I have mentioned Casey Neistat and his interesting YouTube channel in the past. A year on, he has 5,902,950 subscribers which is a rather impressive following! Last week he announced that he would be ending the daily vlogs that documented his life and will now be focusing on a new project. This was obviously big news and dominated social media for a few hours.
Casey has always been consistent in always striving forward and taking on new projects. He often talked on his blogs about being fiercely ambitious.
On the back of his “retirement” from YouTube, on Monday it was announced that CNN would be buying the social media platform owned by Neistat called Beme and the 11 person team that run the app for a reported $25 million. But the really intriguing part is that CNN plan to shut down the app and allow Casey to create a new project to attract his 6 million followers to this new media company. Neistat will have full creative control, that lets the audience share “timely and topical videos” and start conversations around current events.
“Casey has tapped into nearly six million really powerful viewers, most of which do not tune into CNN,” Andrew Morse, global head of CNN Digital, told NYT. “To build this audience authentically, we believe we need to build something new.”
Casey will attempt to build engagement around news topics.
“It’s going to be very different from Beme and bigger than a single product,” Neistat told The Verge in a phone interview.
“There is a tremendous distrust between the audience that watches my content online and the information that is put out by traditional media. Our broad ambition is to figure out a way with tech and media to bridge the gigantic divide.”
Along with his own video projects, Neistat wants to find more opportunities to help his audience learn more about the world and how they can help make it a better place. He's already done this to some extent in the past, such as in 2013 when he used the $25,000 budget from 20th Century Fox to help with typhoon relief in the Philippines. He also wants to come up with a way to help the next generation of content creators use technology and find their voice.
So why am I writing a blog on this?
Younger generations do not believe everything in the mainstream media as past generations certainly did and so what intrigues me about this latest move from Casey is how will he present news / stories in a way that engages people and gets them interacting with the latest news from around the world.
Video is proving a very popular medium, as the number of subscribers to Casey’s vlogs demonstrate but I certainly can’t wait to see how he will take the opportunity of working in a big mainstream media organisation and put his unique spin and perspective on things. As a major cable TV news channel, CNN is likely trying to formulate content in a way that speaks to younger, more cynical audiences and based on his previous form of effortlessly appealing to his viewers, Neistat seems the perfect man to reach the younger audience.
I am looking forward to seeing how this devolops and if Casey can truly produce something different that influences and engages his followers.
Below I have included one of his famous YouTube productions. Looks like fun to me :)
His Youtube channel can be found here.
Social media is now part of all businesses marketing efforts but below you will find 4 reasons why using an online community as part of your marketing plan can also be extremely valuable.
Likes don’t automatically translate to more sales, so when using social media for your business you need to start measuring engagement - how often your audience is interacting with posted content and of course each other through your channel.
With Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin you are faced with a number of challenges, how do you get more visits to your page? Once they do visit, will users engage with a status update, or discuss content you have posted.
Online communities on the other hand, don't have an identity problem. Online communities are organised around clear defined goals and values. Imagine what an established online niche community offers to the business trying to reach a clearly defined audience. By engaging with a targeted community you are filtering out all the white noise and interacting directly.
So why can an online community be a valuable marketing tool for a business?
You are marketing your business to your actual target audience. Unlike social media, you know that the audience has interest in the content or message you are trying to get across.
When users use a community site, they are doing it for a particular reason, they are interested in the subject and want to learn or share information. There is no distraction of their favourite comedian or band also shouting for their attention. Reaching your audience in a targeted environment, means you can catch them when they are receptive to receiving your message.
Engaging on an online community can be risky but if you are seen to offer good service and advice, it will win you plenty of fans and impress the whole community. Communities dislike being sold to but they like being given good customer service and expertise.
Being seen to interact with a community that contains your potential customers is extremely important, online communities are a form of social media so marketing your business within a community needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. Anywhere your potential customers engage, has to be seen as a potential medium to increase sales.
Thanks for reading, please let me know your thoughts or get in touch to discuss things further.
