The Power of Social Media in Dental Marketing with Jordan Agolli

In this episode of the “How I Grew My Practice” podcast presented by NexHealth, our host Alec Goldman sits down with Jordan Agolli, founder of Force Media, to discuss the power of social media in dental marketing.

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Alec Goldman: Welcome to how I grew my practice, a 15-minute podcast sponsored by NexHealth.
I'm Alec Goldman. I lead content here in NexHealth, being joined today by Jordan Agolli, founder of Force Media. Jordan, welcome to the podcast.
Jordan Agolli: It's a beautiful day in Atlanta. I'm happy to be here. Right on.
Alec Goldman: Jordan, just before jumping into all of the content around what we're going to be talking about today, the power of social media and dental marketing. Would love for you to just quickly introduce yourself, and tell us a bit about what you got going on in Atlanta at Force Media.
Jordan Agolli: Yeah, well, again, thanks for having me, man. My name is Jordan Agolli, founder of Force Media. We are seven years old now. It's crazy to think about the growth over the last seven years. And we're a full-service marketing and video production agency. So we work with businesses of all types. We started in the healthcare industry seven years ago and have expanded since.
But we help B2C businesses produce powerful video content. We develop comprehensive marketing campaigns and then help our clients convert new leads into lifelong customers.
So depending on who I'm talking to, I'll ask them, do you have social media? Yes. Have you ever got an ad on social media?  We make those ads.
And so business owners, I say, hey, we find your target market. We get you those leads. We help you convert those leads to lifelong customers. So we do that, and then we have a full service video production department that can pretty much handle anything from short ads to documentaries, which we're working on a surgery documentary right now. So everything in between.
Alec Goldman: The first question that I got is, how have you seen across those seven years, how has social media transformed dental marketing?
Jordan Agolli:  I think it's pulled back the curtain on what it's like being a patient at a practice. If you think about this, when did Google my business and Google Ads come up? Early 2000s. I'm born in 1994, so I only had a little bit of experience pre-Internet.
But as a teenager and young adult, I've got to see pretty much every social media come online and see the impact that it's had on our society. I ran my first Facebook ad when I was 15 years old for my pressure washing and painting business, which the painting was a massive failure. Pressure washing did pretty well, but that really opened my eyes to the Internet.
And then I started a podcast when I was 19, and I grew my podcast through Facebook ads. And then I learned about Google Ads. And then I learned about Google my business.
And man, I think it's the new way to communicate with people. It's the new billboard, which, by the way, I'm not saying billboards don't work, but it's hard to track that. It's just an incredible tool to put yourself out there, communicate with people that didn't know you otherwise, and really track your data properly.
Whereas before, if you were using a general marketing mix of radio and flyers and print and billboards, which by the way, I still think have their place just a little bit harder to track.
Alec Goldman: We hear this from lots of customers, but what are some of the common mistakes that dental practices are making when using trying social media and marketing? And what're some of your advice on how those mistakes can be avoided? 
Jordan Agolli: I think the first mistake people make is they're just not on it. They just don't use it for whatever reason. And listen, I get it to all the business owners out there, the dentists that have their own practice, I understand how hard it is to run a business, but not liking something or not wanting to do it or understand it is not a justifiable reason to not have it at your company.
So I think the first mistake people have is they just don't do it or they're not willing to step outside their comfort zone and try something. For the other group of people that have tried it but maybe aren't seeing success, that's okay. You're not supposed to be great at everything.
Two quick things that come to mind are I think one of the things I see is they post stock graphics. I cannot tell you how many stock videos and images I have seen.
I bet if I went on canva and I typed in dental tip, dental topic and I get it, if you're just trying to do something new, that's a good start. But make it personable. Make it about your practice. Listen, people, they don't really care how you're going to do their filling. They want to know how you're going to treat them while they get that filling.
What's the experience that they're going to have? That dental office, if I type in a dentist office near me right now, I mean, probably 50 will come up near me. What makes your practice different? What's the experience that the patient is going to have? I get it. Technically, people might approach a feeling differently, a crown differently, you're cleaning differently. I understand that patients don't care. They don't care what tools you're using, or what's the latest and greatest tech. Maybe some of them will. But for the majority, what's their wait time going to be, what's the experience going to be, how's the staff going to treat them, how's the billing process, the wait time, things like that.
So really show people behind the scenes of what it's like working with your practice. Just got a silly slack notification that can happen here. Yeah, the stock imagery is stuff that you see from practice to practice. And again, the most important thing that we find with successful dentists that are doing a great job on social media is really about making understanding that they are their brand, and their team is the thing that is ultimately being served.
