5 Ways to Reach Your Patients Through Social Media

By: Ayesha Tak

Social Media marketing is more than getting likes and retweets – it is about reaching out to customers and developing relationships. Social media can be an effective way to gauge patient's interests, attract new patients, and stay on top of trending topics relevant to your practice.

An active and engaging presence on social media helps to enhance your reputation. A patient is more likely to leave good reviews and referrals for your business once they have already engaged with and formed a connection with you. Without any insight on how to use social media to improve your practice, you can waste time, money, and effort, without getting very far.

Here are five ways you can better reach patients through social media.

  1. Use Groups and Pages to Gather Meaningful Data on Your Target Market
  2. Groups and pages on Facebook bring together individuals who share a common interest. Research what groups and pages your customers are likely to subscribe to4. These groups are where your target audience make interactions. These could be in the form of making posts, asking for advice, or just venting. These interactions can reveal what your customers want from a practice, and it is your job to fulfill that demand.

    Groups such as the "Bunz Mental Health Zone" on Facebook, with 4,573 members and counting, bring together individuals from Canada who talk about mental health issues and share resources 5. This is an excellent place to learn about patient's fears about things like dental anxiety.
    To target your audience, focus your posts and interactions to a specific demographic. Instead of posting everywhere and only getting a fraction of the feedback, it's better to focus on a specific audience and gain an interest of the majority.

    Some effective ways to target are by age, gender, and/or location. For example, if you have a dental office, location is a good way to target your audience.

    Share tips on how to alleviate dental anxiety, and connect with individuals on local community pages to start a conversation or respond to people's concerns. It's a good way to get a word out about your practice, connect with your target audience, and could lead to new customers requesting appointments!

  3. Follow the Right Local Pages Services and Groups
  4. In addition to Facebook, you can target an audience by following the right people on Twitter. Make sure you follow local sources that are also relevant to your practice's interests. Chances are, these entities will be interested in the services you offer and follow you back. Examples include: Your local health centre, business associations (BIAs), community services, schools, and others! It's a good way to impress upon potential patients in your area.
    It's a good idea to follow hashtags that are relevant to your practice, such as #dentaltips, #wellness, and #health. Your Twitter should be active with recent posts - retweet and share relevant posts that are likely to attract dental and healthcare patients. It's important to look beyond hashtags as well. Pay attention to who retweeted, replied, liked, or shared your tweets.

  5. Identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  6. Now that you know who to target, the next step is to figure out your goals. Do you want to build brand awareness or drive revenue? KPIs help you quantify your goals and help in determining what content to publish. If you want to drive revenue as a dental practice, then your goals might be to increase appointment requests, signups, and/or product purchases. If your goal is to build brand awareness, you might want to measure brand mentions, followers, newsletter signups, and of course, audience interaction in terms of likes and retweets.

    Knowing what your goals are, will help you guide how to reach your target audience. After you've identified who you need to target, KPIs tell you what you should expect from such targeting.

  7. Create Relevant Content
  8. Whatever content you post, it should reflect your practice. For example, if you represent a dental or healthcare practice, your content should be related to dentistry and health. Make sure you add a personal touch to all of your comments, blog posts, and other business content. Potential and existing patients want to feel connected to a real person rather than a no-name stranger behind the screen.

    Limit your content to smaller, specific categories within your interest. This may sound contradictory, but specifying content could help you reach a large portion of a target audience, rather than a small portion of a bigger audience. Focusing on your target audience is also more likely to generate interest in your services and increase engagement on your social media.

  9. Customer Experience is Key
  10. Genuine interactions with your followers helps in elevating your business's reputation. You might have existing patients or business partners following you on twitter. Reaching a target audience on social media isn't as easy as pressing the "Follow" button - make sure you connect with them too! Try starting a conversation or following up with them about a concern they had. New customers are likely to flock to you once they see how pleasant your interactions are with your followers.

    As shown in the tweets below, @buffer is excellent at providing customer service while uplifting their customers at the same time. They acknowledge when they are given a shout-out and maintain positive rapport in every tweet exchange.

    Staying in touch with your followers is an effective way to build a more loyal follower base. For example, when a guest posts a recommendation or mentions feedback regarding your practice, make sure you follow up with them. Tell them how you look forward to seeing them again or how you are happy to serve them. Social media is not only a tool of marketing, but also good customer service.

These tips are sure to make your business stand out on social media. Capturing the interest of your target audience is key to retaining customers and developing relationships with new clients. Check out UpOnline's service packages to see how social media marketing can propel your business.

