forward to it.
Jack Hadley: Okay.