When you ask dentists the difference that they are providing to the market, to many patients, it really is what their default answer is. It's their team. So showing that in social media.
Alec Goldman: In your experience, what are some of the most effective social media platforms for dental marketing, and why those specific platforms? 
Number one is Google My Business without a question, which a lot of times people don't think about as a social media platform because they just see it as Google a Google search. Without a doubt, when people search for dentists near me, or they search your practice, that's going to come up. You better have five-star reviews on that page, be posting on the page, have your hours updated, and have every bit of information.
Man, we can do a whole podcast on just Google My Business, which people think it's funny because it's not something that you actually spend money on, but it can really make or break your online presence.
So, number one, google my business. Again, we could do another topic on that, but have everything in order. Have photos, have videos, and make posts that you're putting on all the other social platforms on Google My Business.
Second would for sure be Google Ads. Now, depending on the market and area that you live in, it can be competitive and it can be expensive. But if you create the proper strategy, you will see an incredible return on your investment.  Just strongly recommend Google Ads.
A third after that would be Facebook. And when I say Facebook, I know they rebranded the Meta, so it encompasses Facebook and Instagram. I'm specifically talking about Facebook first, actually, if someone said, hey, Jordan, would you spend give you $1,000, which one would you put it to, Facebook or Instagram? I would go Facebook and Instagram ads. And then finally, last, I would list TikTok at the end.
Alec Goldman: Can you give us a little bit more light on why perhaps a Facebook over Instagram?
Jordan Agolli: It comes down to who is spending the money, who is signing the check. I think views and awareness are great, but those don't pay your lease bills. Those don't pay your payroll bills, for example. And I think this will change over time. But the average consumers on Facebook that are looking and watching ads are adults with children. If you've ever heard from teenagers, Facebook is dead. Facebook firstly, it's not it's not dying. I understand TikTok has really taken over and there's a place for that. But I think that actually will take more work to have a better presence on TikTok.
And when I say Facebook, I'm specifically referring to Facebook ads where you can go out and target your exact demographic. So hey, if we know that 35 to 55 year old women that have children are our demographic, go after that. Target them on Facebook. They're on Facebook.
That's what I'd recommend is just the results that we've seen men beat it time and time again  Now, quick caveat to that, I think you're going to have higher quality leads through Google ads because that's intent that they're searching for. That dentist near me, the best dentist in Atlanta. But it's 1000% going to cost more. And if you've got the money to spend, spend it. If you don't have the money to spend, I think you can get great leads on Facebook for a lower quality, but you might have more not high-quality leads coming through Facebook. 
So maybe in your form you require a little more information for them to fill out to get rid of those crappy leads. But that's definitely why I recommend I think Instagram is still great, but you might see that more for fashion, for food, for jewelry, a lot of ecommerce products, but for dental, Facebook is still super powerful. Thanks.
Alec Goldman: What are some examples of front end versus back end social media marketing?
Jordan Agolli: This is one of my favorite questions, man, we made a whole blog post about this in a couple of videos. Front end is I go on my page or personal profile, I post a video, I post a picture. Hey guys, I was on the podcast with Alec today. Check this out.
Back end social media is the ads that you're running. So if you got 1000 people that follow you and you make a post, that's your organic audience seeing your post, the back end post, people that follow you may never see that ad if they're not in your target demographic.
So back end is, hey, I know that I want to target 40 to 55 year old men and women that live in this radius that are at this specific income level. That's how you use back end social media. Whereas front end is, hey, this is my message and I'm portraying it to the world. The front end is important. It shows your followers that you're still active and it shows anybody that goes to your page that they're active.
Whereas the back end is you're going after a cold audience of people to make your brand aware of them. You can't get more customers if new people are not aware of you, right?
Alec Goldman: How can social media, just specifically more so for perhaps some dentists and practices who are not really using social media today? How can social media be used to target specific patient demographics, younger, older, or those even with specific dental needs?
Jordan Agolli: Great question. I'll give you a real life example, as if we're making a strategy for a dental practice right now. Let's say someone has 10 hours in a week. Okay, you're paying someone part time, a marketing expert, something like that. I would say do one to two organic posts a week. It could be a quick video of the office. It could be a highlight of a staff member. It could be a special something like that. Very simple.
