Business tips from Facebook’s granddad
DDS. About 20 percent of his new patients
learn about the practice through Facebook.
Zuckerberg says the value of gaining a
new patient who is a friend of a satisfied
patient cannot be overstated. “I don’t need
to sell them” on the dental practice, he
says. “Their friend has already sold them
By Andrea Downing Peck
WHO BETTER TO be an early adopter of
Facebook than Dr. Edward Zuckerberg,
father of the Father of Facebook? However,
the elder Zuckerberg was leading-edge long
before the advent of social media. He has
been setting a standard for high-tech dentistry in his Dobbs Ferry, New York, practice
for nearly 30 years.
Today, the father of
Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg teaches other
dentists how to use the
social media networking
site to promote their practices, but his advice also
resonates with architects,
tax accountants, lawyers
and other professionals
who need to replace old-school advertising
methods with 21st-century marketing.
Zuckerberg says small-business professionals first must recognize that smartphones
and the Internet age are making advertising in
a telephone directory obsolete.
“The average person is not looking for a
business in traditional ways,” explains the
58-year-old Costco member. “People who are
looking for services, be it a dentist, a lawyer,
an appliance store, anything, are not going to
the Yellow Pages.”
Zuckerberg eliminated all phone direc-
tory advertising for his dental practice this
year, trading it in for “a ton of social media
advertising.” In the process, he sliced his
advertising spending from roughly $10,000 a
year to about $2,400.
Likeable Media ( www.likeable.com) CEO
Dave Kerpen, whose Facebook marketing
solution for small business, Likeable Local, is
expanding in 2013 to include physicians, vet-
erinarians, lawyers, accountants and other
professionals, describes Facebook business
pages as the “world’s biggest cocktail party.”
“Word-of-mouth marketing always has
been the best form of marketing for profes-
sionals,” says Kerpen, a Costco member.
“Today people don’t have time to chat in town
squares and they have less time to chat at
cocktail parties. Now the world’s biggest cock-
tail party is social media and Facebook.”
Don’t be shy
While Facebook business pages are free,
it does take know-how to attract subscribers
who must “like” your page in order to become
a fan of the business. Zuckerberg says businesses should not be shy about soliciting fans.
Signs posted in Zuckerberg’s dental office
request that patients “like us” on Facebook,
and his staff routinely asks patients to become
fans. In addition, every piece of mail leaving
Zuckerberg’s office lists his website and
Facebook page addresses.
Zuckerberg, who collaborates with
Likeable Dentists, created his Facebook business page in 2008 and now has more than
3,000 fans. He says businesses need to provide
their Facebook fans with valuable information and special offers to create ongoing interest. His page typically includes breaking
medical and oral health news, dental-related
facts and humor, and updates about the high-tech dental services he provides.
He says Facebook’s advantage over traditional marketing is that the networking site
provides “trusted referrals.” His Facebook
advertising targets “friends of connections,”
meaning the ads run on Facebook pages of
people whose friends have “liked” his dental
practice on Facebook. When these potential
new patients see the ad, they also view a
“thumbs up” logo that lists their friend as
someone who “likes” Edward Zuckerberg,
Long-time tech fan
Not surprisingly, Zuckerberg’s
interest in social media and technology
has deep roots. He was among the first
dentists to computerize his office, adding an IBM system in 1984, the year
Mark was born. Since then, he has
remained a pioneer, wiring his home
office and practice for networking in
1995 and being an early adopter of new
While Zuckerberg has accounts on
LinkedIn as well as Twitter, he remains partial
to Facebook’s marketing reach.
“I chose Facebook not only because it is
my son’s company,” he says. “If you look at the
sheer numbers, they are approaching 1 billion
users on Facebook and only 100 million users
Twitter’s popularity with celebrities also
makes the platform less appealing to
Zuckerberg, whose goal is to use social media
to enhance his relationship with patients.
Despite his ties to Facebook’s famous CEO,
Zuckerberg says no one is clamoring to know
the minute details of his life.
“I don’t think the people in my network
look up to the lifestyle I have or that I am
doing so much stuff they need to know when
I brush my teeth,” he says with a laugh. C
Andrea Downing Peck is a freelance writer
from Bainbridge Island, Washington.
IF YOU ARE a professional or other small-business owner who wants to build a
presence on Facebook, Likeable Media
CEO Dave Kerpen offers these tips:
; Post personal photos to help build
relationships with your customers.
; Ask questions on your Facebook
page to generate discussions.
; Get your current customers to “like”
you on Facebook before targeting subscribers who are new to your business.
; As you build traffic to your page, use
“friends of connections” ads that contain
built-in testimonials to generate “likes.”
; Think like a customer, not a
Tips for promoting your
business on Facebook