Using social media to promote the oral health agenda
Social media can help promote the preventative message dental teams try to get across to patients. Melica Bastani explains how dental professionals can use it to their advantage.
In little more than a decade, the impact of social media has gone from strength to strength. From a form of entertainment to a fully integrated part of our daily routine.
This has caused a massive boom in the industry and has become its own direction for creating, developing and perusing careers linked to social media.
What’s this got to do with dentistry?
‘Influencers’ have become the new A-team; they increase their visibility, make themselves known amongst peers and draw people into the attraction that social media offers with endless hours of scrolling.
How is it that we can intertwine our industry with the likes of Instagram and Tiktok?
The proof is in the pudding. In order for dental professionals to make themselves more visible with their peers, colleagues and patients, it is important to demonstrate our knowledge and our work to the world.
Why do people share information?
Social studies show that the main reasons people find and share information includes wanting to provide valuable and entertaining content, to define themselves through social media and to get the word out about brands they like and support.
Those working in dentistry can use this to our advantage!
Dental care professionals are just as much of an online consumer as anyone else. We can use our knowledge to trigger a chain reaction of trend setting in oral health.
Patients you have that you feel make a difference (before and after photos) is a beaming example of this.
It allows patients to really see the work you showcase and see what you’re capable of.
Make important information interesting and interactive. This will get people listening and more importantly seeing the knowledge you might not always have the time to drip feed to patients in appointments.
The general public are becoming a lot more savvy when it comes to seeking advice.
Rather than asking ‘influencers’, people are increasingly turning more towards the professionals to help get the facts straight.
Many resources create misinformation and are misleading. This in turn creates confusion for the people reading it.
Becoming a positive influence on social media
Social media is amazing for this. But negativity plays a massive part as well.
Creating a ‘safe space’ for people to feel comfortable with themselves is really important. Especially when it comes to matters which are a little delicate for some – like our dental health.
As dental professionals we motivate people all the time to be better with their oral health. So why not motivate people through social media?
Mantras and affirmations that we provide to patients can not only uplift them, but it is something they can repost and spread through their own social media channels!
Of course, it’s okay to have fun with these things whilst you’re doing it too!
More and more people want to see the person behind the professional façade. They want to see what you get up to and what you do outside of oral health.
People will also see you as much more approachable too.
Reap what you sow
One of the many benefits to having a social platform is finding and being found for job opportunities.
Think of it as an extension to your CV. Your personality and portfolio are displayed for not just your peers but also practice owners and potential employers to see.
It’s a great way to make yourself stand out. As well as this it can open up many other doors and opportunities. Such as with magazine coverage and recognition.
Making it interactive
Places like Tiktok or Instagram make things so much more interesting for people to read and watch. It gives users the ability to digest important information about their oral health so much more easily!
Having that online portfolio that people can refer to at their fingertips brings them the confidence to choose you as a professional.
Influencing patients’ oral health
The best way to start social media trends is to take the plunge to go out and do it!
It is easy to get carried away with all the information we can provide. Sometimes this gets lost in translation if there is too much dental jargon.
It’s therefore about keeping things short and sweet, and making it interesting and visually appealing for your audience to interact with.
It is also a great way to stay unique and authentic.
Your audience is always looking for something different. This is the best way to get your message across and get the most amount of interaction from your followers.
There is definitely a gap in the market to have dental influencers. I think that what we are seeing now is just the beginning of what we can become.
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