Social Media and Legal Considerations for Dentistry



Who’s your social media champion? This is the person in your practice who manages your social media. Even if you’ve chosen to work with an outside social media partner, it’s imperative that you have at least one internal team member to help co-manage these efforts. Ideally you would handle all social media communication – direct patient-to-practice communication – internally. In other words, you don’t delegate your patient conversations to an outside source.

Practices that excel in social media often have a designated internal person in charge. Additionally, they’ve adopted an entire protocol to accommodate social media for their practice. Below is a checklist for your practice’s social media champion position:

1) Have the right person in place

The best traits for a social media champion are the following:

  • Enjoys social media
  • Gregarious, friendly, people-person
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Enjoys learning new things

2) Include social media management as part of a team member’s job description

At least one person in the practice is responsible for social media related duties, and that person has agreed to be held accountable.

3) Allow time for social media tasks to be performed

This means the practice takes social media seriously. They don’t ask their champion to handle social media during their lunch break, on the weekends, or “whenever they have time, because social media is fun, right?”

4) Budget for continuing education

Social media changes every day. Good social media champions have access to articles, research, webinars, mentoring or coaching. In some cases your champion may excel at the mechanics of social media; however, they may require mentorship on branding or communication. Even the best social media champions benefit from validation that they are doing things well.

5) Acknowledge social media and your champion

Even if you aren’t fond of Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter personally, be sure you don’t taint your champion by bad-mouthing these tools. There is no faster way to de-motivate your social media champ than by saying things like, “Social media is just a big waste of time.”

Over the years we’ve seen patients increasingly ask questions via platforms like Facebook. Social media is now a valuable communication tool. In addition to being a marketing must-have, social media allows patients to thoroughly vet your practice and often social reviews are the tipping point weighing in your favor.

Most practices who take social media seriously have already adopted the above as part of their practice’s business operations. Do you take social media seriously? If so, ensure you’ve got all the above checklist items in place and keep us posted on your progress!

 

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