Call it one to 2 hours. I'd spend the next 8 hours creating and running ads for that practice. Look at the data of the practice. Hey, who are our target customers? And then start creating ads, going after those target customers. And then just split test, split test, split test. Okay. We had this graphic with this copy to this group of people. It didn't really generate anything.
Let's go to the next one. Just keep trying until you find that really that golden goose that's going to create a good return on investment for you. But man, with Google and Facebook, you can target by gender, you can target by age, you can target by location, and then you can target by a variety of different interests. So that's where I'd recommend people are spending their time and energy a little bit on the organic side.
Let's call it 80 20. 80% of the back end targeted ads, 20% on the front end organic posting. And a quick example, if you go on Force Media's page and our Instagram page, we're not crazy active. We might make a couple of posts, two to four posts a month because we're busy running ads for ourselves and for our clients. And it proves dividends time and time again.
Alec Goldman: Speaking of examples, I guess can you just give us and share some examples of customers that you've worked with running dental marketing campaigns that have really done a great job of using social media? 
Jordan Agolli: Yeah, the one that comes to my mind that has worked for years is we're also a video production agency. So we went into this dental practice and we created a brand video for them. We interviewed the doctor, we interviewed the staff, and we interviewed patients, and we put together about a three, three and a half minute video that shows you exactly what you can expect as a patient, how you're going to be treated, their approach. You get to see the doctor, you get to see the staff.
You literally feel and these are not my words. People commented this on the ad. I feel like I was at this office. I feel like I know these people. First of all, no one likes the dentist. I still have anxiety of the dentist from trauma I had as a little kid, and it's honestly never gone away. But if I trust my dentist that I work with and I know that they're going to take care of me. So we made about a three to three and a half minute brand video.
And we ran ads towards we've been running ads towards that for years. You start to just a cold audience of people. And I'm really going to give you guys the secrets here. The title of the headline is very simple. I want to be your dentist.
It's not free teeth whitening. It's not the best dentist in Atlanta. I want to be your dentist. I've split tested so many headlines and campaigns without a doubt that one beats every single time and time again. Why? Let's go back to our previous conversation. It makes it personable. You're no longer just a picture of a dentist on a screen. You're an individual. And then I take a first-person approach to the ad copywriting and I write as if the dentist is the one writing the ad. Hello, Atlanta. And one more quick tip for the viewers out there. You cannot address anybody directly. So you can't say in the ad copy, we're going to help your teeth.
Because the way that Facebook runs ads is you cannot make an inference to someone's physical attributions directly. So for example, instead of saying I invite you to come to our office, say we invite our community. I just saved you guys a ton of disapproved ads from Facebook. I've been through this for years. And yeah, man, we just did a pretty general targeted audience. I want to be your dentist. Write the long ad copy. Really tell that story.
When I started my practice in 2004, my vision and goal was blank, blank, blank, pull on their heartstrings, run a cold audience traffic ad to just put people out there and then you're going to send them to either a landing page or a Facebook form to gather their name, email, phone number and information.
And then for people that clicked on the ad but didn't submit, hit them with a retargeting ad. And again, that's getting more into the marketing data side of things. But that's it, man. I mean, that's an example of an ad that has produced anywhere from ten to 20 new patients a month for years, and they work very well. And then we have shorter ads out of that patient testimonials informational videos, but nothing has beat the brand video.
Alec Goldman: That's such great tangible advice. Jordan final question that we have today is really just more advice from you. But what advice would you give to dental practices who are just starting right.
Jordan Agolli: Obviously, the biggest barrier to entry is just getting going. But what advice would you give to those who are just starting to thinking about social media as a way to grow their practice?
I'm not just saying this because I have a marketing agency. I think people have to get help. They need to hire help Unless, and I know one guy comes to mind that is a marketer and a dentist at the same time.
He lives and breathes this stuff, but he did that before he came a dentist. He liked it. So unless you know, like, I want to be a marketer for my business. Just hire someone. It could be someone part time. It doesn't have to be an agency. Again, it all comes down to your budget. I don't want anyone to break the bank or to go in debt, but, man, nine out of ten people, I think, need to hire a consultant, an agency, a part time person that they can train, because I don't actually think that's the dentist's best use of time. If I were to, say, 10 hours a week, maybe you spend a little bit of time with them.
But I would just strongly recommend you hire a professional, because otherwise you're going to become a Facebook ads person, a Google Ads person, and you're going to lose focus on what's actually bringing you in. The revenue, which is servicing your patients. You'd be spread too thin.
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1. How has social media transformed dental marketing?

