It is no surprise to anyone that frequents the internet that Facebook wants to dominate every part of social media. The New York Times just broke a story about Facebook’s next step, Facebook Deals. Facebook began to Beta test its new deals platform in five cities: Austin, Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.
This puts Facebook directly in the local daily deals industry and now is in direct competition with Groupon, LivingSocial and the many other newly found Daily Deal Sites. The cool part about Facebook Deals is it will now appear in persons email in boxes as well as in users’ news feeds directly inside Facebook. A significant advantage over the other deal sites!
Dental Marketing Advantage
Facebook’s giant leap into the very competitive daily deal space solidifies the fact that the industry is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Dental Practices must plan accordingly to maximize the benefits from local deal websites. As a Dentist, you should consider these deals as a marketing and lead generation expense since most will make little or no money from transactions. But these deals are not about making money on the front end. If you know your average new patient value, if you don’t know the “right” way to calculate this email me please 🙂 , and know what that dollar amount is, then you can really start using these daily deal sites for new patient generation. The best part of all of this is that someone may not act on the “deal” that they see but will instead just Google you or pick up the phone to schedule other services that the deal didn’t include. I currently have a lot of clients that use Google coupons/offers in the very same manner. They create their own deal online and make it accessible to everyone, including their patient base.
Thinking of local deals as a marketing tool will shift your thought process away from spending or losing money on daily deal and into a way to market for new patients. If you participate in a local deal, determine how to track what percent of patients are new to your practice. Also make sure to plan followup strategies such as emails, phone calls from staff, direct mail as a way to continue to communicate and market to the new patients and get them to return for other promotions or offers in the future.
Let me know in the comment section below what you think of Facebook’s jumping in the ring with Groupon.
Who will win??