Your religion is what you do when the sermon is over.
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Dentistry doesn’t need social media!”
How’s that for an attention grabber?
I predict just the headlines will bring me thousands of views and re-tweets.
Being controversial seems to be one of the reasons social media works. The largest amount of shares comes from ideas we are passionate about….
Any media that expresses the way we really feel. It can be about controversial subjects – it can be about new found love. It can be about products and ways that we can help others feel good.
The bottom line is – mundane rarely gets shared.
So really – how passionate are people about ‘dentistry’ and ‘brushing and flossing?’
Do they really want to become friends with their dentist? What reason would people have to interact with their dental office other than a regular checkup?
When you are marketing your practice using social media….are you thinking of reasons why your patient would WANT to be your friend, of what type of relationship you would actually have….or are you self serving? Are you only wanting them to ‘like’ you so they will send their friends and family to you?
Are you using social media as a sincere relationship builder, or just to create more business? What’s in it for your customer/patient if they like you?
The downfall of most social media.
There are WAY too many one way conversations. Its’ like that friend we all know that is in one of those multi level businesses. They become that person you LEAST want to see because every time you see them the conversation is like…
“Hey Warren – great to see you, how’s your family?”
You happily extend your hand and start to answer while watching the other persons eyes glaze over – and you know they aren’t really interested….
“By the way, I just found this great opportunity – a way out of the rat race. I know you want to have more time for your family and to find financial security don’t you Warren?”
Ummmm….”My family is doing fine, and I am quite happy with making next to nothing?”
These friends are the ones who control the entire conversation, and you tend to avoid them at all costs. You know they are only trying to get you to buy something from them and have no real interest in your well being.
There is a TON of that on Facebook and Twitter. You KNOW they are only having a conversation with you just to get you to buy something.
So how do I think a business should use social media?
First – just recognize what people really do like about you and what you do. Why would they want to “like” that and what would they really want to ‘share’.
Are you being real. or are you just having someone else be real for you? If you just want to advertise and use social media to attract fans – then don’t hide it by pretending to be interested. Just promote yourself by offering compelling specials. And they better be worth while, or forget it. Who cares if you are offering the same ‘deal’ on facebook as you do in the newspaper, or to every single person who walks into your business almost any day of the week?
If you want your social media to have real impact – raise the stakes!! You may not need to pay “coupon” type companies up to 50% of your profit to get customers walking in your door. Just put up the same type of promotion on your facebook and twitter accounts and let your customers get the benefit and share.
NOW you are giving people something worth talking about!! And THAT is what a friend really does!!
Be prepared for haters. Be prepared to handle unhappy customers.
When everyone is watching how you handle these situations. It’s interesting how good companies will totally “F” things up with a customer by ignoring them, deleting them, or plain out insulting them.
If you want to create some other good content – go ahead and piss off a customer!!
Its’ going to happen sooner or later. But a GREAT company will never worry about this. They KNOW that they can’t make everyone happy, and will maintain a temperment that their true fans will come to the plate and defend.
Its’ happened to me! Just google my name, and you will find that I have been blasted at least a half dozen times for my point of view. I respond to every single one, up to a point where it may be a waste of time – but I make sure to express how I really feel and allow people to make their own decision about me.
Bottom line….does Dentistry really need social media to create a thriving practice?
Not really. But if you are good at what you do and inspire passion in your patients, and you really truly care about establishing a great relationship and are willing to invest your time – there is really no better way in the world! Loyal friends and customers come from sincere and mutually beneficial relationships…..
If you are using social media only to publish mundane facts about your business…you will probably turn more people off than on, and you will probably waste your time….
Go ahead and blast away at my theory!
I just believe if the world was full of more real people who are truly caring about relationships and helping rather than trying to ‘sell’ something – what a world it would be….
Success in Dentistry and Life.