Social Media and Legal Considerations for Dentistry



Are you wondering what’s happening in social media today? What’s working – and not? What are we seeing? According to Pew Internet research, 67% of online adults use social networking sites. For those of you still hoping social media would just go away, current research supports its ongoing popularity.

Over the years, I’ve had the benefit of working with literally thousands of dentists and teams – both through our client services and numerous speaking engagements. Below is a summary of the most relevant, and current, observations I’ve made to date:

Facebook:

1            More and more patients are interacting with practices on Facebook. Whether they are posting comments or asking questions, patients are more active and engaged than they were a few years ago.

2            The most popular posts – those that generate the most likes and comments – continue to be photos of the doctor and/or team.

3            Word of mouth (talking with patients), continues to generate the best results – the results being page likes, comments, testimonials, and check-ins.

4            A risk for many practices continues to be misuse of time management (this can be easily corrected with training and systems).

5            Most practices are letting valuable opportunities to network with other businesses and organizations in their communities slip away.

6            Many practices are still putting their pages at risk by holding contests against Facebook guidelines.

7            Facebook ads continue to be underutilized by many practices.

 

Twitter: 

1            The majority of dental practices on Twitter in the U.S. are not using Twitter effectively or efficiently.

2            Often the doctor’s name is being used; however, the doctor is not personally managing the Twitter account. In social media transparency is key.

3            Many Twitter accounts are filled with advertising messages or are auto-linked from Facebook pages. Avid Twitter users are often annoyed by non-human/auto-linked accounts.

4            Few practices are using Twitter to listen, interact, and work toward growing relationships within their community (kudos to the few that are, such as this practice!).

 

Google Plus:

Many practices are not on board with Google Plus Business Pages yet.  If you are one of them, please read here.

I’ll address additional social media platforms in a future article (watch this space or subscribe for updates). Most importantly, as recommended in this article 9 Marketing Strategies You Must Stop Using – Now, many practices are dropping their third party “total management” social marketing services entirely. Doctors and teams are embracing the opportunity to manage their social media marketing internally. In other situations practices are realizing they need to be, at minimum, active co-participants in their social marketing efforts. In order to take on these new responsibilities many practices are investing in training, or taking necessary steps to become informed and empowered.

What is the state of social media in your practice?

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