Many dentists will see this title and immediately think, “Snapchat isn’t for me.” Or they may ask, “What is Snapchat anyway?” If you are in this category you should ask yourself this question: “Have I ever wasted money by sponsoring an event in return for some signage that provided very little return on investment?” Sponsored signage, billboards, and commercials are a dying medium because they don’t add value to an event’s, person’s or patient’s experience. In fact, they can even disrupt the experience because they attract consumers’ attention with messaging that isn’t targeted and delivered at the wrong time. On top of that, your signage is being served surrounded by other ads and sponsored announcements.You may also want to ask yourself: “Are there other ways to increase referrals beyond word-of-mouth?” If you are idly waiting for referrals to come in without actually doing anything, you’ll likely end up disappointed. Gaining more referrals doesn’t have to mean more work for you or your team, though. Enter, Snapchat.
How Can Your Practice Use Snapchat?
To Enhance an Event:
In the past, orthodontists may have preferred to sponsor a team or host a pricey event to engage with teens in need of braces. With Snapchat, orthodontists can now engage with potential patients as well as enhance the event experience with a relevant sponsored Snapchat filter. Patients can take a picture using the Snapchat app and slide their finger across the screen to add a custom filter that may include your practice’s logo or a special message. GeoFilters allow you to target schools nearby during certain hours or during sporting events or concerts, and the costs can be under $20. It’s not just for kids; if you are looking to build awareness with an older demographic, you can target different businesses and corporations, too.
To Increase Referrals:
Another way to use Snapchat is to create a branded GeoFilter that patients can use in your office (think dental chair selfies). You can do this by limiting filter access to those specifically in your office, and it costs only about $5 an hour. This tactic takes referral marketing to an entirely new level by advertising your practice to your patients’ entire Snapchat network, as opposed to just one or two friends via word-of-mouth.
Why is Snapchat the Biggest Opportunity at the Moment? Isn’t it just for Millennials?
All future patients, not just millennials, demand authenticity in advertising, and Snapchat provides exactly that by allowing businesses to enhance a user’s social experience. But are Snapchat users really a good target market? Currently, over 20% of Snapchat users are over the age of 40. Traditional marketers will continue to say, “That’s only for millennials,” and it’s time to put a stop to this archaic proclamation.
Guess what? Millennials are turning 36, they love to spend their money, and their purchase power is growing at an exponential rate. According to Forbes, millennials are also trendsetters and they highly influence baby boomers. We can use mistakes used throughout Facebook’s history as an example. A few years ago, businesses with older customers avoided Facebook and were left in the dust as the fastest growing demographic for the platform quickly became 40+ year olds. Businesses were rewarded for being first-movers in Facebook because they were able to dominate the advertising environment with little competition. You can bet on Snapchat following in Facebook’s footsteps and redoing their pricing model once more businesses get involved.
Snapchat is on the verge of being the next big thing for marketing and it can open a window into a whole new way of targeting your ideal patients.