Social media may not change your practice. It may, however, change how you practice. The few that embrace it fully will experience a bump in those coveted internal referrals. Internal referrals drive a practice to success. Patients who tell their friends and family about you tend to have greater trust and are more willing to learn, and they ultimately refer more.
All these open platforms of interaction may not be right for every dentist. So let’s explore why NOT social media for some dentists. People must engage on these new media platforms in a real way. You can’t fake true engagement and connection. A lot of dentists don’t want to be that vulnerable in the public eye. There is a professional image to uphold. It’s scary to show true emotion and share real passions outside of dentistry. Patients may be able to glimpse more easily into one’s private life. Worse, employees and patients have the ability to write something controversial and unauthorized on a Facebook page.
This is the paradoxical reality. Many patients are already close friends and neighbors, family members, and high school buddies. Typically they are the lifeblood of the practice already. They know your no dental secrets and still choose you as their dentist. You need to tell yourself that real engagement, however scary and messy, can be a win-win for your practice.