Social media has revolutionized the way patients view dental practices. Social media has provided a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like being a patient at a dental practice, making it easier for potential patients to understand what to expect when they come to a dental office.

Jordan Agolli, CEO and Founder of Force Media, sees social media as a new way to communicate with people, as well as a new type of billboard. He emphasizes that social media is more effective than traditional marketing methods like billboards, flyers, and print because it offers a more efficient way to reach potential patients and track data.

2. What are some dental social media marketing mistakes to avoid

The first mistake is not being on social media, as some dentists are not willing to step out of their comfort zone to try something new. For those who have tried it but are not seeing success, Jordan Agolli advises against posting stock graphics and videos and instead recommends making content personal and about the practice.

Showing behind-the-scenes content and highlighting the patient experience help, such as wait time, staff treatment, and billing processes, to differentiate the practice from others. Successful dentists on social media understand that they are their brand, and their team is the ultimate thing being served.

3. What are the most effective social media platforms for dental marketing?

  • Google My Business: it comes up when people search for dentists and can make or break an online presence. He advises having five-star reviews, up-to-date hours, and all necessary information on the page, including photos and videos, and making posts regularly.
  • Google Ads: can be competitive and expensive depending on the area, but can also provide a significant return on investment with the proper strategy.
  • Facebook and Instagram: Facebook can be more effective than Instagram for advertising because the average consumers on Facebook watching ads are adults with children, who are the target demographic for dental services. Facebook ads allow for specific targeting of this demographic, which can lead to better quality leads. In contrast, Instagram is better suited for e-commerce products.

4. What are some examples of front end versus back end social media marketing?

  • Front end social media marketing: organic posting on personal profiles or pages, important for maintaining an active presence and engaging with existing followers
  • Back end social media marketing: involves running targeted ads to specific demographic, crucial for reaching new audiences and increasing brand awareness

5. How can social media can be used to target specific patient demographics for dental practices?

Jordan suggests spending 80% of the time on creating and running ads for the practice and the remaining 20% on making organic posts. Consider creating one to two organic posts per week, which could be a quick video of the office or a highlight of a staff member.

He also emphasizes the importance of targeting ads based on data such as gender, age, location, and interests, and split testing to find the best approach. Jordan gives an example of Force Media's approach, which is not too active on social media but invests more time in running ads for itself and clients, proving to be a successful strategy.

6. What are some examples of successful dental marketing campaigns?

Jordan Agolli gave an example of a dental practice that has successfully used social media to attract new patients. The practice had a three minute brand video that showed patients what they could expect from the practice and it included interviews with the doctor, staff, and patients, and it made the practice feel more personable and trustworthy.

To advertise the video, the practice ran ads targeting a cold audience with a headline that was simple and personable: "I want to be your dentist." Jordan explained that this type of headline makes the ad more personable, and the ad copy should be written as if the dentist is the one writing the ad, using a first-person approach.

They also used a landing page or Facebook form to gather potential patients' contact information, such as their name, email, and phone number. For those who clicked on the ad but didn't submit their information, they used retargeting ads to follow up.

Overall, this dental practice's social media campaign was successful in attracting ten to 20 new patients a month for years, with the brand video being the most effective ad.

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