Friday Five Roundup: From Burying Websites to Dead Social Networks



The Stories Behind 5 Social Networks That Never Caught On

Friendster? Orkut? Here are 5 dead social networks you might not remember.
Read the article on hubspot.com >


Marketing Week

Fairtrade Hunts for Emotional Connection in Strategy Shift

As any advertiser knows, the rational agent is a myth, humans make their decisions based on their emotions. Learn how Fairtrade is using these emotional strategies for their marketing and how it can apply to your next campaign.
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This Agency Just Held a Funeral in Its Garden for Its Outdated Website

Nossa, a prominent agency in the Portuguese digital ad scene, recently staged an unusual mock funeral service in the garden behind its Lisbon office. They buried an old laptop to symbolize the passage of the shop's 2012-era website and the birth of a more modern, streamlined portal.
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Content Marketing Institute

9 (More) Lessons From the World's Best Content Marketing Brands

If you want to excel at digital marketing, you will spend a lot of time experimenting with different approaches. Businesses with effective marketing strategies, like Red Bull and Home Depot, highlight techniques that have helped to drive them towards success.
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Financial Post

Loblaw's Taking the Click-and-Collect Route as Retail Rivals Expand Home Deliveries

The country's biggest grocery and drug retailer competes with Amazon and Walmart online for sales of food, health, and beauty items through its "click-and-collect" model, where customers order and pay online and pick up items outside selected Loblaw stores.
Read the article on financialpost.com >

5 Ways to Boost Customer Experience

By: Mahnoor Awan

What is considered a good customer experience? An interaction with a professional employee who is courteous and helpful? Getting through to a customer service representative within the first minute of a phone call? Or being greeted by a call agent who isn't annoyed? How about getting free stuff? The truth is, customer experience is not a customer's single interaction with your business. According to Harvard Business Review, "(customer satisfaction is through) cumulative experiences across multiple touchpoints and in multiple channels over time."

When a business acquires a new customer, that customer goes through a process of dealing with different aspects of the business that include (but not limited to), interacting with the business's website, employees, call agents, and the products or services themselves. It is your customer's journey through which they form perceptions, feelings, and memories about a brand that could potentially lead to loyalty, (or dismay) depending on their interaction.

Giving your customers a complete package leads to higher satisfaction rates for your business. Here are a few ways through which you can boost your business's customer experience.

  1. Have a Responsive Web Design
  2. If your business has a website or if it is operated mainly through a website, it is important to have a responsive web design. These days, people use multiple devices to go on the Internet. Based on a Mobile to Outpace Desktop study in 2015, "mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search."

    If more Internet searches are made on devices with smaller screen sizes than an average PC, a non-responsive website could be a frustrating experience for customers. To provide your customers with the best experience, your business should have a responsive website that is optimized for multiple screen sizes, where the desktop experience isn't ruined and at the same time, the content is tailored for smartphones and tablets.

    It could be a separate but synchronized website streamlined for mobile, where it takes into account the trends in user behavior on mobile devices, and focuses on specific Call to Actions (CTA).

    Take the example of Luna Dentistry, where they have two separate sites. One is optimized for desktops to provide the full web experience, and the microsite is designed to prioritize the main CTA's like 'Book an Appointment' or 'Find Us.' on mobile. If you are looking for responsive or multiple optimized websites for your business, click here for more information on how UpOnline can help you.

  3. Create a Self-Serve Experience
  4. Based on data, the use of web or mobile self-serve has increased from 67% in 2012 to 76% in 2014. Customers prefer getting their queries answered in as short of a time as possible, and picking up the phone to make a call, or sending an email, takes longer than if answers are available right there and then.
    To provide a self-serve experience, the most effective and cost efficient way is to either have an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or a forum page. FAQ's allow your business to provide customers with the most relevant information about your product or service. To make sure that your content is relevant to what most of your customers are looking for, adding a rating option of 'how helpful was this answer' can help to get a better idea of what your customers are looking for and if they found the 'answers' helpful.

    In addition to question and answers, consider adding YouTube tutorial videos to the experience, for your content to be more engaging.

    Forums can also be effective since it also allows customers to interact with each other and solve each other's problems. However, it is especially important to monitor any forum to avoid customer harassment and also to make sure that the customers can provide each other with proper information.

