Meta’s Threads: the dentist’s guide to leveraging the latest social media platform

Meta’s Threads: the dentist’s guide to leveraging the latest social media platform

Emma Petty answers the most common questions about Meta’s Instagram-branded app, Threads, and explores how dentists can incorporate it into their day-to-day marketing strategy.

So, what is Threads?

Last week, Meta, the parent company of Instagram, unveiled its latest offering: Threads. This text-based social media platform is set to become a major competitor to Twitter attracting over 10 million sign ups within hours of its launch last week.

Exciting times… but is it? With yet another social media platform in the digital arena, does Threads have the potential to revolutionise the way in which dentists engage with their patients and peers? Let’s find out more.

How is Threads relevant for dentists?

Threads’ unique combination of Twitter-like functionality and Instagram’s user-friendly visual appeal make it a great platform for dentists, here’s why:

Text-Based Posts: Users can create short-form text posts limited to 500 characters, perfect for real-time updates and compact communication – share short, informative posts such as important practice announcements, oral health tips and reminders in a concise way which makes it easy for patients to digest and engage.

Multimedia content: While Threads’ main purpose is text-based public communication, it also supports individual or carousel photos and videos, enabling dentists to repurpose before and after patient case studies, as well as share educational content to build strong relationships with their patient base.

Interaction options: Similar to Twitter, Threads allows users to like, comment, repost, and share posts to their Instagram story or feed, boosting engagement with patients and knowledge sharing within dentistry.

Professional networking: Threads is a perfect platform to connect with peers, collaborate and exchange best practice within dentistry. It provides a place to stay updated on the latest advancements, techniques, and trends.

Despite limited functionality, there is currently no distracting advertising on its singular scrollable feed which combines content from the accounts you follow with the algorithm’s suggested posts.

Meta is actively working on including features like direct messaging, trending topics, and an improved search function which will, no doubt, enhance communication and information sharing.

What’s more, Instagram’s community guidelines and enforcement policies apply to Threads, ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all users. You can report any violations and also customise feeds by hiding specific words or phrases.

How does Threads fit into my social media strategy?

A balanced approach to social media is key for maximising the different revenue-generating opportunities of each platform, not to mention your time. Here’s how we see envisage Threads fitting into dentistry’s social media landscape:

Threads: perfect for real-time, text-based communications, conversations and community-building with new and existing patients, as well as peer-to-peer sharing of ideas, opinions, best practice, industry trends and updates.

Instagram/Youtube: ideal for short-form video such as patient before and after case studies, treatment explainers, UGC, educational infographics and engaging posts, such as oral health tips.

Tiktok: brilliant for trends and for camera-confident dental teams breaking down dental anxiety stereotypes through entertaining and informative short-form video.

Facebook: great for building a local community, sharing practice updates, and engaging with patients through discussions and local events.

Linkedin: perfect for professional peer-to-peer networking, recruitment, and thought leadership and for establishing expertise within dentistry.

Not another social media platform, where will I find time?

We know you’re busy in surgery, looking after patients, and/or running a practice – so we recommend following these quick tips make the most of your social media management time:

  • Use a content calendar, plan and batch-create content
  • Use automation tools for scheduling across platforms
  • Collaborate with local micro-influencers or relevant local businesses
  • Share relatable patient content (UGC)
  • Monitor analytics, understand what resonates and adapt
  • Engage, engage, engage with your followers: engagement is key for reach
  • Experiment with different formats to stay relevant and interesting
  • Bonus tip: don’t overthink content creation – document your day with your phone, as B-roll content is trending and easy to capture
  • Outsource your social media management.

Finally, our initial impression of Threads is positive – it feels fresh and vibrant! It’s an exciting opportunity for dentists to connect with patients in a new and dynamic way, as well as engage with peers.

Dare we say it, Threads feels more ‘authentic’ than other platforms – though time will tell whether peer networks and patient communities flock there.

In the meantime, its user-friendly interface, extensive reach, and integration with Instagram have the potential to enhance your social media footprint, so why not download Threads today, try it for yourself and let us know what you think?

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