Harnessing opportunities – ADI

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  Posted by: The Probe      7th March 2019

Social media has transformed the way that people interact, shop, discover new things and chronicle their lives. It’s an incredible tool that can be used for so much so dental professionals should explore the benefits that platforms such as

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can provide. Each of these apps/websites can be harnessed as effective tools that can help you market your practice, connect with likeminded individuals and feel part of a community.

Just keep tweeting 

Famed for being a platform where celebrities spout their thoughts, Twitter may initially not seem to hold much benefit for dental professionals – however, this is a common misjudgement. It’s unlikely that you will be able to encourage your patients to follow you on this particular platform unless you encourage them to tweet their experiences and tell them to tag you in this feedback, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t still be used to benefit you on a more social level.

Perhaps the best way to harness Twitter is to use it as a soapbox to express your thoughts and connect with other professionals in a more casual setting. Twitter has a huge usership with over 330 million individual accounts,[i]and dentists can connect with other professionals who share their interests and form friendships. It is also worth following any dental product companies or professional bodies, as these will often use Twitter to promote recent news and special offers.

The professional way to connect

Of course, if you really want to use social media to connect with other people in the industry, LinkedIn is an excellent choice. As LinkedIn almost acts as an online CV it is the perfect platform to highlight your skills, connect with professionals in the same sphere of industry and keep up to date with and even share your own ideas and tips about your profession.

LinkedIn is especially beneficial if you are looking for a new position or if you want to fill a vacancy on your staff. Networking amongst professionals is likely to point you in the right direction of any vacancies, and the website also allows others to view your credentials and for you to see those of prospective candidates easily.

Picture this

In recent years, Instagram has become the go-to app for people to find exciting visual content.  Therefore, Instagram is best used for showing the world your capabilities as a dental professional.

You’ll have likely seen the videos and pictures with thousands of likes and views showing how smiles can be transformed with whitening, veneers, and other cosmetic procedures. As it is highly visual, this is the sort of content that appeals to professionals and potential patients alike and therefore Instagram can be a great way to showcase these cases (of course, with patient approval) and may encourage people to seek out your skills if they are looking for similar results. It is important to ensure that these pictures have some personality though – it’s far easier for people to connect with pictures that have a story behind them than just simply a shot of retracted lips.

It’s also important to think about whether the images you want to post are appropriate as well as exciting. Mid-surgery images are likely to be very unappealing for the average Instagram user, but nice photos of your practice, fun photos of your team and before and after treatment photos are likely to draw attention.

The biggest online community

In many ways Facebook is the best social media route for dentists to follow. By creating a page for your practice you can easily market your services to those in nearby areas and keep existing patients updated on any offers you are currently running/changes to services.

Furthermore, Facebook is a great way to connect with colleagues across the globe as easily as clicking a button. As well as befriending people within the profession, there are also specific groups that cater to all interests available for you to join and these are the perfect forums to discuss your ideas, theories, favourite techniques, materials and more. Associations will often have dedicated Facebook groups that are a wonderful resource to use whenever you want to get feedback or ask advice as well as meet likeminded individuals.

For example, for those invested in dental implantology the Association of Dental Implantology has a dedicated membership group on Facebook that is constantly thriving with activity and makes a fantastic resource for professionals looking to be part of the community.

Choose what’s right for you

Depending on your practice size, the services you offer and your interests, not all of social media is going to be useful or appeal to you. In the end it’s important to embrace social media how you see fit. Don’t be afraid to try various approaches and explore new channels – only this way can you find out a way that social media works for you.

For information on the ADI and upcoming events, please visit www.adi.org.uk

 

 

[i]Statista. Leading Countries Based on number of Twitter Users as of October 2018. Link: https://www.statista.com/statistics/242606/number-of-active-twitter-users-in-selected-countries/ [Last accessed December 18].


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