Thanks for reading as always, let me know your thoughts on this campaign and how it was received by your patients?
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When I qualified back in the early 1990’s, social media wasn’t exactly on the radar. The thought of being able to connect with a multitude of people instantly was the stuff of imagination. The Pub was our Facebook, and the only ‘likes’ we had were the various guest beers.
Now it’s such a part of our everyday lives that normal channels of communication are seemingly used in the minority. When you can connect with the entire world’s population from the comfort of your home, and carry on multiple conversations about multiple subjects simultaneously, the days of popping out for a beer and a chat with a mate seem numbered.
But what about the social etiquette, and more importantly the professional etiquette we employ when online? The GDC have standards that we should adhere too, and indeed GDPUk is actually specifically mentioned in them such is the impact social media has made on the profession. Specific specialist sites like GDPUk aren’t generally the issue, and whilst there are sometimes a few comments made that might get the GDC or lawyers a trifle interested, these sort of sites are generally appropriately populated and commented upon.
The problem are the wider platforms especially those such as Twitter and Facebook. Some users don’t seem to get the fact they are in no way whatsoever a place to remain private and anonymous despite what you might think.
Whilst the ‘more mature’ professionals seem to have the general hang of the way we should conduct ourselves, I worry that some of the younger members of the profession haven’t quite got the gist of what being a professional is yet and how they should present themselves in public to the public. Because no matter what steps they take, if they have a social and professional presence on media like that, they are well and truly exposed to public scrutiny.
There are a multitude of Facebook pages for Dental matters. Some are better than others, but all suffer from the same fundamental problem. They are not private. In order to use them you have some sort of visibility. For instance, if I wanted to discuss a case over a beer in the pub with a mate, I wouldn’t be doing it whilst posing in a mirror with oiled muscles. But that’s what communicating with some of the personas on social media is like. Some of the fairer sex seems to be somewhat less than modest in their attire on occasion, and one has to wonder if this is what the public expect of its professional classes. A couple of clicks and you generally have a range of private information about ‘friends’, particularly the more self-obsessed ones.
What about commenting into the perceived anonymity of an electronic device in such a way that you wouldn’t do in person? I’ve witnessed many an argument that would never happen in real life due to the social ethics the majority of us have; but once in the safety of the digital world the ‘keyboard warriors’ tend to lose all sense of propriety and the moral compass seems to have lost its direction. And then there are the artists of self-promotion who feel every other comment has to be some form of pseudo advert for a business venture, or course you can’t possibly miss. I’m becoming guilty of the last one as my Twitter account now is used almost solely for the promotion of this blog and GDPUk. You see, the boundaries of who you are as a person, and who you are as a professional are becoming so grey with social media like Facebook that it feels safe to make that sort of comment, and think there is no comeback.
Finally, there are the vast numbers of photos of patients and cases that we see bandied around social media. The GDC is very clear on this, in standard 4.2.3, where it states ‘You must not post any information or comments about patients on social networking or blogging sites’. Period. We can use ‘Professional Social Media’ but social networking sites are a no-no according to the exact wording. Personally, I think the GDC are possibly a little behind the times on this, as there are a good number of very good Facebook pages where some quite good discussions take place; however it remains to be seen if the GDC feels this is ‘professional social media’ when used in this way, as after all, they are the ones who get to decide….
The big problem though is that many people forget just what can happen to these comments and photos once they've been posted.
I’ve heard stories of people using screenshots of comments made on social media and then threatening to use them as evidence to send to the GDC. Screenshots can be shared outside the domain we think we are posting in, and as such can be disseminated far more than we might have considered when we posted. Unfortunately the self-righteous are rife on social media, and often mistake what is only free speech for something to get offended by, and take draconian steps.
I’ve seen the fallout when comments in a public section of a site then get even nastier privately; and I’ve seen wholesale bar-brawls break out in some places (although they’re usually involving musicians ? ). This is like taking a voice recorder or video camera to every meeting you have with a professional in case they say something that offends you so you have evidence and can report them. Since the GDC love nothing better than a good old Fitness to Practice case, we need to really be aware of what we put on social media, how we do it, and the persona we use on there. I think it is only a matter of time before there will be a full-blown case against a registrant involving some indiscretion or inappropriate comment on social media.
