Connecting with Social Media
One of the key components of being an effective dentist is providing patients with the best dental care possible and providing the newest techniques possible subject to your budgetary constraints and your patients.
How does Social Media enable you to do this?
Social Media is where you are right now, a magazine in your hand or online is a form of social media. Facebook and Twitter are famous versions of Social Media as is MySpace and Blogger.
Does Social Media make you a better dentist?
They don't but what they do is enable you to connect with likeminded people from all over the world and learn about their experiences and what's happening where they are in the world. This is where Social Media benefits you and your patients.
I have been active in Social Media for about 9 months now and having attracted over 3500+ members to my Facebook page it has opened up enormous opportunities for me as a dentist, for example you are reading this column because Guident is a Facebook friend who wanted a European Dentists perspective on what is happening here in Europe. This has encouraged me to really look around at what is happening on the dental scene here in Europe and through this motivation I have been able to tap into new trends and new products for my patients prior to them arriving en masse in my market here in Romania.
For example through Facebook I have been given the opportunity to use a great product from Scheutz Dental of Germany, the product is called Temdent, which is a temporary crown mixture which enables me to make crowns for patients while they are in the chair and not have to wait for a temporary crown from the lab. Scheutz are also giving me samples of new products they are releasing in Europe to try and report on and I have also been featured on the Scheutz Dental website which helps raise my professional dental profile and my patients see that I am looking out for their best interests.
Dental product suppliers want to talk to dentists and Social Media enables them to talk to you more directly and also in times that suit you. They want your opinion and your views on their products and what else you think would be good for your patients.
Next week I will be receiving free samples of the DDMirror the newest innovation in dental hand mirrors which I am really excited about as this is probably the first advancement in this field of dental products in 50 years.
Social Media puts me in touch with these kinds of people and this enables me to acquire products for my patients before other dentists see them or hear about them and this keeps me as a dentist ahead of the curve.
What are other dentists and dental practices doing?
Different information from lots of different sources is the life blood of any dentist that wants to make his or her practice stand out. Using Social Media you can see what other dentists are doing in other countries. Have they developed a new way to attract patients? Does it work? Can you adapt it to fit your business model in your country? This is where Social Media enables you to see what is happening, what has been tried, whats successful and what is not.
Has Social Media helped me Dr Luana O'Connor of Happydental?
In short, YES!!!!!!!!!!!
It has helped me increase my business and increase my dental income. Prior to my entering into Social Media we had a good business. In the last 9 months we have added, a new dental practice, 3 new dentists, new dental nurse, dental sales manager and we now see how we can attract more patients to our dental practices. I have a new dentist starting in 2011 in our second practice and now we are looking for more dentists to join our city practice.
Social Media is to be taken seriously and you must also contribute to the information that is out there letting people know what you are doing, what you have tried and what has succeeded and what has failed.