  5. Monitor Social Media
  6. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are effective ways to add to the customer experience. In a ComScore 2016 report, data shows that nearly 20% of the time spent online in U.S. is on social media, out of which 14% is on Facebook.
    Research what social media platforms talk most about your brand or industry and try engaging in conversations where your brand or industry is mentioned. Keep an eye on the content your customers post, as that gives you more insight about what they are looking for, and it could help you fill in some blanks between the customer and your business.

  7. Act on Customer Feedback
  8. When customers leave feedback on review pages, on calls, forums, or social media platforms, it is important to respond to them. However, the responses should be appropriate & professional, and aligned with the values of your brand. Here are more ways on how you can respond to customer feedback.

    However, providing a good overall customer experience is more than just responding with a thank you or an apology. How you act on a customer's feedback is also really important. Data shows that when businesses resolve a customer's complaint, there's a 70% chance the customer will come back for more business.

    Here's an example from JetBlue Airways that illustrates providing good customer service can lead to happy customers.
    Customer feedback helps businesses to realize and understand where they are lacking and how they could improve overall, and if they take that feedback into account and make some changes to their business, it further enhances the customer experience.

  9. Train Employees who Interact with Customers
  10. Last but not the least, train your employees to deal with customers. In a 2009 Genesys Global Survey, 78% of customers say that competent service representatives makes the customer experience a happy one.
    Whether your employees are answering calls, or interacting face-to-face with customers, it is important that they are not only polite and professional, but also friendly and able to provide a personalized experience for customers. They should also be knowledgeable about the business's products and/or services because data shows that according to customers, 50% of customer service representatives are unable to answer their questions, which in turn, leaves the customers unsatisfied.

Customers keep a business going. This sentiment is valid more now than ever before. A business can use a good customer experience to help differentiate themselves from their competitors. A 2011 American Express survey shows that 59% of Americans are willing to try a new brand for a better service experience. Personalized experiences and one-on-one interactions between customers and employees, or customer engagements through Internet platforms, add to the perceived quality of your business. Through this, you are not just providing a good product or service, but an overall added value because of the complete customer service package your business is able to provide to satisfy customers.

Friday Five Roundup: From Personalizing Content to Design Thinking, and Instamom


Digital Marketing Magazine

How Important is Personalisation for Content Marketing?

Your business’ marketing tactics greatly impact customer loyalty. Anjana Varsani discusses the importance of building relationships with customers through content marketing.
Read the article on digitalmarketingmagazine.com >


Fast Company

How Cult Mattress Company Casper Plans To Get You Into Bed

The New York-based mattress company is using science, design thinking, and whimsy to make sleep products worth talking about.
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Globe and Mail

1A sign of the times: Mazda’s new billboard is watching you

A website is a great starting point and an important centerpiece of your digital marketing eBillboards are designed to catch your eye. But one ad in Toronto right now is looking back at passersby.
A new ad from Mazda Canada Inc. is promoting the MX-5 RF convertible with a real-time counter, using a camera to track how many heads have turned to look at the image of the car. But the digital sign displayed in the underground retail concourse in Royal Bank Plaza downtown is more than a neat – and creepy – trick. It’s also a sign of how the “out of home” ad-signage business is trying to evolve.
Read the article on globeandmail.com >



Once poverty-stricken, China’s “Taobao villages” have found a lifeline making trinkets for the Internet

China is promoting eCommerce with guidance to show its worst off better days ahead.
China's official policy of raising citizens out of poverty by 2020 includes encouraging ecommerce business on Taobao in villages and rural areas. And it's working!
Read the article on qz.com >


The Atlantic


The enviable, highly profitable life of Amber Fillerup Clark, perfect mother and social-media influencer.
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Keeping Up with the Rise of Video Advertising

By: Cheska Sia

Two words to describe today’s society: tech savvy. As technology continues to advance, the virtual world becomes more easily accessible. From desktop screens to mobile devices, people are frequently exposed to video streaming as a source of advertising.
For years, businesses have utilized video marketing to their advantage. Videos can effectively promote key messaging, boost SEO results, and reinforce brand recall. Whether businesses make commercials for popular events or monetize ads on YouTube, there are many ways to target consumers and gain profit.

If you are wondering how to keep up with the rapid progression of video advertising, here are a couple of tips.