Now I’m no Luddite, prude, or some ‘holier than thou’ observer; as a forthright Yorkshireman I tend to say how it is and if you don’t like that then that’s your problem not mine. I’ve got patients as Facebook friends, and I tend to be exactly the same person online as I am in real life. I’m aware that anything I say there is something that I should be happy to share in a professional environment. I’m a real person and don’t have any airs and graces or chip on my shoulder that mean I think I’m some sort of superior being because I’m a dentist. But I can’t help thinking that some of the comments, personas, and attitudes we see as the public face of some of those in dentistry give the GDC every right to be concerned about the public perception of the profession, because if people can’t differentiate between a digital persona and a real one when they are posting then they really do deserve the attention of our regulator. The rationality and politeness filters seem to disappear from some of our profession when they get infant of some kind of keyboard. Couple all this with a competing bunch of the self-righteous, and the self-obsessed and we have a recipe for the profession to start imploding.
It certainly feels like it is one rule for the GDC and one for us where social media is concerned; the sheer fact you can ‘like’ the fact a colleague has been struck off, suspended etc, is not what I call professional. There’s also no associated comment when a colleague has been exonerated, like in the case of the Scottish dentist Keith Watson, who then attempted to take a vexatious patient with an apparent history of suing dentists, to court for defamation, which unfortunately he has had to abandon at great financial cost to himself.
But, this case shows there can be huge good come out of social media and its immediacy. In the space of less than 24 hours a fund had been created to support Dr Watson, a newly qualified member of our profession who would no doubt be financially challenged by a huge legal bill this early in his career.
http://www.gofundme.com/keithwatson Not only that, the messages of support for Keith have been flying around social media all day and latterly on GDPUK itself. When used appropriately then, we have a fantastic medium to help people.
We need to embrace social media as its here to stay; it can be hugely useful, and massively informative; but we must use it appropriately, and think about the consequences of our presence in the virtual world. That’s what it means to be a professional.
We all know that saying thank you is a great courtesy and makes the person who is receiving, feel much better don’t we. Well here’s a tip to make those two little words “Thank You” increase your website traffic too.
As I’ve said on many occasions before, there are two things you need to concentrate on with your website, (1) you need to maximise your website traffic. (2) you need to converts as much of that website traffic as possible into paying patients.
So here’s a little tip that will cost you absolutely nothing, it may endear you to your patients and you’ll get more traffic to your website and if your website has the right things on there when they land you’ll start to get more new patients too.
70% of the population now owns a smart phone, which is quite staggering, and just about every person who has a smart phone knows how to use an app. Additionally 50% of the population use Facebook for at least half hour per day every day.
So when you have done a great job for one of your patients and they say “thank you”, why don’t you ask them to put a link onto their Facebook page and just say thank you, it’s as simple as that.
They can even do this whilst you are with them on their Facebook app!
Let me elaborate on how powerful this little “thank you” can be to increase your website traffic. Let’s say you see fifty patients per day and one in five of them post this link to your website on their Facebook page.
The average person has 500 friends and likes on their Facebook account, this means that the link to your website could potentially be seen by 5,000 people every day.
Now I know that not everyone is going to do this for you, however much you try and persuade them. So we’ll scale this down (a lot). Let’s say that only 50 people per day get to see a link posted by one of your patients. This means that upwards of 1,000 people will see the link every month (12,000 per year).
Even if only 10% of them actually click through to your website, this means that 1,200 new patients will visit your site, simply because you asked your patients to say “thank you” on their Facebook page with a link to your site.
The best thing about this is that all this new website traffic is completely free, you’re not spending a penny on advertising anywhere.
But you also need to remember that you have the right wording, graphics, video etc. on your site to convert them from website traffic to paying patients and that is a whole different subject and incidentally even more important.
