Dentistry and social media: Is there a place for it today in your career?
Gone are the days of carrier pigeon and travelling by donkey/ horse (or any other 4 legged animal for that matter) to pass on your message to the next person.
Now, without even needing to leave your own bed, messages can be sent back and forth from one person to the next - globally- within seconds.
"There really is no stopping to what social media can achieve. The ways in which we can connect with one another are endless."
And now in more recent years there has been a surge of dentists using social media to their advantage to help spread the word about their services, show their off their handiwork and even build their brands.
But how far is too far with what we share on social media?
The GDC have outlined guidance for dentists when using social media - click here to find out more.
1: Self promotion:
With most dentists being self employed, we have to go the extra mile to put the work in and make your services and expertise known.
Social media has made this very easy and accessible. It merely is another way of being able promote yourself this for free* or at very little cost. So, pick up your phone/ smart device and get posting.
You can learn so much through social media. Depending on the accounts that you follow - some dentists who post their work give tips and tricks or will talk you through how they achieved their end result. Teaching in this format is invaluable as their years of experience and knowledge which has been built overtime can help inspire the way in which you practice.
The whole essence of social media is to connect people with common interests. So, if you are a dentist or dental student in London who happens to come across another dentist in Abu Dhabi with the same love for endodontics as you - hurrah! You've made a connection. Social media is a great way to discover new courses and techniques but some of the best in dentistry and you don't even need to get on a plane!
1: Expect criticism:
Keyboard warriors are real! Not everyone will like what you post - not everyone will appreciate your work and yes this includes your own colleagues. If you decide to put your work online for the world to see - you will need to get thicker skin because for every compliment and admiration there are bound to be a few negative comments.
2: Consent: You need consent from your patients if you decide to share work online. After all it is their mouth! So if you aim to show off your work via social media make sure that your consent form states that photos may be taken for the usage of promotion and social media. Written consent is best and most highly advisable.
3: Photo theft:
Did you know that whenever a photo is posted online it no longer becomes your property?
Which means there is a risk that some people may try and pass your work off as their own. That's why you will see a lot of dentists will protect their work using custom made watermarks with either their initials, name or practice name.
"Be smart - protect your work."
"Social media is what you make it."
Whatever you share online you cannot erase. So, be careful with what you choose to put out there for the world to see.
Yet in saying all this, the world is your oyster and there are lots of connections to be made, techniques, tips and tricks to be learnt just at the click of a button!