  • Short and Concise Videos
  • The goal here is to entice curiosity and maintain viewer interest. Many videos on social media platforms range from 30 seconds to 2 minutes because this is the average time people spend watching them. People generally skim through the numerous status updates and video shares on their social feeds. Therefore, make the first few seconds of your video attention grabbing. Once viewers click on your video, try to keep them entertained.
    Create a video that is both promotional and informative. Illustrate how a product or service that you offer is connected to an event or common interest shared by many. PepsiCo effectively uses video advertising to target football/soccer fans through a collective love for the game.
    Working with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), PepsiCo’s 60 second video emphasizes how influential football/soccer is on a global scale. Within that short time frame, you too can educate your viewers by bringing them on an experiential journey.

  • Don't Rely on Audio
  • Your video can be more effective without sound. Besides choosing a visually appealing thumbnail, emphasize bold captions, a minimalist backdrop, humor, or a negative headline that captivates your audience at first glance.

    Whether viewers are situated in quiet libraries or busy food courts, viewers should be able to watch your videos without disrupting the people around them. Since many people watch videos during their commute, create a video that does not require headphones. On many social media platforms, audio is usually disabled so the main focus is on visual approach. If your video has dialogue or a voice over, try using captions.
    Above is a screenshot from WatchCut Video’s “American Kids Try Christmas Foods From Around the World” episode on YouTube. They have included their own subtitles for their viewers. However, for some video hosting sites like YouTube, you also have the option of automatically enabling subtitles (see the screenshot below).
    Your video should affect its audience without volume. As long as you produce a “volume-agnostic” video, a term coined by Steven Belser of NowThis, your visual presentation alone should enhance viewer experience(s). By giving people the freedom of watching your video anywhere and at any time, you may observe a quick increase in the rate of shares on your videos.

  • Circulate Video Through Personal Network
  • Although paying for a sponsored post may seem like the best approach, viewers tend to skim through these numerous advertisements on their feeds. It is likely that people share videos under two scenarios: the videos are shared by friends or family, or the viewers are given an incentive to share. Therefore, post your video for your followers on social media before paying for a sponsored advertisement.

  • Communicate With Viewers Through Live-Video
  • Give consumers across the globe the opportunity to contact your business directly from the comfort of their home. Now that many platforms support live-streaming, customers can easily initiate conversation while businesses broadcast product trials, conduct interviews, or even share experiences.7 With this feature, viewers can ask questions, suggest areas of improvement, and receive immediate feedback from business professionals.
    As a result of higher interaction metrics, it is more likely for your business to observe an increase in sales and customer awareness.8 On platforms like Facebook, your videos can be viewed even after the completion of the live-broadcast. In any case, it is important that you include an effective call to action (CTA) option. By doing so, viewers can keep up to date with your business’ future endeavors and/or developments.
Using these tips, businesses can adapt to and thrive in this era of technology. With the frequent circulation of digital media, investing in video production is beneficial for your business. Paired with marketing and advertising techniques, this medium easily draws in customers and can lead your business to success. Share these tips on your social pages and if any of them help your business grow, let us know!

Friday Five Roundup: From Marketing Takeaways From Super Bowl to Overrated Trends


Marketing Dive

8 Digital Marketing Takeaways from the Super Bowl LI

While it was an exciting game, the ads lacked punch despite marketers narrowing in on how best to leverage digital and get the most bang from their $5 million investments.
Read the article on marketingdive.com >


Small Business Trends

Unique Digital Marketing Tactics: 1 Hour a Day

If you want to excel in the digital marketing industry, invest your time and effort where it counts. Although there are numerous digital marketing tactics, Ronald Dod explains how setting aside 1 hour a day can help your business reach its digital marketing goals.
Read the article on smallbiztrends.com >



10 Overrated Marketing Trends

A website is a great starting point and an important centerpiece of your digital marketing efforts, but you really need more than a website to optimize market performance.
Read the article on entrepreneur.com >



10 Tips for Millennial Marketing

Millennials are one of the most talked about generations in the marketing industry, but are they really different? Millennials think differently because they are different -- especially when it comes to online behavior. While some traits are clearly the same among certain age groups over centuries, millennials react differently to trigger points because of the way they grew, full of technology and social media. They connect dots in different ways because some things are intuitive to them that are not intuitive to anyone else. Think Snapchat.
Read the article on entrepreneur.com >



How Experiential Marketing Works: 7 Enlightening Tips

What makes a good story? Is it the happy ending? Maybe it's the valuable lessons, or the hilarious, unexpected plot twists. But what makes a story just that -- a shareable, captivating narrative -- is the experience it describes. It's the who, what, where, when, and how. It's the tale of what happened. Here's how you can create shareable content.
Read the article on hubspot.com >