“An impression (in the context of online advertising) is a measure of the number of times an ad is seen. Clicking or not is not taken into account. Each time an ad displays it is counted as one impression.”
Over October 2014, banners on our site received over 1.6 million banner impressions. This meant our 20 advertisers (in October 2014) received an average of around 80,000 impressions each. Some advertisers in prominent positions on the site received more and others in less prominent positions received less.
We don’t believe there are many other places in the dental sector where within one month your brand, product or service can receive 80,000 views. If you advertise in a magazine or exhibit at a dental show, will your advert or stand be receiving 80,000 views?
We believe we are the prominent place for companies to reach their target audience. We can help you reach dentists. Over the last few years we have helped companies with all of the following. We would love to help you make the right impression in 2015;
Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to discuss how you can receive an average of 80,000 impressions in a month. In 2015 dentists will once again increase their usage of social media platforms (gdpuk being one of them, according to the GDC!). Can you afford to miss out? Speak to us today and we can help you make the impression you are looking for.
give him a call 0161 270 0453 or 07786571547
It wasn’t so long ago whenever you took to the high street or went to the supermarket that there was a nice lady or gentleman with a clip board who would ask you if you had a few minutes spare to answer a few questions was it?
It seemed that they were everywhere asking you questions on every subject from which biscuits you prefer to where you go on holiday or what car you drive etc. etc.
But now you barely ever see one of these people, because the smart corporations have started to use Social Media or more particularly Facebook for Research.
Using Facebook for research is not only a lot cheaper but it is much more accurate too. So what do you need to do to use Facebook for research in your dental practice?
Once you have a couple of hundred fans of your page you can start to see patterns. The best tool for this is the insight tool under people, which gives you just about every bit of information you can think of about the people who “like” your page.
You can see the split between gender, how many people fit into particular age groups, when people are online and looking at what you do, the information is invaluable to build your audience and communicate with them, Facebook for research purposes really has no rivals at all.
If you are thinking of launching some sort of promotion or launch a new product or service, you can test this out on Facebook before you invest your time and effort into it.
There are several aps you can run on Facebook that will let you run surveys. So for instance one of my clients was thinking of changing his opening hours and offering late opening or weekends. We ran a survey for him on Facebook and it turned out that most people didn’t actually want late evenings they wanted to come to the dentist before work e.g. early mornings.
You might think of going on a course for straightening or offer a new type of whitening, so run a survey with your likes and find out if there is a ready market waiting to take your new products or services.
But you don’t really have to go to the time and effort of running a survey if you don’t want to, simply ask your fans what they would like to have on your page.
Facebook is a very interactive medium and is ideal for simply asking your audience questions. So once you have decided that you are going to launch a particular service or you are going to make a special offer Facebook is also great for telling you how large your market is too.
First you create an advert for something like teeth whitening, you can then target it at exactly the audience you want and Facebook will tell you how many people fit that profile. Let’s say you are going to launch straightening and your Facebook research told you that the best age group for this would be 30-40 year olds.
You can specify that you want to just target this age group in your area and Facebook will tell you exactly how many people your advert will reach. As far as I know there is nothing that comes close to this type of market information and how this can give you laser focus with your advertising.
Blogging is now essential if you want to have a successful Social Media presence and at the same time get your dental practice website up the Google natural rankings, so first things first, what is a blog?
Well you are reading one now, this is my blog and I write one every week, for two reasons, the first is to communicate with my clients and potential clients, the second reason is that blogging is one of the best ways to keep your website on the first page of Google.
A blog is simply an article written by you, usually on your website, but you can have a separate blog area too if you don’t have this as part of your site. I would recommend to anyone that if you are thinking of building a new dental practice website or changing your existing one you must have the ability to write a blog.
I recently asked for a quote on behalf of one of my clients to have upgrade his website which currently doesn’t have the ability to start blogging. Both he and I were staggered when I was quoted £950.00 + VAT.
All websites should have a blog built into them, if you build a website in one of the two major “content management systems” e.g. WordPress or Joomla, this will be provided for you automatically. Don’t buy a website without either (a) a content management system or (b) a blog section. Incidentally all the websites we build have both as standard see my siteDental Website Design and Build.
