Social media is an absolute must-have for any dental practice today. Yet the power of social media is a double-edged sword: harness it in the right way, and you can watch your business soar, but let it get out of control, and you can torpedo your reputation. There are a lot of potential pitfalls on your practice’s social media pages, but did you know that your personal social media can also damage your dental practice? Here is what you should know.
Mixing Business with Pleasure
It is extremely common for patients, staff members, and colleagues to send social media friend requests, and many dentists feel that accepting these requests makes them appear warm, open, and approachable. The problem is that while your personal friends likely share, or at least accept, your views on sensitive topics, your work-related “friends” may not.
Photos of you drunk at a party, controversial political opinions, NSFW memes, and snarky commentary on your community are perfectly acceptable on your personal social media pages. But they may not be well-received by those who know you only on a professional level.
There are three basic ways to avoid problems: keep your personal pages neutral and family-friendly, refuse friend requests from those you know in a professional capacity, or create groups within your social media profile so that only your close personal friends see the posts that could be controversial.
Forgetting That Screenshots Last Forever
If you make a bad judgment call with a social media post, you can always delete it. But how do you know that someone out there, such as a competitor or a disgruntled patient, didn’t take a screenshot of it?
No one is perfect, but the best way to guard against this is to be scrupulous about what you post that can be seen outside of your trusted inner circle. Double-check your post settings and, when in doubt, take a deep breath and avoid making the post.
In a perfect world, everyone would treat each other with respect. The reality, though, is that we are all only human. You will have competitors, current and former staff members, and even current and former patients who get under your skin. Occasionally, someone may even try to drag you into a public argument.
Refuse to take the bait. Getting drawn into a “he said, she said” argument only makes you both look petty and unprofessional. Block people you truly can’t stand, and focus on positivity at all times.
Puffing Yourself Up
Yes, you are a dentist. Yes, you might own your own practice. So what? It’s fine to own your skills and your title, but be careful not to fall victim to the social media trap of over-inflation. Be straightforward and matter of fact about who you are and what you do, and then get on with the business of having fun on social media.
Similar to puffing yourself up, over promoting your business only makes you look desperate and spammy. Your business profile is the place to promote. Your personal social media pages are for being social. There is nothing wrong with cross-posting an occasional offer or special event, but avoid constantly trying to “work the room” with your friends and followers.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.