Your feed on social media is full of ads. One minute you’re looking up pulpal necrosis on Google and the next, a plush, personalized, toothpaste subscription box is asking for your email on Instagram. As a dental student, you can’t help but be skeptical of these products and the broad claims they make.
As campus recruiters, we get a lot of questions from dental students about how to better position themselves in front of recruiters. A question that comes up time and time again is, “How can I network with other dental professionals and recruiters on LinkedIn?”
This generation of dental students will be the first to use social media as a tool for marketing and engaging with patients and dental colleagues. From AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) to MySpace, then Facebook and now Instagram and Snapchat, we have grown along with the wave of social media platforms. Unfortunately, so has our digital footprint. As we continue to move forward in our careers, we must consider our professional image and the content we shared online before dental school.
Do you spend way too much time on Instagram? Have you felt like too much of your precious time is spent staring at photos, captions and hashtags on a three-by-five inch screen? Well, there’s good news. If you follow the right Instagram accounts, it will not only give you more opportunities in the field of dentistry, but it can help you connect with other students and professionals.
Many people see their dentist more often than their doctor so establishing a connection with your patients should be a priority. To ease the “awkward” phase of getting to know patients, several dentists have chosen creative marketing techniques that combine their hobbies with social media. The goal is for patients to feel more connected with their dentist and dental health.
According to Merriam-Webster, a foodie is “a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.” We all have that one friend. The one boxing you out from your utensils until a properly staged and lit photo of the spread is captured. Naturally, this “avid interest” comes in a variety of flavors. Whether we know (or follow) a fit foodie, a vegan foodie, a dessert foodie, or a trendy foodie, etc., a few common links classify them as foodies: They all invest time, stomach space and money to their passions.
The majority of the time, foodies have a social media presence. In fact, much of the foodie persona is built on media sharing platforms. Instagram revolutionized the foodie world with instant shares of dishes and constant competition to frame the best photo or garner the most “likes.” Gaining and maintaining followers on various forms of social media takes time and commitment every day.
As millennials, many of us are quite familiar with the app Snapchat. Whether we’re face-swapping with our dogs, or using it as a great way to embarrass that classmate who fell asleep in class again, the growing popularity of this mobile appl has enabled us to connect effortlessly with our friends, family and even some celebrities. But could Snapchat also be a powerful, untapped marketing tool for health care professionals?
In a market that is moving towards increased commoditization of professional services, dentists must make a difficult choice: sell “affordability” by cutting fees or sell the experience that your practice offers. We want patients to focus less on purely seeking the lowest fees and focus more on the unique traits that make each provider different because we understand that patient needs can vary greatly. So how can we stand out?