Word-of-mouth advertising may have once been very literal: words spoken by a satisfied customer to a friend. But today, many more of our interactions with others occur digitally, and that recommendation that might have been shared over a cup of coffee or on the sidelines of the local soccer field is now just as likely to occur on a small screen.
More than 80 percent of consumers say they rely on social media ratings and recommendations when making a purchase decision (Source), and the trend applies across nearly all industries, from tourism and dining to B2B services and healthcare. One way to maximize the changing landscape is to encourage your current customers to add their experiences to your social media page.
On Facebook, it can easily start by simply asking them to “check in”—use a small sign or note by the front desk or cash register, a reminder on the menu at a restaurant or coffee shop, and prompts in email communication or text updates about appointments.
As long as your Facebook page is set up as a “local business,” your visitors should be able to “check in” at your business, with that action appearing in the news feeds of their friends. And once they check in, they will receive an automatic request from Facebook to complete a review.
Other ways to encourage check-ins, depending on the type of business, include holding prize drawings on a weekly or monthly basis for those who do, or offering a photo backdrop where they can take a selfie and tag your page or check in with the photo.
You can also ask specifically for them to write a review, whether it is by including a link in a follow-up email or offering a discount to customers who write reviews.
When you do get reviews on your social media pages (or on other platforms such as TripAdvisor and Google, which you should monitor regularly), respond! Thank customers for positive reviews and for constructive feedback that can help you improve.
In a time when more than 90 percent of patients are willing to consider changing providers if they are not completely satisfied, and 50 percent seek information about specific providers on social media, it just makes sense for dentists, orthodontists, family practice physicians and others in the healthcare field to make the most of the word-of-mouth marketing opportunities within social media and encourage their satisfied patients to share their positive experiences with their online network of friends. Learn more about how having a strong, active Facebook page can be a boost for local healthcare providers in this quick to read ebook: 6 Ways Facebook Benefits Healthcare Providers.