So why is blogging so important? Let’s look at Social Media first. The two main Social Media sites you should have your practice on are of course Facebook and Twitter. Neither are really geared up for having lots of content in a single post, in fact Twitter limits you to 140 characters in total.
So if you are going to engage with your patients you have to link to something else, this is where blogging really comes into its own and this is how you do it. First you write your blog (remember a blog can be any size you want) on whatever special offer you are running or something interesting about the practice. You then create a post on either Facebook or Twitter and put a link back to your blog.
This does several things, firstly it takes the person who is reading your post back to your website which is ideally where you want them. Hopefully they will take advantage of your offer or maybe have a look around your website, either way this is what you want to achieve.
Secondly Google loves this type of traffic, so the more traffic you have coming to your site from Facebook and Twitter the higher Google will rank your site. This is the modern equivalent of “link building” but one that Google approves of and rewards you for doing it.
Blogging has another great positive effect on your website ranking. Google is encouraging everyone to update and create new content for your website. A blog is the single best and easiest way to do this. If you start to blog ideally once per week or once a month even once a quarter, your website rankings will improve.
So remember, if you are ordering a new website, insist it has the ability to blog (all ours do). Insist it has a content management system (all ours do). Start blogging and see your website rise up the rankings and your Social Media engagement soar.
I’m sure when you think of Facebook Advertising you probably think of having to post all the time and interact with your friends or the people who have liked your Facebook page, which by and large it is, but there is another way to manage Facebook Advertising.
As I mentioned in a recent blog, Facebook recently became a publicly listed company, which means that is now has to answer to its share holders, and they are interested in just two things (a) increasing their share value and/or (b) getting a regular dividend.
In order to satisfy this requirement, Facebook has suddenly become very business minded and they now offer a wide range of advertising opportunities for the likes of you and I and Facebook Advertising has become a very good and relatively cheap way to get your message out there.
To advertise on Facebook you have to have a Facebook page and of course be the administrator of it, but you don’t have to post regularly on it, the advert will do the job for you. Facebook Advertising works very similarly to Google PPC (per per click). This means that whenever someone clicks on your advert and is taken either to your website or to your Facebook page you are charged a fee.
Compared to Google this fee is very reasonable (usually about a quarter of the price), however it has to be said, it will never be as targeted as Google is simply because there is nothing that is as targeted as Google Adwords.
However if you are trying to reach a particular group of people with a particular profile, Facebook advertising (PPC) is very, very good.
With Facebook advertising you can not only decide which area you want to aim at e.g. your postcode but you can also target whether the person who sees your advert is female or male, what age group they are, what is their marital status (even if they are engaged). You can specify particular interests they may have.
So for instance you could run an advert that will only be shown to someone who is female, who is between 25 and 35, who is engaged, who likes dogs, who likes going on holiday etc. etc.
There are no other platforms that will let you get down to this level of detail for display advertising (Google is search advertising). You can set up a Facebook Advertising campaign for just a couple of pounds per day and so long as you get your targeting correct it will almost certainly pay for its self.
Facebook advertising is also the quickest way to get people to like your Facebook page and the best part is that you will only be getting likes from the people you are directly targeting, as opposed to buying likes from disreputable sources (don’t touch them).
The best thing about Facebook advertising is that you can send traffic from Social Media to your website with is where you ideally want people to go.
Around two years ago I wrote my first book called How Your Practice Can Survive The Recession, there is a section in it about Social Media, which I was somewhat dismissive of.
I have recently updated the book for several reasons but one of the most important reasons was that Social Media has now moved firmly into the mainstream of business and because of this, all dental practices need to take it very seriously.
My business now receives around 15% of all the enquiries I receive from either Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, this is a massive change from just twelve months ago. Thats quite staggering, a year ago I could count the number of leads from Social Media on one hand, all that has now changed
It is also a fact that 50% of the U.K population spends at least one hour per day on Facebook. This creates a huge opportunity for your business, both advertising and posting in in general.
