CDA Presents lectures will cover social media marketing strategies for every skill level

More than 40 percent of consumers today say they will not buy a brand if they are unable to find the right information about it online, according to a recent survey by the Interpublic Group. A similar statistic might apply to potential patients shopping for a new dentist, says Rita Zamora, an author and international speaker who returns this May to CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim.

Significant changes have occurred over the last 10 years in advertising and internet marketing, which means dental practices must adjust their strategies to reach potential patients. At the Anaheim convention, Zamora will lead two lectures designed to help dentists or their staff market their practice effectively through social media — no matter their current knowledge or skill level.

Social Media 101: Establishing the practice on Facebook
Zamora developed the lecture Social Media 101 for dentists, office managers and team members who are entirely new to or just getting started with social media — and according to Zamora, there are many individuals in this group. She says she has frequent conversations with dentists and dental team members who divulge, for example, that they have never used Facebook and express apprehension about getting started.

“This is a great course to really get a good idea of how social media can help your practice and why it’s important,” Zamora says, adding that dental team members can use social media not only to help grow the practice but as a communications tool to grow deeper and closer relationships with patients.

Among statistics Zamora shares in her lecture is one that shows people are spending twice as much time on Facebook mobile than they are on Google and YouTube combined. She also pulls from the 2015 Consumers Path to Healthcare Purchases Study, which includes dentistry-specific research. “It’s not the case anymore that people are only looking for dentists on Google. A great many are discovering new dentists through social media, whether it be Facebook or Instagram.”

The lecture provides a brief overview of today’s most important social media websites but focuses predominantly on Facebook, which Zamora calls the “gateway social media tool.” Beyond Facebook, users can begin to look at additional platforms such as Instagram, but Zamora says Facebook is the best place for practices to get familiar with social media. “We’ll spend a lot of time looking at the ins and outs of Facebook to help practices get firmly established there. I don’t overwhelm them with too much information. I provide only enough so that when they leave the meeting they can start implementing some simple steps right away.”

Specifically, lecture attendees will learn the differences between personal profiles and business pages on Facebook and which are best for marketing a dental practice, as well as learn how to identify and implement three basic social media strategies and tactics.

Social Media 101 is open to the entire dental team and will take place 9:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 17. Zamora discusses the course in a video interview at CDA Presents San Francisco last August. Watch the video.

Enhancing and protecting a practice’s online reputation
In her second lecture, Keys to Social Media Marketing Success, Zamora will delve more deeply into the role social media can play in not only enhancing a practice’s online reputation, but in protecting it.

“We’ll talk about how important reviews are today. It’s those positive reviews that will help to minimize any potential negative review that you have,” Zamora says. With the aid of interactive content, attendees will learn about different tools — some of these are automated and some aren’t, but attendees can expect to walk away with “lots of different strategies and tactics they can put in place to help grow their reviews and develop a strong online reputation for the practice.”

Zamora says today’s prospective patients look for information in many different places. “They want to read reviews and see some social proof about your practice — what others are saying about it.” This can include, for example, watching any available videos about a dental practice or consulting a Facebook group for new dentist recommendations. Because of this, Zamora says the practice needs to set itself up in what she calls “online pieces of real estate” that include many different social media and review sites. “We’ll talk about all of these different platforms in this lecture, including how to prioritize where you should spend your time and what other dentists are doing across the country so that you can take some of those ideas and implement them when you get back to your practice after you leave the course.”

The course puts an emphasis on strategy. Zamora says that while most people are very good at using social media spontaneously, they aren’t particularly thinking about an end purpose. “What do you want patients to think about when they see you on social media? What type of procedures do you want to be doing more of — do you want to promote the sleep dentistry treatments or short-term orthodontics or dental implants? Whatever it is you want to grow more in your practice, this course will help you to start thinking about that, along with the tactics you can use to support your strategic and effective use of social media.”

Specifically, attendees will learn how to identify the top social media platforms for marketing their practice and which strategies and tactics work best in creating thriving social communities and protecting an online reputation. “Whether it’s video or Facebook ads or specific content you’re sharing, we’ll talk about how you can be very efficient and effective with what you’re doing … and we’ll have fun during this program as well.”

Keys to Social Media Marketing Success is open to the entire dental team and is scheduled for 1:30 to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 17.

Occurring biannually in Anaheim in the spring and San Francisco in fall, CDA Presents is the nation’s leading dental convention, offering continuing education through more than 200 lectures and workshops, free hourly lectures at The Spot Educational Theater and the latest in dental products and services on the sprawling exhibit hall floor.

Register for or learn more about these lectures and speaker Rita Zamora at cdapresents.com/anaheim2018.

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