Effective use of Social Media for Patient Communication
About the webinar
Dentistchannel.online hosted webinar on Social Media and Dentistry – Connecting People, by speaker Dr. Ashwin P S on 17th April, 2020 at 11 AM IST. The webinar was witnessed by several members of dental fraternity.
Indian Scenario of Social Media
Since the late 90’s India has entered the digital world and has seen tremendous growth in digitalization. From e-mails to current social networking sites it has seen evolution in a bigger way. Social media in India began with Orkut by Google. It was then discontinued and Indians started using social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. As per a survey result in January 2020 India has 260 million Facebook users and 80 million Instagram users. With cheaper data packs and increase in use of smartphones, Social media has become part of every household.
Even with the entry of WhatsApp reach of social media has got even wider in India. Dental health professionals have a great potential to engage the public using social media because unlike olden days, today Internet and Social media is accessible for all.
How can social media benefit dentistry ?
- Raising awareness: Social media can be used to raise awareness on oral health conditions, common procedures, common hygiene habits and so on. With proper and credible information public will have better idea of dentistry.
- Combating misinformation: Being healthcare professionals it is very important and responsibility to combat fake and misinformation. It can be done either by citing published research reports or by citing credible health organisations like WHO, CDC, ICMR etc.
- Answering Common Questions: Frequently Asked Questions can be prepared for different aspects of dental treatments and dentistry. It can help the public in clarifying their common doubts and anxiety.
Various Social media platforms – Which one to choose ?
One needs to realise that, restricting to one particular social media site is not helpful. As the target audience i.e, general public are using different platforms, it would be helpful to have parallel accounts in different platforms.
One of the most popular social media site across the globe and has several million users from India. It can be used to post textual content, photos, videos, story, live videos. Creative and attractive contents get better engagements.
It is mainly known for photographic contents and celebrity following among the youth. Youth population is a clear target in case of Instagram. Photos, short videos, story, Instagram TV are the types of posts that can be used in Instagram.
Twitter is considered as a micro-blog. For dental professionals, Twitter can be used to post important updates, photos, short videos and also to participate for social cause. Specials days like No Tobacco Day, Oral health day etc can be observed with social media campaigns using Twitter.
It was once thought be a job hunting site, but with 100 million professionals in it, Linkedin gives a good exposure and online reputation for a health professional. Educational qualifications, Academic accomplishments, Awards and Recognitions, Skills can be showcased using different sections in one’s profile. This will enhance professional reputation and bring a charm to your online presence.
Search engines may list you if you are searched for by your patients or general public. It can also be eye catching to recruiters and help you in jobs. Other than that, you can use it to recruit staff for yourself or to hire any experts for your desired works.
It is an academic social networking site. Researchers and academicians can upload their research publications for better visibility. It also has provision to upload data on Conference presentations, posters, book publications and so on. Being user friendly, it is a must for all health care professionals in academics.
- YouTube Channel
Presenting educational videos, videos explaining clinical procedures, short video on clinical set up are the contents that can be uploaded by dentists and it can drive potential patients to the practice. Sharing link in other parallel social accounts increases the visibility for your content.
Social contract and Ethical issues
Being healthcare professionals, dentists carry high moral values and ethics which is conferred by the society on the profession of doctors. Maintaining the decorum of profession is an absolute necessary in social media.
Having clear boundary between personal and professional accounts, posting credible contents, maintaining patient data privacy and confidentiality are some important factors while using social media. Adhering to the given guidelines from respective dental councils is a must and violating it would lead to unnecessary pitfalls to practice.
When used wisely and prudently, social media offers lots of advantages to dentists in their profession. However, crossing the line of ethics will invite trouble and end up in bad reputation. Webinar aims to highlight different aspects of social media application for better patient communication. Have a good watch!
Want to learn on how social media can help your dental practice or to build your online reputation ? Then, you need to attend this webinar. If you have missed attending the live session, you can attend it now through our channel. To claim E- certificate, you need to watch and comment about the webinar in comment section. Have a good watch and claim your certificate now !