I regularly speak with my clients about the opportunities of Social Media and whether or not they should be active in this area, the answer is always a resounding yes.
However there is a problem, in order to have a healthy Social Media presence means you have to be active pretty much every day, its no point trying to get people to “Like” your page if you never put anything on it, and the majority of practices don’t, for one simple reason they simply don’t have the time.
So whilst Facebook, Twitter, Google Circles and LinkedIn may be free to use, they take up a great deal of time and that is the one thing that the majority of dental practices simply don’t have.
So you could give the task to one of your employees, but are you sure that (a) they will post items that are suitable and (b) will they have the time to post on Facebook and Twitter too as well as doing all the other tasks they have to achieve.
So you have a dilemma, you know that you should be regularly communicating with your patients and potential patients via social media, but neither you or your staff have the time to do it!
That’s where my company can help. Until recently I simply told my clients that they should be posting regularly on social media, but didn’t have a solution to the problem of creating the time to do so.
I can now offer a service to any dental practice, or indeed any company involved in the dental profession, whereby we will post on social media sites at least two times per day, Monday to Friday, to find out more about this unique service, go to my website http://www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk/social-media-dentists/ and you will be able to watch a video where we tell you exactly what we can offer you in this area.
I don’t know of any other organisation that offers this social media service, I suspect we may well be a trail blazer in this area.
So don’t waste any more time visit http://www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk/social-media-dentists/
Food for thought from the Bank of England:
In the week where the UK dental industry was tied up at the NEC, the Chief Economist of the Bank of England gave a question and answer session to the world using the medium of Twitter. It appears he made a good job of it. Some commentators criticised the fact that the answers were standard PR fare, but others realised he did, in fact, release some crucial financial information.
Other companies in the world of high finance feel forced by their regulators to only release critical news via official channels. Twitter does not count as "official".
So did the Bank of England break its own and other regulator's rules? Newspapers were once new, as were radio and TV, the world realised these were tools of communication, and engaged with those media.
Let's turn to the consumer field, where large retail and customer facing companies use Twitter and other social media to enhance their customer service operations. They have teams of people, sometimes responding 24/7, to show that they are giving the best customer service and that they are listening. Ask a few people at Dental Showcase, I did, and they all have a story. "My train was cancelled, I had paid through the nose in advance, and I missed a very important meeting, what will the railway operator do about it?" Or " My heating is broken, we have a small baby, an engineer to fix our heating in seven days time is not good enough".
Do have a look in the social media - those two comments are only a small example of the complaints aired daily, and addressed to the relevant companies. In those cases Virgin Trains and British Gas did reply, and fixed the problems rapidly. The responding company hopes the complainant returns to the same social medium to say how great the service recovery was.
So, back to dentistry.
Dental practices and their teams do face the social media and partake, they take the risk that a complaint may be aired, but they know they must respond to this, and respond seriously.
However, some of the dental industry are scared of GDPUK, on whose website you are reading this blog. GDPUK gives dental professionals a platform to tell their colleagues [and only that limited group] when they have had great service, and that sort of comment is rewarded by a magnified, greater uptake of that service. I know this is a true fact.
As well as sharing all sorts of news, information, questions and experiences, some dental professionals use GDPUK to tell their colleagues when they feel they have had bad service. Sometimes the complaint is only about what is perceived as poor service. The effect of this can be magnified, in the world of the isolated dental professional, when two or three other fellow professionals appear and confirm they too have had the same less than perfect experience. This is the power of the internet in the modern world, we all know it allows us to rapidly compare prices, compare services, and read reviews. Surely the winning technique for the dental companies, and other small businesses the world over, is to monitor those media, and if a problem occurs, respond in that medium, and try your best to give the best service possible. This could be a winning formula and may lead to positive results, and positive feedback, which in turn will create more sales.
I am convinced the modern companies who adopt this approach will be the winners in the long term. Censorship cannot win, but open-ness will.
Blog image by Gord Fynes, @gordasm. With thanks.