holiday recipe contest girl with cookie cutters on eyes

Blogging. Facebook posts. Making the office feel warm and friendly, like the first pumpkin spice latte of the season, for your patients.

These are important parts of your overall marketing strategy and brand, but what you blog or post and how you interact with patients need to truly reflect your practice mission and vision.

It’s easy for any business owner to lose sight of the bigger picture, when the day to day tasks take center stage. To help you make the most of your blogs, social media posts, and internal marketing, I’ve created a list of NEW and spicy ideas that will promote the oh-so-wonderful heart of your practice throughout the holidays. Your patients and your staff are going to LOVE these holiday marketing ideas for dentists.

Everyone Loves Food!

RECIPES: One of the hottest topics online and in social media, especially Pinterest, is holiday recipes. You can leverage this to your advantage when marketing your dental practice.

  1. Patient Recipe Contest – Have patients submit their favorite holiday recipes, and have the staff judge them. The winner will be featured in your newsletter and blog, and can receive a prize, like a Sonicare toothbrush or a gift certificate to a kitchen store. Begin by printing out fliers for the office, posting a framed sign in each operatory, and sending an email to your patient list promoting the contest. You can even call your local newspaper, for additional visibility. (Just be sure to get permission to share submissions online from patients and staff who submit recipes.)
  2. Your Team’s Favorites – Ask your team members to submit their favorite family recipe and a short story about where it originated. Feature the recipes and stories on your blog and in your patient newsletter.
  3. Don’t Forget Social Media – Be sure to post the recipes, pictures, and photos of the winner on all of your social media accounts. Give each recipe its own pin on Pinterest, on a board titled Holiday Recipes 2016.

Smiles and Santa – a Winning Combination

SMILING WITH SANTA PICTURES: Everyone is proud of their kids, as well as their nieces, nephews, grandkids, and godchildren. Make a large bulletin board in your lobby where staff and patients can post pictures of “Smiling with Santa” to show off their favorite, adorable children. These kinds of patient-interactive projects will earn you patient loyalty and make your office/team seem more like family. Ask permission to use one of the cutest pictures in your newsletter and blog.

Deck Your Halls

DECORATE THE OFFICE: You do not need to go overboard, but don’t neglect decorating your office — including the operatories — for the holidays. Play holiday music in the background, place a small fir tree at the check-in desk, and add a holiday wreath to a few doors. Run a wax burner in the restroom and use cinnamon-scented wax. Your goal should be to make the office feel warm, inviting, and homey — not gaudy or overdone. If you allow your staff to do all of the decorating, things could get out of hand. Designate one person to handle the task, and offer direction, or ask a family member who has a talent for decorating to do the job for you.

What You’re Up To

KEEP IT REAL: If you want your patients to feel special, and you’d like them to think of you as a friend, as well as their dentist, you’re going to have to loosen your necktie and let your personality shine. When you attend holiday activities, whether school musicals or a Christmas parade, take pictures and check in (or at least post) on Facebook. If you go to dinner, post about the restaurant and brag on the chef or your waiter. Keep it positive and light, but engage with your online followers — that’s what SOCIAL media is all about. (Don’t want patients to see your personal profile? Create a professional profile, and keep them separate.)

THANK YOUs: Take pictures of all the holiday cards you receive in the office, and even at home if you like, and post them to your dental office’s Facebook and Pinterest pages with a note of thanks to the sender.

STORIES: Between you and your staff, you’re sure to have a few uplifting or funny patient stories each week. Without using patients’ real names, post the short vignettes to Facebook and/or your blog. Keeping your social media profiles up to date with interesting posts, including pictures, will accomplish two things. One, it will help the page’s SEO. Two, it will keep your name (brand) in front of your followers, which is important for patient retention.

To discuss your holiday marketing strategy and learn more about blogging and social media marketing, call Identiwrite Creative at 940-395-5115. We help dental practices by composing and publishing ghostwritten blogs, webpages, social media posts, and newsletters. So if you don’t have time to manage your marketing, we’re here to do the work for you.